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Letter: Worry Over Home’s Security And Council’s Fee

Published on: 3 Jan, 2016
Updated on: 3 Jan, 2016

The writer of this letter has asked that their name is not published

emails letterI accidentally left my keys inside my flat recently and had to call the council to get someone to let me in.

It took over an hour for someone to come. They broke into my flat in less than a minute using two bits of card!

They then charged me £72 for this.

I am 60 years old with a heart condition and I am now worried about how easy it was [to open my front door].

For charging me this amount, I think that they should have at least changed the locks.

I am now having problems sleeping knowing that anyone can break in at any time.

Yours. A worried old person.

[Ed: We have suggested to this reader that they should query the fee charged with Guildford Borough Council and ask whether the work could have been undertaken under its Handy Person service as part of its Care and Repair scheme. The details (as given on GBC’s website) states: ‘A fee of £18 per hour (£11.50 for those on means tested benefits) plus the cost of materials, will be charged for the service. The handy person will spend up to a maximum of two hours on site.’]

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Responses to Letter: Worry Over Home’s Security And Council’s Fee

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    January 3, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    First of all, my sympathy to the writer of this letter.

    From the description of how the locksmith gained access I would guess that the door in question was only fitted with a basic lock, the sort that clicks shut when the door is pulled to.

    This type of lock is really only suitable as a daytime latch and should not be relied upon as a primary means of securing a property when unattended or at night.

    It should only be used as a supplement to a good quality five-lever mortise lock made to at least British Standard 3621 (BS3621), which cannot be slipped with a piece of card or plastic.

    I cannot emphasise enough the importance such a lock being fitted.

    For the time, to help the writer sleep a little more easily until a new lock is fitted, they should drop the “snib” or “night latch” on the existing lock (the little button type thing on the back of the lock), which will have the effect of deadlocking it to prevent the lock being “slipped”.

    Once the five-lever lock is fitted, consider leaving a spare key with a TRUSTED friend, relative or neighbour as it will be very difficult indeed to get in if you lose your keys!

  2. Linda Heather Reply

    January 4, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Oh you poor soul. Mr Tanner who is the man would have helped you.

    He is very approachable and has helped us with any problem we have had.

    If you contact him direct, he will change all your locks free of charge. Call 01483 444222 and ask to speak to him direct.

    If you have no response, then call MP Anne Milton.

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