I wish I could do a study on the average number of copies of a New Yorker’s key are floating around, if they don’t change the locks when they move into a new place. It would be ridiculously shocking.
Who has your key? Of course, several people from the management company, the landlord(s), and supers. NYC apartments have hugely high turnover, and the locks probably haven’t been changed for several move-in and move-outs. Anyone living there previously could have given a copy of their keys to friends, significant others, or anyone.
So you change your locks. But also, if you’re in a position where you have to or want to give out copies (such as a doorman building, and any rental property management company will require that they have a copy) consider purchasing a lock that has keys that require authorization for duplicating.
People are rightly wary of keys with “do not duplicate” stamped on them. Do locksmiths who cut keys really care about that?
Generally speaking, yes. For truly high security lock keys, even you may even have to look pretty hard to find a locksmith that CAN copy your own key. Here’s some information from Mul-T-Lock, whose keys come with authorization cards that you must present to have a copy made.
I’m not going to say that the locksmithing industry isn’t full of unsavory characters who will do a lot for a buck, but it isn’t that easy. If keys are difficult to copy, the chances of you losing control of how many copies there are drop off a lot. And with Yelp reviews, Angie’s List, and the internet in general, any locksmith knows that shady stuff gets around fast and kills business. Plus, manufacturers like Medeco and Mul-T-Lock are only going to stay in business as long as they can prove reliability, which means they take measures to ensure that high security keys cannot be duplicated.
We’re always happy to give you all the details on different types of locks and what options there are for your situation. Give us a call anytime, and stay safe!