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Can I change the Locks?

  • rubytuesday
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27 Jan 08 #12023 by rubytuesday
Topic started by rubytuesday
When my husband left, he held on to his set of housekeys. (as the house is half his, this is understandable). However, due to a rather nasty, bullying letter he wrote to me re the house sale (he says I have to find somewhere else to live quickly) and the fact that I am worried that he may return to the house and cause my children and I distress, I would like to change the door locks. This would make me feel safer (I often have dreams where he is standing at the foot of my bed in the night), knowing that he couldn't just return when he felt like it, and would give me some peace of mind. I am not trying to dely the house sale (i know that this will have to happen), I would just like to feel safe in my own home.

I am going to see a soliciter on Tuesday to discuss what my options and rights are as regard the house, and also to petion for divorce.

  • scottishlady
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27 Jan 08 #12025 by scottishlady
Reply from scottishlady
Hi Highlandlass....

Legally.... you are not allowed to change the locks...
However...I did EXACTLY that.

As my sol advised me when I asked her "considering your STBX's behaviour it is unlikely that any court/judge would condemn you for doing so"

The only repercussion I have had (so far) was to cheese my STBX off big time...


  • puffafish
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27 Jan 08 #12031 by puffafish
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I am in the same position. My STBX comes round every day on the pretext of seeing his child, but then goes into the bedroom to check for any sign of another bloke. I have been advised that I have to put up with this until the house is signed over (by my solicitor), and that if I change the locks he can break in as long as the police are present.

  • gone1
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27 Jan 08 #12041 by gone1
Reply from gone1
No you cant change the locks legaly. But you can lose your keys at any time and of course if you do lose your keys then you must change the locks. Many people in your situation do exactly this. If you are worried you could get a non mol and occupancy order. Ask your sol about this. You could of course fit an additional lock as you lost your keys. Right? There are always ways. Of course you must make a key available for your ex. But you just cant find that spare key. I know I put it here somewhere. ;)Chris.

  • Jacko
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27 Jan 08 #12056 by Jacko
Reply from Jacko
As already stated you are not legally supposed to do it! But if it makes you feel safer do it! If he latter comes round causing problems call the police it wont be you they ask to leave! But in my own experience no one is going to legally do much about it! Even my sol didn’t suggest legal action other asking for a key when it happened to me and I was actually still living in the FHM after she had moved out for a brief period.

My W just loves changing locks she’s had a locksmith around 5 times so far! The police really aren’t interested as long as there’s no real aggravation.

The last time her solicitor wrote to me advising me the locks had been changed on the FHM was because one of her previous partners who had badly assaulted had just been released from jail and she felt she was at risk! I think the reason had more to with the fact she had moved her new boyfriend in but well that’s another story!

Anyway I had taken all my personal belongings so I no longer have a need to renter the FHM. Her changing the locks I feel serves several purposes she feels safer and I can understand that. Even if you’re renting a house no one wants the landlord walking in unannounced! It also means I cannot be accused of entering either.

It seems to me that in a Divorce there are going to be plenty of other things to argue about so suggest you do it and don’t worry to much. Just make sure you have the local police station telephone number to hand should you need it.

Though instead of banning him al together it might be wise to cover yourself by getting your sol to advise him in writing you are happy for him to have prearranged access should he need it for such things a gathering personal possessions, or some other legitimate reason. Then at least you can make sure you are not alone if does needs to come round.

So once again my advice to you is do it! We all get scared and as long as you do it in a reasonable way I cant see he’s going to get very far no matter how much he complains.

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