Tip #32

Re-key the Locks Between Tenants with Kwikset SmartKey

Written on July 8, 2013 by , updated on June 26, 2014

Kwikset SmartKeyBesides online rent payments, I think Kwikset’s SmartKey technology is one of the best inventions in property management in the last 10 years.

When a tenant loses a key, these special deadbolts and door handles allow a landlord to easily re-key the locks within seconds.

Each of the Kwikset SmartKey locks cost about the same as traditional locks, and they will pay for themselves in one visit from a locksmith.


How it Works

How it Works - Kwikset SmartKey

My Lesson Learned

Just recently, a tenant returned four keys to me when he moved out. My curiosity was piqued, because I had originally given him only two keys. Obviously, he made some copies even though he was specifically instructed not to.

He said that he only made two copies, but I have no way of knowing for sure. A month later, a back door was found unlocked that the tenants claimed they had locked, and there was no sign of forced entry.

After a few days of anxiety, I decided to hire a locksmith to re-key all the locks to the apartment, which cost me $180. By that time, I had already returned the deposit, and wouldn’t be able to ask the former tenant to pay for it.

If I had used SmartKey locks, I could have re-keyed the unit myself and taken my wife to Ruth’s Chris Steak House instead of paying a locksmith.

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