Knowing when to change the locks is an important trait in a landlord; they are the first line of defense in a home. And since renters are 85% more likely to experience a burglary than home owners, locks are even more important to your tenants. Here are the basics to knowing how to lock up a lease.

Rekeying

There are several reasons to rekey a lock: a key might have gotten lost, stolen, or a tenant could have made unauthorized versions of the key. It is between you and your tenant in these situations whether you would prefer to rekey your lease’s lock when this happens. However, you must rekey your locks between tenants.

Depending on the type of lock your rental has, it is possible for you to rekey the lock yourself. These kind of locks are convenient, but be cautious, locks that do not require a locksmith may have bypasses that allow anyone to rekey the lock. Locks that require a locksmith to rekey them may be more secure, but will cost you more in time and maintenance each time you want to rekey your property.

Switching the Lock

A more difficult decision than rekeying is when to switch the lock. Locks are subject to wear and tear like any other part of a property and require maintenance or replacing at times. It is unlikely that you will need to fully replace a lock rather than upgrade or rekey it. Be sure to consult a locksmith before you invest in a new lock.

The most common reasons for a lock to be switched is to accommodate a disability or for aesthetic purposes. Some residents may prefer a deadbolt or a lever to your typical knob because they do not require a strong grasp. However, unless the lock is completely worn or broken, rekeying is typically the better option.

Choosing a Lock

There are many factors that go into a choosing a lock for your property: the aesthetic appeal, effort into rekeying, usability, and security. There are many different opinions about what type of locks are best for houses, but most locksmiths agree that deadbolts provide the best security for a home. Many houses and apartments will include both a deadbolt and a knob lock on exterior doors. Whether you prefer a lock you can rekey manually or requires a locksmith is entirely up to you.

Not all locks are created equal, when finding a lock for your property, be sure to pay attention to anti-drill protection and bump-key resistance. Drills and bump-keys are some of the most common techniques to breaking and entering which makes protection against them a necessity.