Locked Out of the House

Getting locked out of the house means you are not able to enter inside because the door is locked. And, the scenario is that you don’t have the key to unlock the door. Now this could be because you misplaced your keys, or they fell out of your pocket while you were outside. 

Apart from this, it could also be like you unintentionally banged the door while going out and it has got locked. The annoying situation is that you forgot to take the keys, and they are left inside the house.

Whatever be the case, being locked out of the house is certainly a frustrating experience, especially if the weather is inclement or it’s late at night. 

However, there are usually ways to get back inside in a safe manner. 

Read on!

How to Get Back Inside the House in Case of a Lockout?

If you are finding an answer to – what to do when you are locked out of the house, we are here to address the same. 

So, getting locked out can be stressful, but fret not, here are a few things you can try to get back in. Consider taking some steps as shared below.

Call Dear Ones for Help

This is the quickest and easiest solution. Call one of your family members, spouse, roommate, or a friend and tell them that I just locked myself out of the house. 

You never know they might be maintaining an extra key. Hence, they can help you. Well, if you reside in an apartment, the security guard might have a spare key as well.

Check for Doors or Windows that are Not Locked 

Locked Window

It might be the case that another door of your house or a window is left open. Take a quick walk around your house to check if there is some chance to go inside through it.

Alternative Entry Methods

If you remember that you had kept or hidden an extra key outside, somewhere in a secure location for such unexpected situations, you may go ahead with retrieving it from that place. 

Contact a Professional Locksmith

Now if none of the above ideas work, calling a locksmith is an ideal way out. Just search their contact number and tell them you need the assistance of a residential locksmith for this purpose. They can unlock your door quickly and skilfully without causing any damage to the door. You can also discuss your concerns with them, if any, related to augmenting the security of your home. 

Thus, these are some points to remember. Nevertheless, please keep in mind that you must not try to break in, as this can cause damage to your door. In fact, this could make you more prone to future break-ins.

Well, you may think about getting a lockbox or installing a smart lock to avoid such an unforeseen situation in the future.

Well, we must inform you that if you ever get locked out of your office building or your retail store, you can seek help from a commercial locksmith. 

In fact, car lockout situations are also common these days. Thus, you can contact a local automotive locksmith to get back inside your car. Even if you are stuck with a vehicle lockout during odd hours, they will reach your location, as most of them offer 24X7 services. 

How does a Locksmith Unlock Your House in a Lockout Situation?

Locksmiths are industry experts who are well aware of the latest tools and techniques and can play really smart with all types of keys and locks. Thus, if you are caught in a lockout situation, you can contact a local residential locksmith belonging to your area. Let them use their proficiency in helping you regain access to your home.

They maintain a well-equipped toolbox and you never know which tool might be used to unlock the door of your house during a lockout. Here are some of the most common methods used by them.

Lock Picking

This is a most common technique in which locksmiths use specialized tools to change the mechanism of pins inside the lock. It involves mimicking the ridges and grooves of a key. An experienced locksmith uses this skilled process to open doors and without damaging them.

Bump Keys

This technique involves specially cut keys that can be bumped into the lock. In a nutshell, it means forcing the pins to align and enabling the lock to turn. It may not be as effective as lock picking, but is definitely a quicker option for many types of locks. 

Bypassing the Lock

This means using specialized tools to manipulate the internal mechanisms of the lock or door handle. So, here, access is enabled without directly picking the lock itself.


If your lock type is an electronic keypad or a deadbolt, locksmiths can bypass the code entry system and reprogram it for a new code by using suitably designed tools.

Key Analysing 

Key analysing is also one of the modern techniques used for opening doors. Here a locksmith needs to design a new key with the help of a mechanical key cutter. They check and use the electrical resistance value of the door for this purpose.


Now there could be complexities or unsuitability of the techniques shared above. So, drilling is the last resort in such a scenario when other methods don’t work or the lock is damaged. This involves drilling out the lock cylinder to allow a new one to be installed.

It is noteworthy that in most of the cases, locksmiths use non-destructive methods to avoid damaging the door or lock. They work as per the most suitable technique based on the lock type, urgency of the situation, and their astute judgment.

Can You Lock Someone Out of the House? 

To lock someone out of the house means you wish to stop them from entering inside by using a lock on a door (or window). So, yes, this can definitely happen in a few ways. 

You may not allow a person by refusing them to come inside and restricting their entry. Well, you may also change the locks in case you are a homeowner or landlord, and you wish to prevent the tenant from gaining access due to a problematic situation. So, earlier they could enter inside using the key they had, but now changing the key will not let them enter inside. 

But the question is – Is locking someone out of the house illegal? We have brought great insights into the same. 

Read below.

Whether locking someone out of the house is illegal or legal depends on the situation and your relationship with the person you don’t wish to call inside.

Landlord and Tenant

It’s usually considered illegal for landlords to lock out tenants, as they are supposed to follow proper eviction procedures through the court system. This means everything must be performed within a legal boundary.

It’s true that the repeated destructive behavior of your tenant may provoke you to consider changing the locks. There could also be cases like they are not paying rent or are not maintaining cleanliness in the property.

However, if you take your own measures, it may not be accepted by the relevant authorities. You may be charged on the wrong grounds. A lawsuit may be filed against you which will cost you a lot. Thus, you are advised to choose the properly established court procedures and do it all in legal terms.

Domestic Partnership

You can’t lock your partner out of a shared house unless you receive a legal order from the court. 

However, laws could also be different in your city and it depends on the particular situation you are going through. Thus, you need to check your local laws to understand the rights and responsibilities that come with domestic partnerships in your area.

If you and your partner share the home as a primary residence, generally, both of you are rightful of residing in that property. So, if you lock your partner out of this residence, it could be denying their rights. 

Now there could be one factor: who is the owner of the house. So, if the property is in your name only, you might enjoy more leverage. But it does not mean that you can take law in your hands, as there could be domestic partnership agreements or local laws for the same. If both of you own the house equally, it’s generally illegal to lock the other owner out.

Here’s what you can do to grapple with the situation.

Seek Advice from a Lawyer: As domestic partnership legalities could take a complex turn, you must contact a lawyer familiar with your local laws. They can definitely guide you on handling the specific situation.

Assess the Urgency of Situation: If you feel there is an immediate threat or danger from your partner, you must call the police instantly for a suitable solution.

Discuss and Act Mutually: If both of you need to separate from each other, it’s important to talk and think of a solution that is beneficial for both parties. Discuss your concerns and you may agree on staying with a friend or family member for a cooling-off period.


As a co-owner, you cannot lock the other owner out of the house. If you wish to change locks, you need the agreement of all owners. Otherwise, it could be illegal and land you in trouble. 

Guests or Acquaintances Invited at Home

If you lock a person out of your house who was invited at your place may not be considered illegal. But it could reflect rude or unreliable behavior. 

Hence, you must remember that locking someone out can be a stressful and highly risky situation. If you are not sure about the legality of a lockout situation, it’s recommended to explore the legal options or consult a lawyer in your area.

Can You Lock Your Child Out of the House?

If you are looking for an answer to – Is locking your child out of the house illegal, here is some useful information for you.

Locking your child out of the house may not be illegal in most of the cases. However, it may also depend on the laws defined in your city. 

But, you may be considered careless depending on the circumstances. Locking out your child must be the last resort only when you have tried all possible means of explaining them. So, let them stay out for some time and come back when they are ready to behave properly. Otherwise, it could ruin your relationship with them and affect their mental health.

Let’s take a look at some important points!

Parental Duty 

It is definitely the legal and moral obligation of parents to take care of their children’s safety and well-being. If you lock out your child, especially when the child is young, it makes them vulnerable to potential dangers like getting lost, meeting strangers, inclement weather etc.

Age is Important 

The situation of a teenager locked out of the house could be different from that of a young child. The latter may not be able to take care of themselves. Thus, the age and maturity of your child will significantly impact the situation. 

Type of Situation

It also depends on the reason for which you have locked your child and the environment they are locked out in. If a teenager is left out for a few minutes just to cool down after a fight at home, and the weather is fine, the situation may not be worse. However, if they are locked out for the whole night and it’s winter, it will certainly be troublesome for them.

So, here’s what you can do! 

Use Other Methods

You are advised to use other forms of discipline that don’t put your child at risk. You can discuss the issue with them, assign them some chores, or take away certain privileges from them for some period of time just to teach them how to behave in a responsible manner.

Safe Environment 

You can also let them stay in their room with the door open or choose another safe place inside the house for them.

Communication is the Key

Talk to your child openly and share your reasons for being upset. This is the time to use this opportunity to teach them about responsible and acceptable behavior that will prove to be useful for them in future.

So, these are certain tips to keep the situation under control. If you get into a dilemma, you can consult a lawyer who is familiar with child welfare laws and can guide you with specific regulations. You can also contact child protective services that will help provide right guidance to your child. 

Always keep in mind that the safety of your child is utmost important. So, it is beneficial to devise ways for teaching them some lessons and not locking them out of the house.

Final Words

Whether locking someone out of the house is legal depends completely on the type of situation. In general, it would surely be considered illegal to lock out tenants, co-owners without permission, or your domestic partner. But local laws may be different in your city, and they may allow locking a person out of your house based on certain grounds or conditions. However, you enjoy more leverage in case of people or casual guests invited at your house.  

Locking out a child may not be considered illegal, but neglectful on your part. Please bear in mind that children should be locked out of the house only when it is significantly required, otherwise not. If you are not really sure about the legality of a lockout situation, you are advised to consult a lawyer to understand the specific laws in your area. This will also make you familiar with the relevant steps you can take to tackle the situation in a suitable manner. 

Frequently Asked Question

We have addressed some of the common queries related to what if you lock yourself out of the house. Take a look and stay informed. 

What to do when you are locked out of the house?

You can call one of your family members, friend, spouse, or a roommate, and ask if they have a spare key. You can check if any other door of your house or a window is left open by chance. If you remember to have once kept an extra key at a safe place outside your house, take it out from that spot. Well, if you still feel helpless, you should definitely call an expert residential locksmith operating in your area.

Can someone lock you out of the house?

If your landlord, partner, or roommate locks you out of the house by changing the locks or disabling your access by any means, it would generally be considered illegal. It is always better for them to handle such cases with legal consultation and by properly adhering to the established laws.

How much does it cost to open a locked house door?

You may need to pay anywhere from US$100 to US$200 to a locksmith who is hired to get you out of a lockout situation. The charges may also vary as per the types of service, complexity of the situation, and your location.

Is locking your child out of the house illegal or not?

Locking your child out of the house may not be considered illegal in most of the cases, but it depends on the laws defined in your city. Please always remember that the step of locking your child out of the house must be taken as a last resort if you feel they need to get calm and behave properly. This may be necessary to teach them responsible behavior. Locking them out unnecessarily may impact them mentally and cause damage to your bond with them. It is also important to consider the age of your child and the external environment (weather) when they are being locked out.

How long does it take to unlock a door?

It usually takes from a few minutes to half an hour to open a lock. However, it also depends on various factors such as the difficulty of the situation, the type of lock, and the ability of the locksmith you hire for this service.

What does it mean to lock yourself out of your house?

If you lock yourself out of your place, it means that you are not able to gain access or get inside, as the door is locked and you do not have the key. You might have lost or misplaced the key. It could also be the case that the house keys are with one of your family members or your partner, and they are outside.

Can a man lock his wife out of the house?

A man cannot lock his wife out of the house. Similarly, she is also not allowed to lock her husband out of the house even if one of them is the house owner. Each party must comply with the legal system and consult a local lawyer to deal with the related issues effectively.

Can you lock your boyfriend out of your house?

You cannot lock your boyfriend out of the house. But if it has been ordered by the court, you will be allowed to do the same while following all the legal formalities.