4 Considerations To Take When Choosing Locks For Your Rental Properties
4 Considerations To Take When Choosing Locks For Your Rental Properties4 Considerations To Take When Choosing Locks For Your Rental Properties

4 Considerations To Take When Choosing Locks For Your Rental Properties

Locks are a property’s first line of defense. This small piece of metal keeps someone from breaking in. For a rental property, locks are a property manager’s or landlord’s way of allowing and stopping access. When a tenant moves out, they should not be able to get back into the property. When a new tenant arrives, they should have complete access to their new residence. That requires having old keys returned, rekeying, and having new keys made. With these factors to take in consideration, how do you choose the right lock?

1. Frequency of Use

A big concern with the frequency of a lock’s use is the amount of wear that the metal gets. A lock works from metal sliding past metal. So the more a lock is used, the faster it wears out and needs servicing. On a property with many units, you may want to consider getting a commercial-grade mortise lock. These locks stand up to a higher frequency of handle and key turns, and the parts are easy to replace and repair if anything brakes.

2. Rekeying

Managers and landlords need to rekey locks with renters coming and going. Certain locks, such as any Kwikset SmartKey cylinder, are easy to rekey. These locks are made for deadbolts, handles, and knobs. The ease of rekeying allows you to change the key that works with these locks quickly and without the cost of calling a locksmith. The problem with items such as the SmartKey or the U-Change lock is that there is often a compromise in the security of the lock. For example, The U-Change Lock has a bypass that allows anyone to reset the lock to any key blank they can fit in the keyway.

3. Key control

A big issue with renting is that key control goes out the window. When you can’t control the key, you may need a lock change instead of just rekeying. Once you give someone a key, you don’t know what they will do with it. Even a key with a “DO NOT DUPLICATE” message does little to protect the key from being copied at Home Depot or the local hardware store.

The answer to this problem is a lock with a patented key. These locks cannot have a key made without the registered lock owner approaching a locksmith or another register key distributor of the company. No one will be making keys in the absence of the person authorized to make copies if you make this investment.

4. Security

The next step is investing in locks that are harder to crack. 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. They spin freely so that a drill bit cannot get a bite on the metal. They may also have a hardened steel pin that deflects a standard drill bit.
For bump-key resistance, you want security pins. Be wary of Kwikset and Schlage products, as both have had products that claimed to be bump-proof, which was shown to be false.
For protection against forced entry from kicks and battering attempts, focus more on the door and doorjamb than on the lock.


Now that you know what to look for in a lock, all you have to do is weigh the risks.

  1. Is there a crime problem in your area?
  2. Does the crime often include burglary, property theft, or breaking and entering etc?

Locks can only do so much in regards to stopping thieves and vandals. Hiring security guards from Pro-Secur is a great way to protect your property and residents. Call 305-418-9214 to schedule guard service today.

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