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Nuki » Blog » Get Inspired » Is there a right time to give your partner the house key? We’ll give you the answer as well as a smart alternative

Is there a right time to give your partner the house key? We’ll give you the answer as well as a smart alternative

Get Inspired 11.02.2022 | Nuki

Update: 11.02.2022

In honour of the Valentine’s Day, we’re chatting about the topic of the “handover of keys” in relationships and prospective partnerships. Giving your partner a key is often a sign of trust. What does it mean to give a person a key to your home? What are the reasons behind it and which sticky situations can you get yourself into if you have to ask for the key back? We’re here to give you answers to these questions and a smart alternative to the traditional key.

Romantic presents for Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is around the corner again and this doesn’t really mean much to most people. In fact, 75% of Germans think that Valentine’s Day is just a “money-making holiday”. There is generally nothing wrong with trying to boost the economy between Christmas and Easter – but romance rarely arises. However, in most relationships the topic of romance does come up because the “Day of Lovers” can’t be ignored completely. Especially in the beginning stages of a relationship, couples often carefully approach the topic and try to clarify whether the other person expects a grand, romantic gesture on 14 February every year or not.

Apartment key as a present

Valentine’s Day is often seen as an opportunity to “take the next step” in the relationship and to give your partner a key to your apartment. For almost one in three people, this step even marks the beginning of a serious partnership. According to a study from last year, 27% of women and 30% of men answered the question of “When do you feel like you are in a serious relationship?” with the following answer: “When I get a house key.”

Thoughts on handing over a key

So, when is it the right time to give your partner a house key? Do you really have to do it? This question and several others on the topic are intensively discussed in various forums. Because granting someone permanent access to your home takes a lot of trust. According to surveys, men in particular seem to have a hard time with this because they want to keep their apartment as a place they can retreat to. However, it often also solves many very practical problems. Here are the most interesting opinions about key exchanges from various forums:

  • Is it time to hand over your key if your partner stays overnight often and also spends time alone in your apartment?
  • If you receive a key as a “sign of trust”, aren’t you more or less forced to hand over your own key?
  • Why should I hand over my key if we’re only spending time together in my apartment anyway?
  • Spending free time together often means constantly arranging a meeting point. This topic can quickly become a logistical challenge, especially if your partner is late with the promised key. How can you organise this well?
  • What often happens is that you get a key for a specific occasion (e.g. accepting a parcel, etc.) and then simply “forget” to return the key or to ask for it back. How can this issue be addressed and resolved without fighting?

Relationship game over? How do I get my key back?

As you can see from the examples mentioned, handing over a key is not a simple topic. But it gets really tricky when a relationship comes to an end. If you couldn’t separate amicably, getting your key back can be very difficult. In case of doubt, the tenant is always liable for a missing key. You can’t do very much from a legal perspective – especially because the ex-partner only rarely signs anything when he/she takes a key, so the topic isn’t usually contractually regulated in an unromantic way. As a last resort, your only option may be to replace the entire cylinder (but you also have information and suitable offers available for this, e.g. the Nuki Universal Cylinder).

A digital door lock is the ideal solution

All of the issues discussed above are completely eliminated with a digital door lock, such as the Nuki Smart Lock. Imagine that you could give access to your home with digital access permission. When the time is right for you, just send a digital key to your partner via WhatsApp (or other messenger services). From now on, this person uses the free Nuki app on their iOS, Huawei or Android smartphone to unlock your front door. You still have an overview of all access permissions issued and you can deactivate any smart key with just a few clicks.
Do you think it’s unromantic to send digital access permission to your loved one? That doesn’t have to be the case. We will show you how simple and straightforward the process is in this short video.


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