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The Pros and Cons of Keyless Entry Systems in Rental Properties

Would you consider renting out a property in a relatively unsafe area with no proper security measures in place? Most probably not.

When looking for a property to rent out, one of the most important things that tenants look for is safety. It doesn’t matter how appealing the property is if it’s likely to be targeted by burglars because of lack of security.

One of the first lines of defence against such intruders and burglars is to secure your doors and windows. When choosing a house to break into, the first thing that burglars look for is the ease of access which is usually through the property’s doors and windows.

Finding them unlocked, which surprisingly they do quite a few times, or easy to break or bypass makes accessing the property easier for them, especially for experienced burglars.

Since centuries, people have been using locks and keys for their doors to manage and control access. Whoever has access to the keys, has access to the property.

Though still widely used all over the world, the system comes with its flaws. Keys are very easy to lose, with every other person either misplacing or forgetting them at least once in their lives. There’s also the high risk of them being stolen.

To overcome the drawbacks related to keys, keyless entry systems were introduced that, as the name suggests, eliminate the need for keys and use other methods of authentication instead.

Their popularity has increased over time with homeowners, business owners, as well as landlords shifting from the traditional key and lock to the technologically advanced digital keyless entry systems.

Read on to find out all about keyless entry systems, their pros and cons, and other ways to secure your rental property from unauthorised access.

WHAT ARE KEYLESS ENTRY SYSTEMS?

With the ever-expanding technological advancements and our safety features (and criminals) becoming smarter by the day, it is no surprise that more people are shifting towards keyless door entry systems for their rental properties.

Keyless entry systems, also called access control systems are locking mechanisms that can be locked and unlocked without the need for a physical key. Instead, they use various other forms of authentication such as:

  • Access cards
  • Access codes
  • Proximity fob
  • Fingerprints
  • Retina patterns
  • Facial recognition
  • Voice recognition

For now, the most common form of authentication is the access code which works exactly like the pin code that you enter into an ATM. Entering the right code gives you access to your account and the funds in it, whereas the wrong code gives you an error denying access to your account.

Access codes are incredibly convenient, especially when your hands are full and you are unable to search for a key inside your pocket or purse. There’s also no chance of losing your code like there is for a key, however, you will be required to remember it.

With the increased use of digital codes and passwords all around, people have generally become accustomed to remembering them which is why memorising your access code shouldn’t be much of an issue either.

Other forms of authentication are also rising in popularity with biometrics recognition not very far behind. Previously only seen either in movies or the wealthiest neighbourhoods, biometrics are becoming a more common sight in all kinds of residential and commercial properties and are touted as one of the most secure forms of authentication.

HOW DO KEYLESS ENTRY SYSTEMS WORK?

This is a step-by-step process on how keyless entry systems work in rental properties:

  • The identification credentials are presented to a reader present on the system. The credentials can be in the form of card, pin, or biometrics.
  • The credentials are forwarded to the access control panel to be verified.
  • The request is processed by the control panel by comparing the credentials against predefined access permissions in the database.
  • If the credentials do not have access permission for the area, access is denied and the door remains locked.
  • If the credentials have access permission for the area, access is granted and the control panel sends a relay to the system to unlock the door.
  • Both the access rejections and acceptances are logged into the system.

THE PROS

Here are some of the great benefits of keyless entry systems in your rental property:

No keys required

Keeping your keys safe and away from the wrong hands is a huge responsibility. We’ve all experienced the mini heart attack when you think you’ve lost your keys and can’t seem to find them anywhere.

Losing a key can mean one of two things; either you dropped them somewhere or someone stole them. Since there is no way to find out which of the two, it leaves your property’s security in a vulnerable state giving you no other option than to rekey or replace your locks.

Since keyless entry systems eliminate the need for keys, you can throw that worry out the window. No keys mean they won’t be lost or stolen, which in turn means your security will never be compromised.

No more lockouts

Has it ever happened to you that you came back home after a long day of work only to discover that you don’t have the keys? Obviously, it has. We’ve all been there.

The sudden panic followed by frantically looking for a way inside, and then calling a family member, friend, the landlord, your roommates, or a professional locksmith is all too familiar.

With keyless entry systems, you don’t have to worry about forgetting your keys and being locked out of your home since there are no keys involved. With systems that use codes or biometric scans, there’s one less thing for tenants to worry about.

No more spare keys

Having spare house keys is easy, convenient, and inexpensive, and can save you a lot of time and money. They can serve as a backup key, give access to other family members, prevent lockouts, avoid key breaking, and are an easy replacement.

However, if you’ve seen any movies at all, you would know that most people hide their spares under a mat or a flower pot, and real-life isn’t that far off. It’s one of the worst and most common hiding spots for spare keys, and burglars know that too.

When you opt for a keyless entry system, you eliminate the need for keys, eliminating the need for hiding spares as well.

Tracking

Unless you guard your doors at all times, which is very unlikely, there is no way to know who entered your house. Anyone with a key, which is extremely easy to duplicate, can gain access into your property.

If your rental property is equipped with a keyless entry system, you can see who entered and exited your premises and when. This technology is extremely beneficial for landlords and tenants who would always be alerted of a break-in.

There is also the option of receiving notifications on your smart device every time someone tries to gain access. You can stay informed and in control over who enters your property, even from a remote location.

Additionally, you can also assign different codes to different people depending on their access permissions. As a landlord, you can give codes with complete access to the tenants, while the cleaning staff receiving ones with limited access.

This way, in the event of a crime or forged entry, you can see which codes were entered and at what time, knowing who to hold responsible. Also, if you feel like the codes are compromised, you can change them instantly at no additional cost and without any professional help.

THE CONS

Keyless entry systems are extremely beneficial for rental property owners, however, there are a few things that you must know before deciding to switch from mechanical locks to digital access control systems:

Costly

All good things come at a price, and so do keyless entry systems. They are costlier as compared to the traditional locks and keys; however, the costs are justified due to the amount of security and control that they provide.

You can get a simple deadbolt for as low as £1.50, whereas the average starting cost for an access control security system is around £500-£800 per door.

If you wish to integrate the access control system with other security systems such as burglar alarms and CCTV, you can expect to pay even more.

The benefits greatly outweigh the costs as keyless entry systems provide much more than just allowing authorised people to access your property. They are an effective door security solution that enables you to track access as well as manage permissions.

Require maintenance

As is with all electronic things, keyless entry systems require maintenance. You can’t possibly just install and forget about them. You could do that but it would adversely affect the efficiency of the system.

Since the systems are installed on doors with regular usage almost every day, day in and day out, they are susceptible to general wear and tear which might result in some parts needing to be repaired or replaced. The frequency for such faults is generally less, but the risk is still there.

You’ll also be required to frequently change the codes since using the same ones, again and again, might cause the particular keys to wear out making the combinations rather obvious to anyone looking at them. A 4-digit code has a limited number of permutations, taking an intruder a couple of minutes to crack the code.

Furthermore, if there is more than one user of the system, you will be required to maintain a list of the codes assigned to the multiple users. This, of course, takes time and effort, but is an integral part of keyless entry systems since randomly handing out codes to users would offer absolutely no help in tracking their use and maximising security.

Hesitance from tenants

Change is always met with resistance. It is human nature that if people are comfortable with something, regardless of whether it is benefiting them or not, they’ll be reluctant to changing their ways even if it means upgrading their current situation to something better.

The same can be said for switching to keyless entry systems in rental properties. Tenants might take some time getting used to them and might show some displeasure. This can be particularly true for tenants who belong to the older age bracket and have a difficult time learning how to use the systems.

Because the decision involves the tenants and not just the landlords, everyone must be on board with the change. Once they get the hang of it and understand how the systems add to their safety and security, they’ll appreciate it and will put out a good word regarding your property and you as a property manager.

OTHER SECURITY MEASURES YOU CAN TAKE

There are other very effective security measures that you can take, along with switching to keyless entry systems, to manage and control who enters your property and when. You can:

Install burglar alarms

A burglar alarm security system offers your rental property the best protection possible against intruders, and coupled with state-of-the-art locking mechanisms, it packs quite a punch.

They not only alert people of break-ins as they happen but also act as a major deterrent with most burglars choosing to target properties with no alarm systems over those that have one.

Placed at key points throughout the property, the sensors inside the systems pick up any unusual movement and trigger the alarm, setting off the notification components in the form of sounds or flashing lights.

Coupled with professional monitoring services, burglar alarm systems provide a great way to ensure that every alarm trigger is responded to and the police are informed if need be.

Install CCTV

A CCTV system adds an extra layer of security allowing you to monitor activity around your rental property and also acts as a visual deterrent against a break-in or vandalism.

Burglars actively avoid targeting properties with CCTV security systems, making them one of the most effective burglary deterrents out there. Even if they try and attempt a burglary, the chances of them getting caught become very high using the recorded footage from the CCTV cameras.

Professional CCTV monitoring ensures that your property is being watched over by a professional monitoring staff in real-time. This is especially beneficial for when your rental property is unoccupied or in a vulnerable state, such as in a secluded area.

CONTACT CALDER SECURITY

Calder Security provides a complete solution for keyless entry systems for rental properties which includes professional installation, maintenance, and repair services.

We’ve been working in the security industry since 1976 and partner with only the best brands for security systems. Our MLA approved locksmiths can advise you on the best type of system for your rental property by helping you assess its security needs and requirements.

Access control installation services

Because an access control system operates the locking and unlocking of your door, installation must be completed properly by someone with detailed knowledge of how these systems work.

We are SSAIB approved installers and offer all types of access control systems including intercom, proximity fob, card swipe, and keypad. We also offer biometric systems that work with fingerprints or retina scans.

Access control maintenance services

Access control systems are very reliable and will last a long time, but like any technology, they require periodic maintenance to continue working as they should.

We conduct annual servicing to keep your system working well and give it a full check including checking the battery strength, power supply, and connections. That way you won’t get any nasty surprises further down the line.

Access control repair services

While generally very reliable, sometimes problems occur with access control systems that can affect the locking mechanism, potentially compromising the security of your property.

Common issues include faults with the power supply or batteries, or simple wear and tear, and to preserve the security of your rental property, you need to get the problems fixed ASAP.

We operate a 24-hour emergency service run by qualified, security specialist engineers who understand access systems and can resolve issues efficiently and effectively.

Contact us right away for a quick consultation and quote for our state-of-the-art keyless entry systems.

Image by khamkhor from Pixabay