When it comes to keeping your Howard County rental property safe from unwanted outsiders, there are plenty of precautionary actions you can take, including: installing a high-tech alarm system, strategically placing lights around the property to d
eter criminal activity, and ensuring all windows close properly and lock securely.
When it comes to keeping your rental property safe from unwanted outsiders, there are plenty of precautionary actions you can take. Property owners can choose to install a high-tech alarm system or strategically placed outdoor lighting and ensure all windows and doors lock securely. Additionally, as smart home technology increases, keyless entry systems are quickly gaining popularity. But are these keyless entry systems right for your rental property? Continue reading below as we discover the pros and cons landlords should consider before embarking on what can be an expensive technological upgrade.
What is a Keyless Entry System?
Keyless entry systems allow residents to lock or unlock a home without using a mechanical key and lock. So, if you have ever misplaced your keys, the appeal of a keyless entry system is clear. Furthermore, depending on the product selected, these systems use a keypad, touchscreen, or fingerprint reader to gain entry. Talk about beefing up security!
Benefits of Installing a Keyless Entry System in Your Rental Property
These widely available products offer added peace of mind but also added benefits for landlords. That said, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons before installing a keyless entry in your investment property. So, let’s review some of the benefits below –
- No Physical Key Required
- Less Risk of Lock Out
- No More Key Under the Mat
- Tracking System Included
- Easy Access for Family and Visitors
- Added Amenity for Potential Tenants
- No More Changing Locks
No Physical Key Required
Individuals like keyless entry systems because they are convenient. Furthermore, with so many keys hanging off your keychain, many tenants welcome the chance to take one-off. Besides, keyless entry systems eliminate the need to fumble around in your purse, pocket, or briefcase looking for the house key.
Less Risk of Lockout
Keyless entry means never being locked out of the home because a tenant has lost or forgot their keys somewhere. Instead, individuals simply enter the code and enter the property. Better yet, some of the most advanced keyless entry systems are fingerprint activated. Also, in emergencies or a case of malfunction, most systems have a key cylinder override or another form of backup system. Therefore, it ensures that tenants will not get locked out if the batteries die or the power goes out.
No More Key Under the Mat
Leaving a spare key hidden somewhere has long been standard practice in homes. However, this poses a huge security risk, especially for rental properties. Those looking to break into your home are aware that many people hide a spare key outside and can usually find it and gain entry into the home. Therefore, by providing tenants with a keyless entry system, landlords better protect them and their personal belongings.
Tracking System Included
One of the biggest benefits of having a keyless entry system is the ability to track who is entering and leaving the property at any moment. If a rental home is equipped with an automated security system, tenants can receive notifications via email or text when a door opens or closes.
This is great for those who are on vacation and fear someone breaking in. Additionally, landlords can assign different codes to different people or vendors depending on their role when entering the property. Furthermore, if a code becomes compromised, it is easily deactivated to prevent further entry.
Easy Access for Family and Visitors
Families who fear being locked out of their home have long practiced hiding a spare key somewhere near the door. However, this poses a huge security risk. Those looking to break into your home are aware that many people hide a spare key outside and are usually able to find it and gain entry into the home. By providing your tenants with a keyless entry system, you are better protecting them and their personal belongings.
Added Amenity for Potential Tenants
Everyone wants to feel safe and secure in their home, and renters are no different. So, as a landlord, offering any additional security features is a plus for prospective tenants. In the competitive real estate market, these added touches show tenants that owners care about their safety. It also shows that landlords want to provide amenities that make a tenant’s life more convenient.
No More Changing Locks
When a tenant vacates, part of a standard turnover process is to change the locks. However, in an already costly process like a unit turnover, every bit of savings helps. Landlords do not need to swap out a keyless entry system; instead, all that is needed is a quick code reset. Not only does this save the property owner money, but it also saves time!
Drawbacks of Keyless Entry Systems in Rental Homes
Despite keyless entry systems being beneficial in many ways to your rental property, there are some cons to consider before investing in this technology type. Continue reading below to find out more about the drawbacks of keyless entry.
- There Are Still Accessories
- Keyless Entry Systems Cost More
- There is Some Maintenance Required
There Are Still Accessories
While residents may not have a key to deal with anymore, that does not mean there are no accessories needed. Some systems come equipped with a remote for unlocking the door as you pull up or locking as you drive away. Yet, this poses the same problem that a key does: if the remote is misplaced, there is a risk of someone finding it and potentially entering the home. So, one way to solve this issue is to forgo giving the tenants a remote to use. Instead, stick with the keypad alone as the best way to keep your property secure.
Keyless Entry Systems Cost More
For a traditional key and deadbolt lock, landlords may spend upwards of $50. However, upgrading to a keyless entry system could set you back a couple of hundred dollars. That said, pricing climbs higher depending on how sophisticated the system is and whether it is integrated into other home security monitoring. Furthermore, there may be a monthly fee or additional charges involved for specific actions.
There is Some Maintenance Required
Changing codes frequently is one of the biggest hassles landlords face when it comes to a keyless entry system. Therefore, imagine what the keypad might look like after continuous wear and tear using the same code. Wearing on the buttons poses the threat of someone figuring out what the code is. Thus, defeating the purpose of having a keyless entry system.
Furthermore, landlords must maintain a master list if several codes are assigned to multiple people. After all, you do not want codes given to just anyone. So, it is a good idea to keep close tabs on who has access to the home at any given time. This, of course, requires time and organizational effort.
Traits to Look for in a Keyless Entry System
What is the Entry Method? – Keypads are great if renters remember the code and keep it secure. Otherwise, anyone who has the door code could potentially enter the home. Different systems offer different types of entry such as code, remote, or fingerprint – carefully weigh all options before choosing.
Does it Have Backup Keys? – As we mentioned, different brands offer different options. While systems that offer an emergency key override are beneficial, they are still open to tampering. However, there are completely keyless entry options on the market, but property owners must evaluate their choices carefully.
Is There Any Additional Functionality? – Some systems allow tenants to grant temporary access to guests or service professionals. Also, they can monitor who locks or unlocks the door and when.
Top 3 Keyless Entry Systems of 2021
There are a ton of keyless entry systems on the market for landlords to choose from. All of which have their own pros and cons, features, and functions. Check out the top 3 keyless systems from ThisOldHouse.com below!
Schlage Connect Century Touchscreen Deadbolt Smart Lock
- 4 AA Batteries Required
- 1 Year Warranty
- Compatible with Alexa Voice Control
- Stores up to 30 Codes
- Built-in Alarm
- Z-Wave Technology to Lock and Unlock
- Available in 5 Finishes
Kwikset 909 SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt
- 4 AA Batteries Required
- 1 Year Warranty
- Single-touch Locking Mechanism
- Easy-read Backlit Keypad
- Tamper Proof
- Auto-lock Feature
- Stores up to 8 User Codes
- Available in 3 Finishes
Samsung Digital Door Lock
- 4 AA Batteries Required
- 1 Year Warranty
- Modern Styling
- Away and Silent Functions
- Battery Alarm
- Double Authentication with Codes and RFID Tags
- Emergency Back-up Power Supply
- Tamper Proof
- No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Capability
- Only available in One Finish
Protect Your Rental Property with Professional Management
As a landlord, your rental property and tenant’s security should be a top priority. After all, protecting your property and the tenants that reside there is essential to building a lasting landlord-tenant relationship. However, many factors contribute to how much owners are willing to put into a rental property’s security. So, installing a keyless entry system may or may not fall within that budget.
That said, keyless entry is not the only way to look out for your valuable investment as a rental owner. If you own a Washington DC, Laurel, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, or Howard County rental home and are looking for more security to add to your keyless entry system, entrust your property to Bay Management Group. Our team of management professionals handles all aspects of your rental business operations, giving landlords the peace of mind they deserve. Give us a call today to see how Bay Property Management can help maximize your investment.