Reducing Lock and Rekey Costs

3 min read
The easiest way to increase your return is to reduce operating costs. One recurring cost that can be reduced is the cost of rekeying and lock changes. Below are some of the more common costs associated with tenants and locks. * For liability and safety reasons, each time there is a tenant turn we rekey locks. * Tenants locking themselves out of the property. When this occurs the tenant will either break a window or call a locksmith who will likely drill out the core and rekey the lock. When this occurs, the property manager no longer has the ability to access the property. * Tenants replacing locks to prevent property manager entry. * Tenants making multiple duplicates of keys and giving them out, increasing the odds of a key falling into the wrong hands.

We use a key/lock system from [LandLordLocks.com which utilizes a key replaceable key core. We also replace thumb locks and remove digital pads. See the image below.

landlordLockSystem

Below are more details.

Rekeying

When it is necessary to rekey a lock, the property manager simply removes the current core with a special and inserts a different core, that has a different tenant key. See the image below. This effectively reduces rekey cost and time to zero.

Lockouts

Lockouts are usually caused by a tenant accidentally locking themselves out when they exit a "knob lock" (or spring lock) door, without the key. Or, the hit the close button on a digital garage door pad. To eliminate this scenario, we remove all thumb locks and replace them with what are called "pass knobs", like the one show below. So, the only locking mechanism is the dead bolt. The only way a tenant can lock the door is with the key. Second, by reducing the number of locks on a typical property from four to two, you reduce costs and simplify key management.

Tenants Duplicating keys

Normal door locks have 6 pins. All the big box stores offer key duplication services and can quickly duplicate any standard key. Landlord lock keys are 7 pin. Stores do not have the necessary blanks to make duplicates. So, if a tenant needs another key, they will have to obtain it from the property manager, which keeps the property manager in control.

Tenants replacing Locks

It is not uncommon for a tenant to remove the current lock and install their own. This prevents property manager access, which can be critical. We use special screws (also from Landlord Locks) that prevents tenants from removing locks. See the image below. The bit required to remove the screws is only available from Landlord Locks.

Digital Key Pads

Not only can tenants easily lock themselves out, these have to be reprogrammed for every tenant turn. An unnecessary expense. We remove such digital locks.

digitalKeyPad

Cost

The cost to rekey a single lock is about $60. If, like many properties, there is dead bolt and thumb lock on the front door and the door to the garage, the rekey all four locks will cost about $240. The cost to replace deadbolts with replaceable core locks is $120/lock. The cost to replace thumb locks is $50 each. So, assuming 2 deadbolts and two thumb locks need to bre replaced, the cost would be: $120x2 + $50x2 = $340. So, converting to this system will cost about $100 more in this scenario. However, the next rekey will be zero. Plus, you retain control over property access..

Summary

Reducing your overall costs is the easiest way to increase return. The key/lock solution we use reduces your lifetime operating costs as well as keeping control of the property.