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How can I enhance the security of my London flat with limited modifications?

Life's easy when you own a freehold home. You can do all kinds of upgrades without worrying much about building regulations, especially when it comes to minor improvements. But with property prices so high, more and more people turn to leasehold properties or even choose to ground rent places.

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Home > How can I enhance the security of my London flat with limited modifications?
May 27, 2024

How Can I Enhance the Security of My London Flat With Limited Modifications?

Owning a leasehold property or renting means your options are limited. You might be able to change a few things here and there, but that's it. The lease could prevent you from making big upgrades, not to mention rent limitations. Further advice might be needed in such situations.

At Top Locksmith, we're ready to give you the advice you need for a house or apartment and provide you with more options for security and excellent value for money. No matter what you're after, get in touch with our team to make your life easier with an affordable security cost upgrade.

Limitations Regarding Possible Security Upgrades

imagLeasehold houses come with a unique challenge, meaning owners don't own the actual land beneath the building; instead, they pay for its use regularly. It's not a big issue if you want to make small enhancements on your front door, for example, but big changes will require you to arrange permission.

Limitations are more problematic when it comes to flats. For instance, there's not much you can do about communal areas. At the same time, renting a new home means you can't do anything at all. You can't drill, install new things, or make improvements on your doors without discussing with the landlord.

A lot of people stick to light changes in order to avoid legal action against themselves. Even though a new lock can improve security, the lack of ownership is a problem you need to be aware of. Everything must be discussed with the owner upfront.

In contrast, freehold properties offer more flexibility. Lease property owners can extend the lease with no issues, while locks can be upgraded without any fees. The freehold status allows bigger upgrades, though.

Options to Enhance the Security of a London Flat

You'll most likely have to pay yourself for any benefit regarding security if you don't own the place. In some situations, a landlord could cover the costs, service charges, and fees, but every price, term, and condition must be discussed upfront.

Camera Doorbell

A camera doorbell gives you access to live footage in front of the entry for safety. It can also be used as a general camera, not just when someone rings it. You can speak through it as well. You can install it by drilling the entry or just using double adhesive tape.

Camera doorbells come with their own mobile apps, so everything can be controlled through your mobile device. Some people leave it active and use it as a security camera as well, but you'll get a notification whenever people walk in front of it, even if they don't stop by your entry.

Security Camera

A security camera can deter thieves and add to your peace of mind in terms of safety. Be careful, though, as neighbors may think it affects their privacy, so you could have issues with the law. Make sure it points to your entry only. Since communal spaces are quite tight, this might be a problem.

Like camera doorbells, security cameras can also be installed without drilling anything, but it depends on the system you get. In most cases, you'll have to drill some holes. You can also find solar powered cameras, but there's not much solar light on hallways.

If you get a smart one, you may get notifications whenever people walk around.

Window Lock

If you rent and you're not on the top floor, the person who owned or rented before may still have copies. You need to seek permission from the owner for all kinds of upgrades. If you own the place, secure your windows, as well as your doorway.

Most people never pay attention to window locks, but focus on the doorway only. Our business believes that having secure locks makes you a responsible homeowner or tenant. We visit a lot of properties for maintenance and windows are often overlooked, which is a terrible mistake.

Upgrade Lock

Extend your safety standards with up-to-date modern locks. It's cheaper to upgrade everything on your location than to handle repairs after a potential burglary. Contact our experts at Top Locksmith for more details regarding these services. If you own the place, there are no restrictions whatsoever.

Leaseholders are also allowed such light renovation projects or adjustments.

There are more types of locks out there. At Top Locksmith, we supply, install, repair and maintain locks on all kinds of buildings, both residential and commercial. If you rent the place, make sure you ask the landlord to grant permission for this upgrade. In some cases, they may help with funding as well.

Internal Alarm

You can get a stick-up internal alarm and fit it by the door. Once activated, it will start ringing if sensors are activated, such as if someone broke in. It's a good idea for security, but it's not great if you have pets that may move around at night. Other than that, there are no disadvantages.

Best Types of Locks for a Flat in London

Whether or not you're in a leasehold property, you can upgrade the locks on your property at an affordable cost without breaking any rules. You might be able to do it if you rent too, but discuss it with the owner.

5 Lever Mortice Deadlock

This type of lock is commonly used on a leasehold property with wooden doors. The cost is relatively low, but make sure it matches British standards. You can also get a nightlatch fitted on your leasehold property for your peace of mind.

Multi-Point Locking System

imagWhen locked, this type brings three to five bolts from the lock into the frame. They're easy to upgrade and very secure. They're more commonly used on uPVC and composite doors, but there are quite a few exceptions as well.

A multi-point locking system is our top piece of advice for a leasehold property, whether a home or an apartment building. Again, there are no issues if you lease. A leasehold property can also benefit from this upgrade at good costs.

Rim Automatic Deadlatch

A rim automatic deadlatch is easy to operate from the inside or outside the leasehold property. Our advice is to install it as an extra security measure for your leasehold property, rather than use it as the only lock.

This type is usually fitted along a mortice lock, and both of them are available at affordable costs. Costs to install, repair, and maintain are low because it only operates with a cylinder.

Euro Cylinder Lock

This lock is common on a composite or uPVC entry. It's a common requirement for any leasehold property, whether in an apartment building or by itself. Our advice is to use it for a front or back entry only, as the internal ones are less likely to require such high levels of security.


Still undecided about the best locks for your lease property?

Are flats leasehold or freehold?

Flats can be both freehold and leasehold, yet the lease alternative is more common. You can extend the lease for the property, so there are no issues with the land.

Can leaseholders change locks?

Absolutely. You're restricted to the lease land under the property, that's it. Our service is available to both freehold and lease properties.

Do I need two locks on the front doorways?

Two locks are more common on wooden entries. It's mainly a matter of security.

Will lock upgrades affect the lease?

No, they won't. The lease relates to the land, not the actual property. At Top Locksmith, we provide such upgrades in all kinds of places. Those who rent, however, will need the landlord to accept the upgrade.