Among all the communication, coordination, vetting, inspecting, repairing, and cleaning that goes into getting a property new-tenant-ready, lock turnover is a key part of the process.

When a tenant turns over, so should the lock. It’s critical for your tenant’s and your property’s safety. However, turning over locks can be a time-consuming process. It’s important to consider what’s cost, time, and labor effective, especially if you’re a DIY landlord. 

For most landlords, there are three popular ways of turning over locks: rotating locks, using a Kwikset SmartKey lock, or using Landlord Lock systems. So, which one is better for you?

Rotate locks between properties. 

For some landlords, this is the simplest, most cost-effective option. Even though it involves a little manual labor to switch out the locks, it means you don’t have to buy new locks, keys, etc.

Pros: Cost-effective

Cons: More manual labor

Invest in Kwikset Smartkey locks. 

Kwikset SmartKey locks allow you to rekey in minutes without removing the lock. You can rekey the deadbolts and doorknobs with a different key. This allows you to keep the same deadbolt and doorknob and just change the key.

Pros: Easy to rekey yourself, fast, don’t need a locksmith, good price

Cons: Can jam up when re-keying, no master key

Landlord Lock i-core system. 

I-core stands for interchangeable core model locks. These Landlord Locks work on a master key system, so you can get a master key that opens every lock in the system. The cores swap out on knobs and deadbolts, and you program one master key to open all your doors, so you can have a singular and not a huge keyring. There is also a control key that allows you to pull out the lock core and replace it with another core in 5 seconds.

Pros: Master key, easy to “re-core”

Cons: Big upfront cost, have to replace all locks to match your new system

So, what system is the best for lock turnover?

Each method of lock turnover comes with its pros and cons. Whatever system you end up going with, be sure that it will work with your properties. (I.e., don’t invest in a Landlord Lock system if it won’t end up fitting in your door, etc.) Kwikset tends to be a cheaper, easy rekeying option but doesn’t come with a master key. Landlord Locks tend to be a larger investment, but landlords love the master key and easy-to-switch-out core. Finally, a DIY method of rotating locks between units is a tried and true method that is cost-effective while being a bit more on the laborious side. Remember, a lot hinges on lock turnover, so be sure to pick the lock that best fits your rental property.