Who Owns the Master Key System?

State exclusivity initially and in writing within contracts.


The possession of materials that pertain to the customer’s key control can create discord between the customer and the locksmith, especially when those resources are necessary to generate the combination of the keys. Many customers whose business plan requires the management of a large keying...


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More detailed records can be kept with the locksmith, but the above abbreviated package will at least keep the locksmith clear of liability.

The Best Method

Bill your work appropriately, reflecting the true amount of time spent with these types of administrative tasks. In this manner, if and when the customer asks for the records, they can be easily handed over knowing the time invested was paid for.

In Summary

There are few reasons why a customer wants to keep the key control records.

Sometimes it is to integrate the key records into a computerized system in order to better manage the building space and the affected individuals. Other times it is to supplant the locksmith.

In either case it should be the locksmith’s goal to “lock” customers in by demonstrating superior performance.

In the case of computer integration, the locksmith that works with the company regarding the transfer of records will continue to be used by the customer to perform the keying services.

The supplanting of the locksmith is usually for cause. The superior performing locksmith does not have to worry about this.

The customer always has the right to determine who performs the keying services unless agreed upon during the contract negotiations.

Locksmiths should always turn over all key control records unless a prior agreement is in place that clearly states the locksmith’s intentions.

View Figure's 4, 5, and 6 in PDF format.

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