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What is the cost of changing locks in the UK?

by | Dec 1, 2022

Home $ Property Management for landlords $ Rent from Private Landlords Not Agents $ What is the cost of changing locks in the UK?

As tenants move in and out of properties, it is important you change the locks on the doors to make sure tenants don’t still have access to a property.

This is part of a landlord’s responsibility, but how are you sure you’re being charged the right cost? 

How much does a locksmith charge in 2023?

Typically, for a locksmith to change the locks on a door, including all the parts of the lock you will be charged around £100. This will depend on the type of lock and the quality of it along with the brand. Also, some locksmiths will charge you for any changes you want to make to the lock in a certain period like a warranty. This means you can be confident in the lock for a long time to come.

Service Description Estimated Cost (£)
Yale Lock Replacement Replacement of Yale lock in either wooden or UPVC doors. £60 – £120
Mortice Lock Replacement Replacement of mortice lock in either wooden or UPVC doors. £70 – £150
Euro Cylinder Replacement Replacement of a Euro cylinder lock, commonly used in UPVC doors. £70 – £200
Boarding Up Property Cost to board up windows and doors for security or damage control. £100 – £300 per window/door
Forced Entry Cost to force entry when locked out or key is lost. £80 – £200
Door Shaving Trimming door due to carpet fitting or door catching on the floor. £50 – £90
Window Lock Repair Repairing the lock mechanism on a window. £50 – £100
Emergency Call Out Cost for an emergency locksmith visit outside standard hours. £80 – £150
Cancellation Fee Cost incurred if you cancel the appointment after the locksmith is dispatched or within a certain time window. £20 – £50
Door Re-align Fixing a misaligned door that isn’t opening or closing properly. £50 – £100


Locksmith cost calculator

When calculating the price you would have to pay as a landlord conducting works on the doors of your property, using a locksmith calculator can be useful.

You can check out the most recent prices and calculate them on a credible site like Check A Trade here

This will take away the guesswork surrounding pricing. For example, if you have multiple doors that need fixing and multiple keys that need replacing, you could use a calculator to get an instant quote.

What are the average hourly rates for a locksmith?

If you know you need to have a locksmith come and do repairs on your property, you may just want to pay them by the hour. Typically, a locksmith will charge per project they have to do. However, if you want to pay a locksmith by the hour they may charge in the region of £50 per hour.

If you go with a locksmith who will also charge you for the tools involved to carry out repairs, then a locksmith may be able to charge as little as £30 per hour. All in all, people who carry out repairs to do with the building of a property typically have to charge a bit more because they have a lot of overheads.

What does a locksmith typically charge to unlock a house?

Sometimes, a tenant loses their keys and if the landlord has misplaced their keys too or they cannot get the spare set of keys to the tenant in time, the door may need to be unlocked. The price to do this would be less than replacing the entire lock but could typically be around £70 and take half an hour to an hour.

Prices may vary depending on if the locksmith will charge you to replace the lock of the door as it may become ruined. Also, there may be costs to replace the keys that could have become stuck in the lock too. This is another common reason for a locksmith to be called to unlock a house.

What does the labour rate of changing a lock mean?

Businesses have overheads such as the cost of running a vehicle, the cost of having all of the equipment and the cost of advertising services.

Hence, a locksmith will usually charge a call out charge regardless of if they do any work on the lock and then quote the buyer a labour rate (hourly rate) on top of this.

Having said this, if the professional isn’t self-employed and works for a larger company they may be able to charge lower rates.

labour rate of a locksmith

What are the different types of jobs that a locksmith will charge for?

One of the biggest factors in determining what the cost of changing a lock will be is the type of lock it is. There are multiple types including mortice locks, euro cylinder locks, door or window locks. 

Also, there are situations where locksmiths have to board up a premises or a locksmith forcibly gains entry to a house. These may all cost and there may be a charge involved.

Cost of replacing a mortice lock

A mortice lock is a type of lock that requires a pocket, the mortice, to be cut into the door or piece of furniture into which the lock is to be fitted. 

They are considered more secure than cylindrical lock mechanisms, commonly used in residential properties, and are often used in commercial environments where security is a primary concern.

Hence, they are often more expensive to replace as removing the old mortice lock can be quite time extensive. Typically you can expect to be charged around £100 to replace a lock like this.

Cost of changing a euro cylinder lock

A Euro cylinder lock is a kind of lock mechanism commonly used in door locks across Europe, hence the name. So, in the UK it is particularly common.

This lock type is often found in UPVC doors and is popular due to its convenience for master key configurations, allowing different doors in the same building to be operated by one key and making it a favourite amongst landlords. 

The good news is, euro cylinders can be easily replaced without altering the entire door hardware so the cost to replace a Euro cylinder lock is never really that expensive.

However, it can still vary widely depending on the brand, type, and security level of the lock, as well as labour costs.

Basic Euro cylinder lock changes could cost anywhere from £20 to £100, and potentially £50 to £100 for professional installation. 

Cost of boarding up an entire property 

Boarding up a property doesn’t have to be strictly done by a locksmith as it doesn’t actually involve anything to do with locks, nonetheless, most locksmiths will offer this service.

This is done during periods when the property needs to be protected. For instance, if the property has been derelict for a long period of time and it has suffered from severe fire or weather damage would be good examples.

The cost of boarding up a property varies greatly. It depends on the number of openings on the property that have to be boarded up and the materials used during the process.

On the lower end, this could cost something as low as £100 but for large properties wanting reinforced material, expect to pay upwards of £500.

Price of changing all the locks in a property

When it comes to changing all the locks in a property, this is often the price that is most expensive. Usually, if a tenant moves out of a home, the locks will have to be changed because the landlord wants to be sure that old tenants don’t still have access to the premises.

This gives a reassuring peace of mind to new tenants but is does come at a significant cost and a full lock change with windows and doors included could be upwards of £300.

A key stuck in a lock that the landlord wonders what the cost is of repairing

What is an emergency locksmith?

Emergency locksmiths are called out for people who have an urgent issue that prevents them from gaining access to a property or leaving it.

For example, if someone got their key stuck in the lock of a door or the lock got damaged and someone couldn’t open the door from the inside, an emergency locksmith could be called.

Examples, where it isn’t an emergency, could be where a landlord needs the doors in a property replaced because they need to change the locks as a new tenant moves in. Something like this can be done over a longer time period.

Some landlords’ insurance will have locksmith cover in it. This means if a tenant damages the lock to a property or it just gives up due to wear and tear over time, the landlord won’t have to pay additional costs to make sure the property can continue to be used.

What is the cost of an emergency locksmith?

Because emergency locksmiths have to be called out on an immediate basis, an emergency locksmith will typically charge a premium. Some will also have an emergency payment plan that can be paid off over time or in fact covered through the insurance a landlord has in places like home insurance or landlord’s insurance.

Hence, an emergency locksmith will usually charge around £100 per hour.

What is an out of hours locksmith?

An out of hours locksmith is the same as an emergency locksmith that operates any time of the day. You may still have to wait to receive the service from an out of hours locksmith but you should be able to get help before waiting for typical business hours.

For example, if someone gets clocked out of their property at 9pm in the evening, calling an out of hours emergency locksmith could be a good idea to regain access to a property maybe by 11pm so that they aren’t locked out of their house for the whole night.

How to find the right locksmith

In order to find the right cost for a locksmith, it is necessary to take some precautions to make sure you find the right person for the job.

Make it clear what kind of services you need

Before making any negotiations. Know what you need before talking to the locksmith. It could be that the whole lock needs changing or the whole door needs changing. In addition, you may be able to strike a deal with a locksmith if you have multiple locks that need fixing. 

Allowing them the time to fix all of what you need on the same property for a reduced price but a larger payment overall for the locksmith because they don’t have to travel between jobs or find more work.

Get an estimate for the cost before you hire the locksmith

Everyone has been in a situation where they are shocked at the price of something before the service has been done. This is why you should get a locksmith to assess the lock or the part of the door that needs changing before you ask them to start work.

This way, they can tell you how much it is likely to cost. This is important particularly if you are a landlord who isn’t going to be overseeing the maintenance and there is perhaps a property manager who is conducting repairs on your behalf. This gives you clarity that the repairs will be conducted in the right manner while you’re not there.

A landlord calling to find out the cost of repairing a lock

Check out reviews from the locksmith

Reviews are some of the best ways to make sure that a locksmith is able to do their job well. Here you will be able to see if the work they do lasts a long time and if they are polite to work with or even if their costs align with the work they do.

It is recommended you check out these reviews before calling a locksmith or hiring them so you can disregard all the locksmiths with negative feedback overall.

In summary

To wrap things up, the price of a locksmith can vary quite a bit depending on what you’d want in a property. Also, it is without question that replacing the locks on a door, cutting keys and potentially replacing entire doors are all things you would have to do as an experienced landlord.

In order to make the best decision for the costs of replacing the locks on your doors, it is vital you shop around and compare different prices. It may be the case that you don’t need a well experienced locksmith and someone in training or with a few years of experience can do the trick just as well as someone who would charge you a lot more.

Finally, don’t be afraid to change a lock yourself as this is another way to save money in the maintenance of a property, especially if you know what you’re doing and you’re already struggling with costs in the beginning stages of your journey as a landlord.

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andreas gerazis

Andreas Gerazis

Experienced landlord

Andreas is a certified landlord with extensive knowledge about the UK property market as he has been actively investing for half a decade. Founder of the first three-in-one property management software, Lofti Proptech, Andreas has a brilliant understanding of the details surrounding what it takes to grow and run a thriving property portfolio.