Can Renters Put a Smart Lock on the Apartment Door?

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Can Renters Put a Smart Lock on an Apartment Door | Smart Lock | phillyaptrentals.com

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If you’re thinking of renting an apartment, there may be a few nuts and bolts to iron out before signing on the dotted line. One question you may have: can I put a smart lock on the apartment door.? This guide will delve deeper into answering this question.

Who Can Put a Smart Lock on the Apartment Door?

If you’re the landlord, then the answer is you can pretty much do that whenever you want to. But if you’re the renter, things are not quite so simple. Most rental agreements give landlords exclusive control over what tenants can do to their property. Most landlords will not allow tenants to modify their apartment lock beyond changing the tumbler (remember to provide a key to the landlord if you do this, and of course check with the landlord before making any modifications to the apartment locks); smart locks are probably off-limits.

Apartment Lease with individual signing apartment lease

But there are some exceptions. So, if you’re wondering whether a renter can put a smart lock on the apartment door, the short answer is maybe. You’ll need to ask for permission and get the answer in writing.

How Can Renters Install a Smart Lock?

Before making any changes, it is important to get permission in writing from your landlord. If you are in a single standalone unit and are willing to provide the code to the landlord, you may get approval. But if you live in a bigger apartment complex, the answer is likely no (since it is difficult to manage different lock configurations for different residents). Moreover, when you move out, it creates a lot of additional work and challenges for the landlord.

If you’d still like to try, the best thing to do is to talk to the landlord and explain your rationale.

Why Do Landlords Prevent Renters from Installing Smart Locks?

One important thing to note is that landlords who withhold permission for renters to install smart locks likely have different reasons for doing so. Reasons include:

  • Do not want their property tampered with or altered in any way.
  • Logistical hurdles of managing some people who have smart locks and others who do not
  • Security concerns if the unit is compromised and was not installed by them
  • If the battery of the smart lock dies, who is responsible for fixing it?
  • At end of tenancy, difficult and expensive to change the locks.

Ultimately, most decisions lie with the landlord. As a renter, you need to seek permissions and approvals in writing as the best way to get things like installing smart locks done.

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