Category: Blog

Family Faces Eviction From Home

Family Faces Eviction From Home Of 40 Years

Family Faces Eviction

A family faces eviction and will appear in court as a council begins proceedings that could see them evicted from their home of 40 years due to debts caused by the Bedroom Tax, writes Louie Smith.

Bill Whitby, 62, and wife Teresa, 59, live with their son and have struggled to pay the rent on their three-bed house since losing their jobs. They blame the subsidy brought in by the Tories for around half of their £900 arrears.

Teresa, of Basildon, Essex, said: “The stress has been unbelievable and I’m living in fear of being homeless.”

The couple get a total of £112 a week in Jobseeker’s Allowance but say it will not cover the rent after their housing benefit was cut by £15 a week.

Councillor Phil Turner, who heads up housing at Tory-run Basildon Council and is also deputy leader, said he will review the case, adding: “We can’t break the law but Mrs Whitby was not paying her rent.”

More than 15,000 people in Basildon have been affected by the Bedroom Tax but campaigners say they have little hope of downsizing due to a lack of council homes.

Your rights if the bailiffs call

Bailiffs must give at least seven days’ notice of their first visit. You do not have to let them in and they are usually not allowed to force entry.

If you do not let them in or agree to pay them, they can take things from outside your home such as your car.

They are not allowed to enter if only children or vulnerable people are present or between 9pm and 6am.

If you let them in but cannot pay, they can take belongings. This cannot include essentials such as clothes, cookers, fridges or furniture. Nor can they take someone else’s property.

Before you pay a bailiff, you should ask to see proof of identity and a detailed breakdown of their charges. Get a receipt for proof of payment.

Bailiff fees are fixed. In most cases, if you owe less than £1,500, the fees are: £75 when your case is sent to the bailiff, £235 if you ignore a letter from them and they have to visit you and £110 if they have to take your goods and sell them at auction.

You have to pay the bailiff for any action they take – such as storing your goods or using a locksmith.

If you owe more than £1,500, you will also have to pay a percentage of your debt each time bailiffs visit.


Home Security Check – Call Lock Solutions

A home security check on your property can be completed by Lock Solutions whether it’s domestic or commercial.

Home Security Check

Old Keys

As a locksmith covering the majority of the Thames Valley we see all sorts of properties with inadequate home security measures in place. Here are Lock Solutions top 10 tips for ensuring your home is as secure as it can be.

  1. The number of opportunists is increasing. If your going out ensure you leave lights on in various rooms around the home. Light timers are good for this purpose.
  2. Are your locks fitted correctly? The amount of times we have been to properties where locks are installed incorrectly causing vulnerability is hugely concerning.
  3. Have a look around your home generally. Are all your windows secure, is the glass in tact. When you look through your windows do you see anything of value that could be an opportunity for unwanted guests?
  4. Sensor lighting – do you have outside lights installed and more importantly are they working? Whilst not a guaranteed security measure they will deter thieves if the doors to your property are well lit.
  5. Do you feel safe because you have a burglar alarm installed? When did you last change the code? Alarms are extremely effective but you need to change the code on a regular basis to gain maximum benefit
  6. French doors are not automatic protection from unwanted visitors just because they are PVC. Consider installing top and bottom bolts on French doors or add sash jammers to uPVC doors
  7. Do you have a shed or garage that contain items that are valuable to you? Your outbuildings are just as vulnerable if not more than your home, ensure you have adequate locks.
  8. Statistics indicate that burglaries are increasing on properties in order to steal car keys – don’t make it easy for them by leaving your keys in view of windows and doors.
  9. Have you moved home recently?, are you moving home? Have you considered changing the locks to your new home to ensure that it is completely secure and there are no rogue sets of keys with old occupiers?
  10. Call Lock Solutions to come and complete a Security Home Check on your property. Prices from £20. For a free no obligation quotation contact us on our website

07711 906667 / 0118 336 0177

Work Completed 22-1-16 in Reading, Wokingham, Woodley, Bracknell & Maidenhead

Few more Jobs completed today, it’s a shame they weren’t all in the same area but beggars can’t be choosers. Started off in reading where a customer had some renovation work done and then found out the lock that was put on the rear garage door that leads into the house was not of the correct specification. As you can see from the photo it has a 2 lever lock fitted but should of had a 5 lever British Standard lock. The customer couldn’t get the builder to return to do the upgrade so they eventually called me. It now has a 5 lever British Standard lock fitted.

Then went to Wokingham where an aluminium frames door couldn’t be opened so I used my skill to open it with no damage and changed the locking mechanism as the old one had broken up. Also never damaged the cylinder as there were over 10 keys to that door in circulation.

Had a customer contact me saying their garage door wouldn’t open which turned out to be a broken plastic drive on the inside where all the cables meet up in the centre. Took off the old one and shot over to my friends at Amourelle in Woodley who specialise in garage door parts. Got the new part and fitted it straight away, all done in one hour.

From there I headed to Bracknell where a customer had lost their keys to a UPVC door. To their amazement his was all sorted before their kettle had boiled.

Finally I went to Maidenhead where a construction company needed a new lock fitted to a metal container. Love jobs like this as it means you have to put your thinking cap on, anyway left them feeling happy and secure.


Kitchen Door Frame Lock

UPVC Door Lock


Door Lock

Door Lock

Work Completed Today 18/01/2016 Around Reading

Another busy day today driving around reading and surrounding areas starting in Reading by Gillette Way to repair the push bar mechanism to a rear fire door. Then came back to Woodley and gained entry to a car where the owner had accidentally locked his keys inside the car. He did have a spare car key inside his house but his house keys were also in the car. From there I went to Wokingham to be shown a garage door that could not be opened. Had to drill the old lock off the door and discovered the square hole in the plate where the lock tail fits through had rounded off. Managed to pop rivet a plate onto it to get the square hole and adapt a new handle to fit the old door. Saved the cost of a new garage door and the customer was really happy with it. Then popped over to Bracknell where someone had closed their door leaving the keys inside, didn’t take long to get it open.

Fire Exit

Car Lock

Garage Lock

Garage Lock

Door Lock

Been A Busy Couple Of Days In Reading

Sorry I’ve not posted for a couple of days but not had time to think I’m afraid. Been all over Reading changing locks for a company who have just purchased 19 properties. All these properties will be renovated and then put on the rental market. Nice if you have that sort of cash lying around to spend on that amount of property. In between that I have also been carrying on with all other work that’s been coming in. The other jobs have consisted of travelling to Maidenhead, Windsor, Guildford, Basingstoke, Henley-on-Thames and finally Woodley. A new Digilock was required in Maidenhead for a local School, Windsor was a lock change to a company’s main door where someone had lost their key. Guilford required a UPVC to be realigned as it wouldn’t lock when the door was closed. Basingstoke was a gain entry where someone had unfortunately closed their door behind them and then realised they never had their keys on them. Henley-on-Thames needed a lock changing to a garage door and finally Woodley required a lock change as well as they had just purchased the property. Long may this busy period last.

Door Frame Lock

Door Lock


Standard Door Lock

Lock for Door

Quality Door Locks

Jobs Completed 8/1/16

Received a call from a London based company who look after a apartment building in Maidenhead High Street. tenants were having problems getting out of the communal door due to the inside handle was snapped so the door required a new handle set. I arrived within the hour and rectified the problem for them. The exact handles were not available so needed to reposition the fixing positions for the new handles by drilling holes through the door.

Broken UPVC Lock Broken UPVC Lock UPVC Lock New UPVC Lock





Received a call from an elderly lady not far away from where I live who needed a new bolt fitted to her side gate. She had already purchased the bolt so I popped in on my way home and charged her a cup of tea.

Gate Lock

Went to a company in Reading who unfortunately had some bad news for an employee the following day and needed to have their lock changed after all employees left the building the previous day. Not nice but it has to be done.

Classic Lock

Jobs Completed Today 6/1/16

It has been a busy day for people booking their lock jobs with me in advance. Very unusual as I’m normally needed straight away in an emergency.

Started the day today with a trip to Southcote, Reading. Customer had snapped his key in his letter box in an apartment building so the lock needed to be changed. Opened it up and did just that leaving him very happy. I was unable to get permission from him to take a photo but found the one similar below online.

Parcel Lock Box

Then met a lovely lady in Whitley, Reading who wanted to stop certain people with a key letting themselves in so I changed her lock for her to the UPVC front door.


I have received a call from a gentleman in Farnham who had me recommended to him so didn’t mind me charging a little extra for the journey. He owns a service garage and needed all the locks changing yo his electric shutters and one of the main doors.

Key Switches

Finally travelled to Ash near Aldershot to change all external door locks for a couple who had just purchased the property

Jobs Completed Today 5/1/16

Went to a house in Lower Shiplake today which was a house to die for, certainly the house of my dreams. Contacted me saying their garage side door was jammed shut so went there and sorted the problem out for them. I know your probably thinking this can’t be a side garage door but it is and leads up to a games room above the triple garage

Black Front Door

After that I was called to a company in Woodley who needed their Digilock problem sorting out on one of their external doors. Unfortunately it couldn’t be repaired so i had to replace it.

Key Code Door Lock

Also got called to Hurst this evening to get a retired couple back into their house, Unfortunately their key had snapped in the lock. They called another well known company who said they would be there in an hour, well the lies just kept coming from 13.30 until they were eventually told at 20.00 that they were unable to attend. I think keeping people waiting for 6.5 hours outside their house when they had no intention of coming is pretty disgraceful. I always feel the truth is the best policy so when both parties meet up there’s not a bad atmosphere.

Inside Door Lock

Well I arrived 15 mins after the call,opened their door with no damage and extracted the broken key, even got a £5 tip. Best part of all is their going to mention me to all their friends and family, best advertising there is going.

Jobs Completed Today 4/1/16

Had quite a busy day today completing a few jobs in Woodley, Earley, Fleet, Marlow, Ascot, Twyford and Bracknell. Woodley was just a gentleman had stepped outside his house, closed his door and realised he never had any keys with him. Needed to replace the lock to the property in Earley as the old lock had completely jammed up solid. Went to a commercial property in Fleet which needed the Digilock changing on the rear door. Then received a call from a lettings agent in Marlow who said their usual engineer had let them down and could I assist them. Met them at the property on time and repaired the lock and they seemed suitably impressed, asked for my business card and said they would be in contact with future jobs. Went to a lovely lady in Ascot and fitted new locks to all her windows and patio doors. Then went to Twyford and realigned someone’s front door as they were unable to lock it and finally received a 10pm call from a lady in Bracknell who said their neighbour had gone on holiday today and in his excitement he forgot to lock his door so I went there and changed the lock so she could lock up her neighbours house.


Lock Solution

Secure Lock

Window Lock

Door Lock

Door Lock

Jobs Completed Today 2/1/16

Managed to give myself the day off yesterday seeing as it was new years day, everyone deserves a day off now and again.

Received 2 call outs today in Maidenhead and Wokingham. Job in Maidenhead consisted of a lock and handle change to a UPVC door for a lovely couple living in Cordwallis Road. Their daughter had snapped the handle whilst trying to open the door and whilst I was there changing the handles they decided to start the new year with a new lock as so many people held a key to the old lock, some of which they don’t see anymore.

In Wokingham the lady from Langborough Road had accidentally snapped her key in the lock. Luckily she managed to get inside as it was raining very hard at the time. I turned up and extracted the key for her, made sure the lock was working fine and left her feeling very happy.

UPVC Door Locks Mortice Lock Colchester