Need to remove door handle and deadbolt

15 Replies

I have a set out on Thursday at 9:00 am. I stopped by today to check the status of the property and noticed that the tenant has changed the locks on the handle and deadbolt. What is the easiest way to cut or somehow remove the locks without harming the door? Thanks.

Yeah, you need someone to pick the lock if there's no other access to the unit. If this is a house with an attached garage, it might be helpful in the future to have your own garage remote. The departing tenant might not think of clearing the opener codes.

@Justen Ashcraft   A locksmith is the easiest but I would check the windows and other doors first.

I’ve got a couple of drills and drill bits, and I know how to use them :)
Honestly, I don’t want to put any more money into this eviction than necessary. I’ll check the front windows, I’m sure they’re locked if she went to the extent of changing the locks. I’ll end up drilling out the key holes.
Or whip out the saws all.
I didn’t know if anyone had a tried and true method for door handle removal.

Bump Key .   Its probably a cheap quickset lock  ( Tenants generally arent buying expensive locks) 

I have done it and they work 

Look up bump key on you tube 

I agree with Matthew. Bump key or something to "rake" the pins and 5-10mins on YouTube.

It’s a brinks branded lock. I generally use schlage, and avoid Kwikset

@Justen Ashcraft I think it's gonna have to be the drill. Haven't found a reliable cheaper way.

Yeah, there are several videos on YouTube showing where to drill etc.
we have restored power and there’s an outlet on the front patio Incase I need to use the corded beast. Hopefully the 18v will do the job.

I have used a sawzall to cut off a door knob before. The other side of the knob is going to hit the floor so if you have tile or hardwood on the other side I would think it through first. My locksmith charges a $45 trip charge; don't know what your rates are up there but less than $100 sounds like money well spent. He can probably even rekey everything so you have new locks without having to go buy new locks.

Drill Bit takes less than 5 minutes. Why try anything else?

1/4” drill bit and a drill will get you in, unless it’s a higher end schlage some of them are hardened or have a hardened plate around the knob. If drilling through the key hole doesn’t work you can aim for where the screws are on the other side. Once the screws are still out the knob will fall right off. Same goes for a deadbolt.
If there is a sliding door, those are even easier to get in through. Take a pry bar and pry the door up and over, off the track.

I assume you've checked all the windows? Most vinyl window locks are crap.

The sawzall is good advice.  I've used a 6" angle grinder before with great success.  A standard 4.5" grinder won't be able to cut all the way through because there isn't enough clearance between the back of the knob and the door.

Perhaps I'm a bit confused here.... are the tenants still in the unit?

If so then you also need to call a sherrif. Or check your local landlord tenancy laws.

Seems that with the change of locks the tenant is "holing" up. And I would recommend that you have the professionals there to make sure you're on the right side of the law.

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