If you’re a landlord, you have to consider your best course of action when it comes to installing and changing locks. Depending on the kind of rental you manage, how frequent your tenant turnover is, and the door lock types your potential tenants are after, there are a couple of different options to look into. Not to mention, there are rules in place concerning standards of security, and changing locks without alerting or getting permission from the other party.
Are you running an Airbnb? A long-term rental? Is it in a gated neighbourhood? Or in an apartment complex?
Your specific situation should come into play when you’re making decisions regarding door lock types, to save you time and money in the long run.
❝What security measures must be in place in my rental property?❞
For specifics on security requirements, consult the WA Government’s minimum level of security document. The general idea, however, is that all windows must be fitted with a working lock, external doors must have a deadlock, patio bolt lock, or key lockable security screen door, and there must be a light at the main entry. The door lock types you decide on for your property must be up to safety standards in order to legally rent it out.
❝Are landlords or tenants allowed to change locks without permission?❞
As per the WA Government’s Rental property security standards, landlords are responsible for the property having a minimum level of security in place, and it is illegal for them to change or remove any locks without the tenant’s consent.
Similarly, tenants generally need their landlord’s permission to change locks or fit additional security. However, tenants affected by family violence can change locks at their own expense without prior permission, given they provide their landlords a copy of the key within seven days.
❝Who is responsible for changing locks and upgrading security?❞
For every turnover of tenants, it is your responsibility to change or re-key your locks. However, there are certain situations where your tenant is responsible for changing the locks.
Particularly, if the tenants break the locks or lose a key, they may be responsible for repairing the damages.
Cost wise, the party responsible for covering the costs involved in security system and lock installation should be detailed in the initial tenancy agreement. Generally, if the landlord and tenant agree to upgrade the security of the rental, they will split the costs. Again, you should make sure there’s a section in your agreement that details how to proceed in these situations.
❝What locks should I install at my rental property?❞
The type of locks you choose for your rental is a big decision, and there are plenty of factors that need to be considered. Here are a few of the most popular door lock types for lessors:
Traditional locks that are found on most homes are a cheaper option, and can be a good option if your tenants tend to lease out your property for a year or more. However, if your lease is shorter term, the cost of re-keying or replacing your locks at the tenant turnover will end up losing you money over time.
Digital locks, accessible by fingerprint or access code, can be a good option for rentals, albeit generally being a pricier option. With digital locks, you avoid the headache that comes with your tenants losing their keys, and when their lease ends, you can simply wipe the code or fingerprint and input a new one. This can even be done remotely with use of a smartphone app. If you manage a short-term rental, such as an Airbnb, a digital locking system can be a really worthwhile investment.
There are a couple of other nifty tricks, like being able to store multiple codes, meaning you could have your own code for all your properties, and each of your tenants would have their own. You can also access records of which codes were used to enter the property, and schedule times during which certain codes can and cannot be used. Not to mention, keypad locks will automatically lock the door when your tenants leave, so you don’t have to worry about them forgetting to lock up.
Landlord locks, despite looking like a traditional lock, have a few added features designed specifically for lessors. These master keyed locks have a removable cylinder that can be replaced with your backup cylinder, built to fit a new key. The old cylinder can either be used at another property of yours, or sent back to the company to be re-keyed for a minimal fee.
Plus, if you install these across multiple properties, they can all be accessed by a master key, so you won’t need to rummage through numerous keys for each property.
The gist of what we’re saying is if you’re mulling over door lock types for your rental, remember to compare the cost of the locking system with the cost of having to re-key that system for every tenant turnover. For some, you won’t be re-keying enough to justify purchasing digital locks, and for others, investing in smart locks will actually save you money long term.
Regardless of the door lock types you decide on, Hashtag Locksmiths is the premier option for locksmith services in Perth, providing trustworthy and quality service for over 15 years. Call us today for all of your rental security needs.