Key Considerations when choosing a lock for your rental property
1. Frequency of Use
If you have frequent tenant turnover – ie. you have an Airbnb, then you don’t want to have to get a new lock every time a new tenant stays. For one this would be extortionately expensive, and second, it would take a lot of time.
There is a need to rekey locks with every turnover of tenants. Certain locks, such as any Kwikset SmartKey cylinder, are easy to rekey. The ease of rekeying allows you to change the key that works with these locks quickly and without calling a locksmith.
However, make sure you carefully research the lock for potential security flaws.
3. Key control
An issue with rentals is that you don’t have control over if the keys are duplicated. Once the tenant has the key, there is nothing to stop them from heading to the local hardware store and making copies.
If you have a frequent turnover of tenants then there could be any number of keys out there to the property. The more tenants you have, the higher the risk. Which leads us to our next point.
A lock only provides security if it stops people from getting in. If multiple people have keys, or if the lock is weak then the security of the property is compromised.
If this is a concern, you may want to invest in locks that are easier to rekey and harder to pick or break open. You want something with some level of anti-drill protection and with bump-key resistance. You may install an anti-drill plate to stand up to drills or you may also have a hardened steel pin that deflects a standard drill bit.
For protection against forced entry from kicks, battering rams, or hinge pins, focus more on the door, hinges and doorjamb than on the lock.
3 Kinds of Locks for Rentals
KwikSet locks are a type of lock that are designed to be easily rekeyed by you. This means when a tenant moves out all you have to do is easily reset the lock by inserting the key, and the learning tool. This allows you to effectively “wipe” the memory of the lock. Inserting a new key will then “teach” the lock.
That sounds pretty simple, right? Once you learn how to do this process, it will take you less than five minutes to easily rekey any lock, all you need to do is purchase is new keys.
This key system is ideal for landlords who have mid-length to long term tenants. However, if you have a more frequent turnover, even this 5 minute job might be too much. If that’s the case for your property, you may want to try one of the other types of locks we talk about below.
Keypad locks, as the name suggests have keypads instead of (or sometimes as well as) keys. To open the door you simply enter the appropriate code. Keypads are great for a number of reasons.
First, you can prevent your tenants from getting locked out after they lose their key. Second, you can simply wipe the code and enter a fresh one. Third, you can store multiple codes in the keypad at once meaning you could have one code that only you know for all your properties and a different code for the tenants.
Some even allow you to access records of which codes were last used to enter the property. Others allow you to schedule certain times when the code can or cannot be used, which can be handy for showing your property.
Keypad locks also lock the door automatically, meaning you don’t have to worry about tenants forgetting to lock the door when they leave.
The final lock type by Landlordlocks.com looks like a normal lock however it has a few clever hidden features.
The cylinder of these locks can be removed and replaced with a backup version that has a new key. Then the old cylinder can either be rotated to another one of your properties or sent back to the company and they will rekey it for you for a small fee.
The second awesome thing about these locks is that you can get a master key to work with all the locks you order. Meaning you won’t need a cupboard of well-organized keys for all your properties.
Whilst we like the idea of this when someone mentions a master key we always question its security, what if someone else has a copy of that master, for example?
A Few Locks for Landlords To Look At
- Kwikset 916 Smartcode Touchscreen
- Kwikset 907 Powerbolt 2.0 Electronic Deadbolt featuring Smartkey
- Schlage Camelot Keypad
- Landlord Locks
- August Smart Lock- 2nd Generation
- Honeywell- 8812409S Bluetooth enabled Entry Deadbolt with Keypad
- Lockly Bluetooth Keyless Entry Door Smart Lock
- Samsung SHS P718 Push Pull Handle with fingerprint scanner
Watch the Lockpick Lawyer
During our research into the best locks for rentals, we found the Lock Picking Lawyer on Youtube who has an array of great and oddly satisfying videos that we thought we’d share!
Visit the Lock Picking Lawyer Youtube for more Educational Videos on Locks!
Thanks for reading and we hope you found this blog interesting! However, do note that the purposes of this article is for general information. We are not licensed financial or legal professionals and as such nothing in this article should be understood to be financial or legal advice. If you are in need of financial or legal assistance please seek the help of a competent professional.