When you first rent out your property, you’ll need to make sure that it’s rental-compliant. A “key” part of this is making sure that locks and peepholes are up to code in your complex/city/state/country. Your realtor should have the requirements; if not, your locksmith will (and then there’s the internet…).
A locksmith is an important part of your team. Find a good one!
After you have your first renters moved in, however, you may be able to tackle a lot of locksmith duties yourself, and save a lot of money over the years. Here’s how:
When a lock needs to be changed, replace it with one of the new re-keyable models. Several brands now make these. The brand that you choose will have a lot to do with the size and shape of the key that works in the other locks at your property. Be sure to bring a current key with you to the hardware store, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Re-key this new lock to match the keys that go with the other locks.
Don’t forget to save the set of keys that came with the new lock — they can be used for new renters later on.
After that first renter leaves and you need to re-key, consider replacing all of your locks with the re-keyable kind. The cost, per lock, is similar to the cost of having a lock re-keyed (the exception is the fancier front door lock, which will cost more than simply re-keying would). And, in the future, re-keying will be free! This cost savings can be significant over the years.
One quick word of caution: if you mess up while re-keying, you will need to either buy a new lock or contact a locksmith to fix the lock. No pressure! So don’t leave re-keying for the last minute, just in case something goes wrong.