General Landlording & Rental Properties

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David Zheng
  • Investor
  • Saint Louis, MO
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How do you organize/handle all your KEYS

David Zheng
  • Investor
  • Saint Louis, MO
Posted Aug 8 2016, 06:27

So I like to be ready at all times and since I manage all 6 of my properties, I like to have my keys for every house with me.

How do you guys organize your keys? I personally don't want to leave a set in my car at all times and I don't really want to just leave them at home...

At the same time, its getting really heavy carrying 12-15 jangling keys all the time now

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Adrienne Bryson
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • High Point, NC
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Adrienne Bryson
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • High Point, NC
Replied Aug 8 2016, 07:08

Keysmart!  I have one that holds 8 keys but I think you can get it for as many keys as you need.

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Jassem A.
  • Investor
  • West Point, VA
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Jassem A.
  • Investor
  • West Point, VA
Replied Aug 8 2016, 07:11

I don't bother trying to keep up with it. I just change the locks during turnovers. Only about $30 for a new set for the front and back door.

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Susan M.
  • Investor
  • Columbus, OH
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Susan M.
  • Investor
  • Columbus, OH
Replied Aug 8 2016, 07:51

Best thing we ever did was change all of our locks over to Landlord Locks.  I carry one key, it opens all my properties.  Tenants all have individual keys.  We can swap out locks between tenants very easily.

http://landlordlocks.com/

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Kelly N.
  • Investor
  • SE, MI
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Kelly N.
  • Investor
  • SE, MI
Replied Aug 8 2016, 08:16

I have two key rings for each property, with the common area key and all unit keys on the ring.   I carry one set with me in my "office in a bag" whenever I am doing anything rental property related, and keep one full set at home just in case.  It is a lot of keys.

I have my local hardware store rekey locks for me, they charge $5/each and they even provide the keys.  Before a tenant moves out, I give the other tenants in the building the new common area keys and a notice that the locks will be changed on the move out date.  Then I change the locks once the tenant has moved out, and take them in to be rekeyed for the next time they are needed.

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Harrison Harner
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Danbury, CT
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Harrison Harner
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Danbury, CT
Replied Aug 8 2016, 10:36

Like Susan M., I'm currently using the landlordlocks system and I highly recommend it. I too only carry one master key that opens all doors. Swapping a core takes less than 10 seconds. Their customer service is great and a quick phone call gets you new components that match your key set. I keep extra keys and cores in a small tacklebox.

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Allen Clark
  • Investor
  • Seattle, WA
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Allen Clark
  • Investor
  • Seattle, WA
Replied Aug 9 2016, 11:24

We put keyless entry on all of our places. We recode all locks with each new tenant. There are two ways into each home and tenant gets no keys. I keep master keys at home but have never used them. We change the 9v battery once a year. 

I love keyless entry, our tenants love it too. I figure there must be cons as not everyone does this??

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Michael Noto
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Southington, CT
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Michael Noto
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Southington, CT
Replied Aug 9 2016, 11:50

This is a good thread. I am going to check out landlord locks. 

  • Real Estate Agent CT (#RES.0799665)

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Brandon Ingegneri
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Providence, RI
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Brandon Ingegneri
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Providence, RI
Replied Aug 9 2016, 12:10

Solid thread.  One of those little things that is always in the back of your mind, but you never think to ask.  We use Quickset Smart Key locks.  You can grab them from Home Depot.  What we basically do is buy locks and deadbolts once we buy a building and renovate it.  These locks allow you to rekey a lock without having to swap out the lock or the core.  We have enough units spread out throughout the state where we can use keys from other buildings when we rekey a vacant unit.  No two locks are keyed the same, and it goes pretty smoothly.  I keep lock boxes at each house with all of the keys, and I have a personal ring of all keys with detachable sub key rings for each house.  

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Shari Posey
  • Residential Real Estate Agent
  • Long Beach, CA
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Shari Posey
  • Residential Real Estate Agent
  • Long Beach, CA
Replied Aug 19 2016, 09:53

Along the same lines, I have a friend (unit owner) who lost the keys to his rental unit. The tenant won't give him the keys to make a new copy. I assume my friend can just install new locks (keyless would be great) and give the tenants new copies or the code, correct? I have helped him research laws regarding landlords and keys but haven't actually found the answer to this question. (The owner also lost his copy of the lease so he can't refer to it.) 

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Dawn Anastasi
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Milwaukee, WI
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Dawn Anastasi
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Milwaukee, WI
Replied Aug 19 2016, 10:01

I work with 38 units currently and would never carry around 38 sets of keys with me.  I have a key safe at home.  I may carry 1 or 2 sets around with me if I'm working at properties.  I generally put them on color coded key rings to organize everything.  I don't write the address on them, just the house number, so in case for whatever reason they get lost, someone won't know what they are for.  (Well, they could go around to every house with the same numbers in the city if they really wanted to.)

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Mark Nolan
  • Watertown, MA
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Mark Nolan
  • Watertown, MA
Replied Aug 19 2016, 10:10

I use Kwikset Key Control deadbolts on all my units:

http://www.kwikset.com/smartsecurity/key-control.a...

One master key for literally every door I own, each property gets 1 single key for all of their locks (typically 3 deadbolts), and it takes less than 10 seconds per lock to re-key between tenants.  Literally couldn't be happier to carry one key that I use to access any lock in any property, it's a game changer IMO.

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Jeff B.
  • Buy & Hold Owner
  • Redlands, CA
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Jeff B.
  • Buy & Hold Owner
  • Redlands, CA
Replied Aug 19 2016, 11:05

Instead of stamping or tagging address, I used an alphabet code (also had few units, unlike @Dawn Anastasi ).

We had a maintenance closet where we kept a set and my local assistant(also person, well trusted friend) could get to them.

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George P.
  • Property Manager
  • Livonia, MI
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George P.
  • Property Manager
  • Livonia, MI
Replied Oct 17 2016, 22:08

i have a cabinet just for keys in my garage and each property has a hanging key in it. i can't believe anyone would carry more than 1/2 sets of keys around. if you visit the properties THAT often, put a lockbox at the property!