Living in an apartment is the norm for the majority of people today. The cheaper rent and the higher availability of apartments make it a better option for people.
The downside, however, is that renters live in proximity to many people and not all of those people are going to be trustworthy. You’ll want to have a good door lock to help stay safe. I look at the best smart locks for apartments and apartment doors in this article.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s the short list of the best smart locks for apartments. I’ll go through the features and benefits of these and others below.
As part of my series of the Best Smart Lock reviews, let’s look at smart lock use cases for renters, property managers and landlords of apartment units.
Differing Needs for Apartment Smart Locks
Smart locks are a part of the new, more efficient security measures being deployed for single family homes and apartment buildings alike.
For senior living homes, there’s also the list of the best smart locks for seniors to help with deciding on locks.
The ability to set time locks, open and close the door locks, change key codes and settings with remote access offers a convenience and peace of mind that wasn’t available before.
There are usually 3 parties involved in an apartment rental: the renter, property manager, and the landlords. Some apartment complexes will allow landlords to rent directly to renters, but there’s still a property management company overseeing the whole complex or apartment building.
Each of the parties receives benefits from installing smart locks.
As a renter, you no longer need to worry about where you left your keys. If you left the apartment in a hurry, you’ll be happy to know you can lock the front door while on the road. No more time lost going back to the house.
You can lock and unlock the apartment with your smartphone. You can let family members and friends in if they’re coming over for the party, but you just happen to run to the grocery store. You can give them digital keys to let them in.
For added safety, most smart locks offer smart features like smart alerts if the door is ajar. The locks will recognize the door and the door frame are not aligned, and they’ll send notifications to a connected phone.
You can also set smart alerts when people come and go, so you’ll always know if anyone’s at home or not.
One thing you’ll want to do is to talk with your landlord about changing the locks. It should be an easier conversation than changing to a smart thermostat in your apartment. Smart door locks are easy installs and uninstalls.
Apartment Property Management
As a property manager, you can schedule walkthroughs, viewings, pest control, and maintenance anytime you want. No more need to wait around for them to open the door. You can give them one-time-use keypad codes.
Apartment Landlords / Owners
For landlords, Smart locks give you a sense of security that others can’t just copy the physical, original keys of the existing locks.
If you have new tenants, no more changing the whole lock out like you may need to do with the traditional locks.
And as an owner, you never have to worry about evictions, because you literally control access to the apartment with the push of a button. It’s not ideal to come to this, but it is a last ditch option.
So depending on which role you play in a rented property, you’ll have different needs. Here’re the 5 best smart locks for apartments that’ll make your apartment door smarter.
5 Best Smart Locks for Apartments
1. Best Overall: Yale Assure Lock SL, WiFi and Bluetooth Deadbolt
From a trusted lock company for over 100 years, Yale Locks continually brings the latest in smart lock technology. This product includes just about everything that makes smart locks worthwhile.
The Yale Assure focuses on home security and smart home automation. It brings these features and benefits:
- A keyless entry touchscreen keypad
- Lock and unlock from anywhere using the August app
- Track who comes and goes based on guest code entry
- Optional Connected by August Kit for auto-locking and auto-unlocking based on proximity and geofencing. Great for when you have hands full of groceries.
- Compatible with smart home voice assistants including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri
- Built-in sensor to tell you if the door is open or closed
- For property owners, seamlessly integrate with home share apps like Airbnb and HomeAway for simple check in.
2. Best Value: August WiFi Smart Lock (4th Generation)
August Home, Wi-Fi Smart Lock (4th Generation)– Fits Your Existing Deadbolt in Minutes, Silver
- UPGRADE YOUR EXISTING DEADBOLT: August smart locks fit on the inside of your door, making your regular deadbolt smarter, more secure and way more convenient. Keep your keys just in case (but you won’t need them).Connectivity Protocol:wi-fi.Note: Measure your door's backset, cross bore and thickness to ensure you
If you want all the benefits of a smart lock without an intensive install and still want to mostly keep your existing hardware, try the August WiFi Smart Lock.
The August Lock doesn’t change the existing outer lock hardware, so no one will know that you have a smart lock unless they come inside. You keep using the original deadbolt, but the August Lock brings a smart deadbolt turning device to your existing door.
- Remote locking and unlocking through your smartphone
- Auto lock and auto unlock detects when you arrive home and walk towards your front door
- Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit for voice control
- Connects automatically over your Wi-Fi network
- Easy installation to the existing deadbolt on your door, so you can continue using the keys to your current lock
- Easily removable and reusable if you were to move
- Send temporary passcodes to friends and family from the August app
- Optional August Smart Keypad is also available if you want a keypad option
3. Best Budget-Friendly: Kwikset Kevo 2nd Gen Touch-to-Open Smart Keyless Entry Deadbolt
Kwikset - Kevo 99250-202 Kevo 2nd Gen Bluetooth Touch-to-Open Smart Keyless Entry Electronic Deadbolt Door Lock Featuring SmartKey Security, Satin Nickel
- Your smartphone is now your key touch to open convenience with the 2nd generation. If you wish to perform a system reset, press and hold the reset button on the back panel for 10 seconds until the lock beeps and the light ring flashes red.Note: Measure your door's
If you aren’t comfortable with going completely keyless and feel a physical security with using physical keys, the Kwikset Kevo might be for you.
The Kwikset Kevo is perfect for apartment building owners and property managers with multiple apartments or condos. The Kevo is at a lower price point and there’s the option to give physical keys to tenants, while still being able to manipulate the lock over the app.
Even though the Kwikset Kevo looks like a normal existing lock and deadbolt, it boasts some nice smart features.
- Lock and unlock with three methods: Via the app, with a push button fob or with a traditional key with new advanced SmartKey security
- Unlock by touching the lock itself with Touch-to-Open through Bluetooth
- Works with Amazon Alexa voice commands (requires Kevo Plus hub)
- Compatible with iOS and Android
- Give electronic keys to family members and friends
- Track who’s coming and going, what virtual keys have been used, and other user / lock activity
A slick and stylish lock, the Schlage Encode seamlessly fits with your current deadbolt and requires minimal effort to install.
The Schlage Encode has some great features, along with its good looks.
- Standardized WiFi connectivity lets you lock and unlock from anywhere without additional accessories
- Built in alarm system goes off when the Schlage lock and door are breached
- Create and manage up to 100 access codes for trusted friends and family, and give them permanent or temporary access
- Use voice commands through Alexa to check your lock, and lock or unlock your door
- One touch sensitive touch screen lets you open your door with fingerprint recognition
- Easy installation and replaces your existing deadbolt
Kwikset Halo Touchscreen Wi-Fi Smart Door Lock, Keyless Entry Electronic Deadbolt Door Lock, No Hub Required App Remote Control, With SmartKey Re-Key Security, Matte Black
- CONTROL FROM ANYWHERE: Wi-Fi enabled (no hub required), you can use the Kwikset app to remotely lock and unlock, share guest access, view activity history, and more
- SHARE ACCESS WITH GUESTS: Backlit touchscreen with support for up to 250 access codes. Use the Kwikset app to schedule access
The Kwikset Halo offers keyless entry through a touchscreen and entry with physical keys.
- 250 unique pass codes can be utilized at a time from the Kwikset App
- The app also allows you to customize and set specific times and dates that access codes are allowed to be used
- Get notified of the lock’s activity using the Kwikset app to stay informed if viewings and maintenance are going as scheduled
- SmartKey Security helps prevent break-ins, and let’s you recode or re-key the lock in seconds
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Which Smart Lock is Right For My Apartment
There are a ton of different options for you, but whether smart electronic locks are right for you really depends on why you need the lock.
Is it just for home security? Are you renting over Airbnb and can’t be on premise to exchange keys? Do you own multiple properties and need to keep an eye on the comings and goings of employees or tenants? Are you letting people in or keeping them out? The situations vary.
Look at all the variables. If you’re renting, you’ll want easy installation for future lock changes. Don’t forget you may be responsible for removing and replacing the locks after your apartment lease is up.
On the other hand, if you own the property you may not want your tenants to install their own smart lock that could compromise your ability to access the apartment. It might be better to install your own smart control locks before that becomes a problem.
If you’re managing multiple properties, there are multiple options for adaptable smart locks that clip on and off of existing deadlocks. Easy transfer and installation of smart locks is key when dealing with many properties.
Maybe you have a maintenance person going to Apartment 19, but you’re stuck in Apartment 2. Now you can create temporary, virtual guest keys for those situations.
For ultimate smart home automation, combine the locks with other connected devices like video doorbell security cameras, smart plugs, smart thermostats, and others.