Now you have opened up your new squat the first thing you need to do is to secure access - this is what makes it legal.

This is done by changing the lock.Before you do this I would recommend putting a bolt on the front and back doors to prevent anyone coming along and opening them with a key. This doesn't have to be a careful job - you can do this later - just hammer it in with nails if needs be.

There are three basic sorts of locks you are likely to encounter (in the UK). They are

  • Yale Lock - the commonest type - See HOWTO Change a Yale Lock for the details - this is the stuff you are most likely to need to do.
  • Mortise Deadlock - This are fitted inside the door and use an old fashioned looking key. The standard type is known as a chubb five bar.They are the only thing that offer any real security. When you are settled in fit one if you can afford it. Unfortunately if you come across one that is locked the only thing you can do is chisel it out of the door and fit a new lock. The best thing to do is stick a bolt on and wait till morning - unless you really need it for access.
  • Rim Lock A bit like a Mortise lock except if is fitted on the outside of the door (on the inside of course!). The kind of thing you find on the back door of old houses - good for absolutely nothing except breaking into - if you have one of these on your back door fit a bolt (at least one - ideally two or more) instead.

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