Changing the Locks!

Hey guys,
just had my first tenant bail on me in the middle of her lease. I need to get the house cleaned-up and ready for a new tenant. Any ideas on how I can change the locks without having to completely replace the doorknobs and dead-bolts. Is there even a way to do that or do I just have to bite the bullet.
Thanx guys…always a pleasure!

It depnds on the lock but generally, that’s what’ll need done…


Maximus - whatever you do, please remember to save the old ones… You may need them in the future. You could use them in another house…

There are some fancy locks that you let you change the key without you having to take them out of the door. You have only to buy a new set of keys and insert a special one in the lock and it changes the combination… They are expensive… So probably it would not make sense to buy them… But I wanted to mention them just in case…

Good luck!

PS: don’t buy the cheapest one you find… I did it for my home and now (6 months later) they look cheap. In hindsight I would go for a better one…

Good stuff guys…thanx!

You can take the locks off and take them to a locksmith and he can re-key them for you.

Landlord locks (dot com) sells a system where you only change the center cylinder, and it just takes seconds to do so. But you have to buy the doorknob the first time. After that, you just change the cylinder each time. The system also has a master key, so you only have to carry one key around while you do repairs.

if changing locks is this big of a deal for you - you are in the wrong business…

If you change the locks save them in a large zip lock and they will go right back into the next place when another leasee leaves.

JTpgh - interesting post… I would say exactly the opposite… Changing locks takes time and money… I believe you need to save wherever you can… $50 here, $50 there… pretty soon you will have a negative cash flow… Just my opinion… Have a nice evening! :O)

I use something like this…

I think I found a good one on Ebay for around $100. Whenever someone moves or (about every 6 months) I’ll change the code. It takes 5 seconds to change and never need a key…Now when the batteries are dead, that’s another story.

You can get a new dead bolt and door knob dual lockset for about $13 at a home improvement store. That’s MUCH cheaper than the liability lawsuit against you as a landlord for negligence of not changing locks from one tenant to the next. Did you really think those TWO keys they turned back in were the only ones?
And there is no way in h#ll I would pay nearly $100 for one single door lock…

Justin - I bought the kwikset (or something like that) for $13 or $20 dollars at Home Depot. Six months later they look cheap (small scratches and dents).

I would spend a little bit more and buy a better one. And if you planning to be in this business for awhile, you can re-use the set in other rentals.

So my suggestion is to not go for the cheapest one…

Ive only used it on a duplex I have. It’s in a really nice/trendy part of town, and I tell ya, more than once that keypad lock has been the deal clincher for a tennant. Something about not having to fumble with keys or never having the possiblity of accidently locking yourself out hits a nerve with some people.

I do the same however, I try not to use the removed lock set in the same building. I also have a spread sheet where I record the previous tenants for each lock set.

I notice that very few tenants lock their doors.