The only person who can answer the question “How many people have the keys to your home?” is yourself. Could the real estate agent you just bought your house from, or perhaps the property manager answer this question. By law agents are not required to change or recode locks before a new family or a person takes the possession of a property. Some people when buying a new property will schedule an appointment with a locksmith to advise them on the best ways to go about it. With rental properties people seem to not think about this issue. Why should they? It’s not their property.
What type of agent are you dealing with, who hands over a key to a rented property to the new tenant – without explaining the whole security situation. The answer is an agent who does not take home security serious. Agents by law need to give a reasonably secure rental premises. Locks need to function and a deadbolt or deadlock needs to be fitted to exterior doors.
Keys can be copied and duplicated at any hardware shop, key cutting shop or locksmith. Why is it so easy to get keys copied? If a key is not part of a restricted system it can be copied. It is as simple as that. Nobody can refuse to cut an unrestricted key.
Flatmates move in and out of properties very fast. Keys are lost, then duplicated again. This can be a real problem. This creates an easy way for unauthorised people to enter homes for what-ever reason they wish to.
When moving into a new property whether it be for rental or ownership we advise people to get all external doors re-keyed. This will stop previous holders of keys gaining access to those locks. It is a fee which will need to be payed by the new owners or tenant. You need to check on the terms and conditions within your lease agreement. Some agents require that after a new lock has been fitted that a copy of the new key is submitted to the managing agent or landlord. This should normally be implemented within 1 week. Yes this is a risk to give a key to an agent who does not take security serious.