You may have locked yourself and lost your keys. You might go to the office for work, to buy groceries from a store, to celebrate a friend’s birthday at your friend’s place, or to dine in a restaurant and suddenly realize you do not have your keys when you arrive home. Of course, you cannot sit idle and wait for a miracle to happen. We understand that you are worried about losing your keys. If you are going through such a situation, stay cool and calm, and do not panic; here is the complete guide you can read and follow to get help. This will share how to return to your home or apartment in Germany. We will also discuss what you should do in this situation, so keep reading it until the end.
Risks Associated with Lost Keys
Losing keys is a very serious issue not just in Germany but everywhere across the globe, and everyone should take care to avoid losing their apartment or building keys. It is risky because thieves and murderers can enter your property, and it can also be dangerous for you and your neighbors. If you lose your keys in a way that no one can find them, there is no risk. If someone can find your lost keys but cannot find the location, there is no risk in this scenario too.
Contact a Locksmith in Germany
If you are in trouble because you have lost your keys, you must find the nearest locksmith who will help you in trouble. Being new to Germany and an expat, you must look for the nearest locksmith. You can ask your neighbors or discuss the matter with your building management team. Once you contact a locksmith, he will come to your house or apartment and open your door so you may get into your apartment. If you are new in Germany, you can also search on Google for the nearest available locksmiths. You can contact your locksmith via call or a form given on his website if your chosen locksmith has one.
Cost of A Locksmith in Germany
A locksmith in Germany will open your door by charging a fee between 50 Euros to 170 Euros. The cost of opening door locks depends on various factors. These factors are given below;
- The time it takes to open your door
- Type of lock in your door
- The complexity of the door lock
- The time when you call a locksmith
If you call a locksmith during the weekend or at night, he will charge more than the normal rate for opening a door. Charges are comparatively less on weekdays and in the daytime.
Claim Your Bills of Opening Lock
Amazingly, you do not need to bear these expenses yourself. Check your household insurance that might cover the cost of a locksmith. Remember that only household insurance may cover the cost of opening locks by a locksmith, but your liability insurance does not cover such costs. Get the receipt from your service provider so you can easily claim your bills from your insurance provider.
Change Keys If You Lost Existing Keys
It is very easy to change your keys in Germany. You only need to go to the locksmith and request him to change your lost key. Your new key will be different from your old key. If you need to change the key of the building you use to enter the building, then you need permission from the building administration. Your building administration will give you a card you must show your locksmith. You will find a few locksmiths who will not demand any card or permission from your house administration. While you go out, you must return your keys to the landlord, so he will immediately know that your keys are replaced.
Cost of Replacing Your Lost Keys
You do not need a high budget while changing your lost keys in Germany. A new key only costs 5 Euros in Germany. If you are replacing your building key, you must pay higher charges. Replacing a building key is costly, around 50 Euros for a key.
Time Required to Make and Replace A New Key
Making a new key is not a big deal for a locksmith. He needs at least one hour to make a new key after you request a key replacement.
Replace The Locks
If you lose your apartment or building keys, it is risky as you may find your throat cut in the morning. While your keys are lost, your landlord may want to change the locks rather than change the keys. Changing locks is necessary for your security and safety to avoid any problems due to criminals.
Cost of Changing Locks
If you cannot submit your keys to your landlord when you move out, your landlord can ask you to submit the fee to change the locks of the building or your apartment. Changing the locks is neither cheap nor economical. It costs over 1000 Euros for one lock, but if you have liability insurance, it would cost only 5 Euros monthly. Your landlord or property manager can also deduct the money from the rental deposit you paid when signing your rental contract or an agreement. Two factors will tell if you need to pay for the replacement of the locks. These factors are;
- If someone has stolen your keys
- If you lost your keys.
If your keys are stolen, that is not your fault, so you are not liable to pay for your stolen keys. However, if your keys are lost, there are different scenarios that decide if you need to pay or not;
- If someone can find your keys and may find your location, too, you need to pay for the replacement of the locks.
- There is no risk if someone finds your keys and can’t find the location where you live. In this case, there is no risk, so there is no need to change the locks, and you don’t have to pay.
- You would not pay to change the locks if someone cannot find your keys. For example, you mistakenly threw the keys in the lake or river where no one could find them. There is no risk, so do not change the lock.
Claim Your Bills of Changing Locks
Wow! Let us share the great news that you can claim your bills from your insurance provider. To get a claim for changing your locks, check your liability insurance, which covers the cost of changing the locks of your apartment or building. Whenever you arrive in Germany, you must have your liability insurance policy to ensure your losses are covered and fully protected. Do not forget to take the receipt from your locksmith, as it is a required document to submit when you file for a claim.
Required Documents at the Time You Hire a Locksmith
It is risky for a locksmith to open locks without proof that the apartment or house is yours. Once your locksmith has opened the door on your request, you must show your passport, identification document, registration certificate, or any document proving that you live in that house or apartment.
Important Instructions to Hire a Locksmith
While you are planning to hire a locksmith to open your door lock, you must keep in mind a few important instructions as given below;
- While contacting a locksmith, you must ask for the price to avoid unexpected charges later.
- You can ask for a fixed price if the locksmith says he will tell you the price after he checks the lock.
- While you search the locksmiths on Google, check their ratings and reviews before you contact them.
- Try to contact two or more locksmiths to hire the best one to open your door lock and compare the prices before you hire a locksmith.
- Tell your locksmith what exactly happened with your keys. Do not make false statements.
- Keep yourself away from dishonest and untrained locksmiths. A dishonest locksmith will charge high fees, like hundreds of Euros, whereas an untrained one will open your door lock on a hit-and-trial basis.
- Say no to the expensive locksmiths, as there are locksmiths who will do the same at lower rates.
- Ask your locksmith for a receipt once he opens your door lock, and keep it at your home for record or insurance coverage.
- Try to be careful about your keys, but if you are going through this situation repeatedly, contact a similar locksmith to get the best services, as your permanent locksmith will consider you your regular client.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you find your lost keys?
Yes, wait for 5 days but no more than 6 weeks. Few bus stations, airports, or lost and found offices have lost property service where you can call and find your lost keys.
What if you do not want to hire a locksmith?
Well, you can do below things to save yourself from calling a locksmith;
- Retract your steps and contact the places you visited to ask for your lost keys.
- Contact the nearest lost and found office in Germany.
What should you do if you do not want to lose your keys?
You can take a lot of measures to avoid losing your keys, as given below;
- Find a key ring that has an address hanger with it. Write your apartment or office address on it, so the one who gets your keys can send you keys to the mentioned address.
- Take very good care of your keys. Do check your keys whenever you are leaving a place where you visit.
- Give a duplicate key to your friend or neighbor.
- You can place another key somewhere in a hidden place near your apartment.
How can you find a reputable and reliable locksmith?
You can follow the five below given steps to find a trustworthy and reputable locksmith;
- Search for a locksmith properly
- Discuss the price before you call him at your place to open your lock.
- Discuss the cost of the journey if the locksmith asks for it.
- Discuss the arrival time so both you and the locksmith may not wait.
- Get the invoice and keep it in your record.
Should you file a report with the police for your lost keys?
Yes, of course! Your insurance provider might ask you for a police report while you file for a claim. In the case of stolen keys, a police report is a must to have the document. So, submit a report to the police department right after you lose your keys.
Where can you get or replace your vehicle keys if you have lost them?
You can get and replace your vehicle keys from the dealership of the vehicles. That’s easy!
So, this is it. Even though we have shared everything you need to know about your lost keys in Germany, the best thing is not to lose your apartment keys. Take care of your keys and other belongings whenever you go out. If you lose your keys, you must follow the guide to call a locksmith. Get permission from your property management company or building management team to change the building key or lock. Expect an expense between 50 Euros to 170 Euros, but you can cover your expenses with your home content or liability insurance.
All the best to not losing your keys ever! Cheers!