What type of lockset for a shared entry door in a multi unit

10 Replies

I have an 8 unit apartment building that has two separate entrances (one for each 4 units) and each side has an internal door to the basement where there is laundry and extra storage.  This past week I had the laundry units vandalized and destroyed for the change boxes.  Some of the tenants are concerned about their safety.   I will be installing new security cameras around the area but that will only capture what has happened.  i am researching what I should do about lock sets for the shared doors.  Can I get some feedback about what others have done.  I am looking at storeroom locket on the front doors and basic two sided key lock for the basement door.  that way each side is secure.  Is there another, better way so that tenants don't get accidentally stuck in the basement?

No double cylinder. that is a fire hazard. Use a "store room" lock. Keyed on outside and always unlocked on inside. door handle will always require a key to open the door and cannot be left unlocked (at least my understanding). duplicate and issue to all tenants. Buy two locks with matching keys or get them keyed to match by a locksmith or a hardware store so you only have to issue one key to access both of your doors.

Schlage F80 ELA Elan Keyed Storeroom Lever


@Jeff Bridges has some good advice.  For the front door, if it's double bore, I would put a hall/closet set on the bottom (no locking ability) and a Kwikset Smartkey deadbolt on the top.   In one of my buildings where my case is similar, I give an additional "front door" key to each tenant, and upon any turnover, will rekey in 30 seconds and distribute new keys to the tenants.  It's sounds kind of cumbersome, but I don't have too much turnover so I have not actually had to rekey the front door yet, but that is my plan.

Originally posted by @Ames Foley :

@Jeff Bridges  and @Wesley W.   thanks for the recommendations.  I only have a single bore on the fronts so will look into a storeroom lock where it can be re-keyed as tenants move out.

 kwikset smartkey version of the storeroom lock. I love the smartkey locks. super easy to re-key on my own. problem solved.


@Ames Foley I have a couple "store room" type locks on one of my buildings but it's a hassle if you have a tenant move out that you think might be a threat to come back inside using his key. At that point the locks need to be changed and all existing tenants given new keys. It's a pain.

The Schlage keypad locks, while having issues of their own, are nice in that I can give each tenant their own unique code. When they move out I delete that specific code and never have to change the actual lock....unless it fails and breaks...which is the occasional problem with them. 

Grrrr my problem the last month. I am not a fan of keys because you never really know who has a key. We have maybe 8 buildings with coin operated washer and dryer. Tomorrow we are actually taking them out of two buildings because of them being broken into. The other buildings i have no problems. I like the schlage key pad, each person gets their unique code. When they move out we delete their code.

@Ames Foley I have both single and double bore. For double bore I either put a dummy plate over the unused bore or, as someone else mentioned, put a non-locking knob on one of them.

I'm a huge fan of the Kwikset Smartlocks on individual unit doors but I prefer the Schlage keypad locks on common doors. Just be sure you change the batteries annually. I've also had several issues with these locks failing without warning and then the entire building is locked out. Not fun but overall still worth it.