Tips for Choosing Locks for Your Rental Properties

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Tips for Choosing Locks for Your Rental Properties

Every year in Canada, around 300,000 burglaries are reported by homeowners. Across the whole country, on average, one burglary happens every 13 seconds. But this number only represents the incidents where there was an actual break-in or a break-in attempt that the homeowner later detected.

The statistic does not include homes where the thief could not get in, and the homeowner did not even realize there had been a break-in attempt on their home. What often makes the difference between homes burgled and those homes where the burglar could not gain entry was the lock system.

Can you trust the locks in your rental?

Security is essential in every home but vitally important in a rental property. Most tenants do not have the freedom to choose what kind of security the home they rent has. They must rely on the owner to make the right choice. How a landlord approaches the lock selection in a rental will determine how safe tenants feel, the attractiveness of the property, and its overall success. How good are the locks in your rental property? What criteria did you use in choosing the current locks in the home? Are the locks still effective, based on the evolving security needs of your rental business and the realities of your environment? Are you confident your security architecture is not one burglary incident away from disaster?

Why you should be careful when choosing locks for a rental home

Locks are every home’s first line of defense against unwanted visitors. But the security needs of a rental are more complicated than those of owner-occupied homes because a rental’s occupants constantly change. Rental property lock systems should make granting or revoking access to all  or parts of the home uncomplicated.

Unlike your own home, it is pretty easy to lose control of your rental’s security systems. When dealing with your own family, keeping track of who has the house keys is not difficult. However, in a rental home, tracking the whereabouts of keys and preventing keys duplication can be a real challenge.

Once a tenant leaves, it is hard to tell where the home’s keys may eventually end. This is why how you go about choosing the locks for your rental property must be extremely thorough.

5 important considerations when buying locks for a rental

1.  Lock strength

At the minimum, locks should resist attempts to break into the home by bumping, drilling the lock, or using brute force. Locks should have anti-drill protection and a security-grade strike plate.

2.  Tenant turnover

In short-term rentals, where guests stay a few days or weeks, it makes no sense to change locks every time they leave. Even in a long-term rental property, changing keys often is a financial burden. There are ways to get around this problem.

3.  Efficient access control

Traditionally, controlling access in a rental home meant issuing a new key to each new tenant. But this only works if you have a few rental units. In a multi-family home with common areas, this method is impracticable. Your lock system should address this problem.

4.  Re-keying

Locks should be re-keyable; after a tenant leaves, it should be possible to reprogram the locks so that the old keys no longer open them. You can do this by hiring a locksmith to rekey the locks, but depending on your property’s turnover rate, this could be costly.

5.  Remote access

When you can’t be physically present at your property, how do you grant or withdraw access? If you operate a vacation rental, how do your guests gain access, and how do you keep the home securely locked after they leave?

The best locks for solving the security issues of a rental home

Smart lock systems have features that solve the issues landlords struggle with when choosing locks for their rental property. Some of these features are:

•  Keyless locking and opening

You can issue custom access codes to the tenant and eliminate the need for physical keys. Most keyless locks cannot be bumped because they do not have keyholes. Landlords can grant access to the home in at least three ways:

  Always access for the home’s tenants

  Scheduled access for babysitters, cleaners, and other service providers

  Temporary access for contractors.

Access codes can be changed at short notice, and the access is wit denied at no cost to the landlord.

•  Remote access

This feature lets you schedule access to the home even when you are not close to the home. From anywhere in the world where there is internet connectivity, you can grant and revoke access to the building. Remote access gives landlords freedom without impairing their ability to manage the property efficiently.

•  Smart rekeying

A lock system that allows you to rekey eliminates the need to hire a locksmith every time a tenancy ends. With this type of security system, you don’t have to worry about who has a copy of the keys, and you also don’t have to pay the cost of rekeying the lock.

Smart locks come in a wide variety. Finding the best one for your rental is simply a matter of understanding each system’s capabilities and your rental’s needs.

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