I'm not looking for legal advice. I live in a shared house. Each bedroom has a lock on the door. I keep finding keys in communal areas, for example keys in the bottom of a cupboards. The keys look like they're for the locks on the doors. I tested some keys on the door to my room and am wondering would it be legal to try to unlock other doors with the keys I found? I would like to know if the landlord is leaving keys to tenants rooms around the house because I wouldn't feel safe assuming he didn't leave a key to my room lying around. Normally I would ask but several rooms are vacant right now and others are on vacation etc.

  • This question is very similar to your other one posted around the same time, and you should be cross-referencing and explaining the difference if they aren't duplicates.
    – WBT
    Apr 29, 2016 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


No it is not legal; it is trespassing.

the common law definition of trespassing is to enter someone's land or property without their permission. By locking the door they have denied permission to everyone except those to whom they have given a key. If someone finds a key that happens to fit the lock, there is no longer a physical restriction but as they do not have permission, the legal restriction is still in force.

  • 1
    It seems the other question is about entering while this one is only about trying the lock to see if the key opens it. If one immediately relocks the lock, would that be trespassing?
    – phoog
    May 27, 2016 at 12:13
  • 4
    I think this is answering the wrong question. If you unlock the door and enter you trespass - but if you just unlock the door, you haven't. I would strongly recommend the OP relocks the door immediately afterwards. Jul 26, 2016 at 10:17
  • Surely this would not be a matter of trespass, rather a matter of breaking and entering ?
    – davidgo
    Jul 26, 2016 at 20:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .