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If you'd like to steal the image and instruction text we've created for our guests, go ahead and grab in out of our "How to use..." document - it's on the first page:
Thanks so much for sharing your document! We have just installed Schlage locks with the eRL Controller. The system sends instructions to the renter's e-mail, but I like your use of a photograph.
Hello; in July 2011 we installed a keyless entry system in our beachside condo. The battery included in the package lasted 3 months instead of the suggested 1 year. We found out today. We did not leave a key (to avoid people sneaking others in and making money from our property: in the past; this happened for over year). Now my manager is telling me the cleaning lady tried to get in and there is no light that comes on, he thinks the battery is dead. I have asked my neighbour to verify. We'll probably have to fly there to reprogram it (it's complicated). We bought a erentallock, supposed to be the best and very expensive because it's weather proof (beach). Our lock faces opposite the beach. I'm so annoyed; I thought we had found a solution.I have a guest going in a few weeks. Who can you trust?
Oh - I am so sorry you have to do this! We do have a key down at our place,
but not in the house. We have a young woman who watches the property for us
and she has the key for this very reason. There just is no way to know how
long batteries will last especially in humid climates. Someone nearby need
to have a key, maybe your cleaning person or maintenance man?
That's exactly the one we installed in July, only 3 months ago! The battery included in kit died yesterday. Now we have to either send a key and have someone try to reprogram it, or fly down there.The support team told us we should be using only Duracell batteries. I suggested they indicate to his new clients that they should not use battery inside package. It was supposed to last 1 year. We just bought a battery tester.
Yes,we debated whether we should leave a key and almost did. But even as a back up , people got in last time. My son's friend forgot and left the key at the front desk (it went missing for two weeks) instead of bringing it back to Canada. In the mean time, someone entered our condo and made a hole in the wall, we suspect the previous manager (out of spite). We were trying to avoid this situation repeating itself. The keyless system seemed so safe and reliable. I guess we'll have to leave a key anyway.
Wait, if you're using a keyless entry system and then also granting guests access to the permanent key doesn't that defeat the purpose? The point is not just to make getting in and out easier and not having to transfer keys back and forth, but also to prevent anyone of your many guests who are basically strangers (several in each party, several parties a year over several years) from making even one copy. The last thing I want to worry about is that even one person I don't know has a key to our property, especially if guests gave it to someone who lives in the area nearby, as many do have friends or families in the area. Safety is just as important as convenience when it comes to electronic locks.
I love them so much that not only do I have them in all my rentals (about $100 each max) but when my own deadbolt failed I replaced it with one too, except mine not only has keyed and code access, but keyfob remote access as well, just like a vehicle (something you wouldn't want to give to guests anyway) that is great when your hands are full. A backlit keypad is a huge help in my opinion too.
That is an interesting poing there swiss-house. I must say less use of batteries is appealing (though not necessarily a big deal if the lock one uses doesn't require changing batteries so often to be a nuisance). The part about lining up and having the force to lock even when not exactly aligned is important though. I have installed three different types and all require careful alignment to work properly. I had to scoop out the bolt hole at times to get it just right so the bolt and hole align with minimal effort.
My original was a Weiser PowerBolt (now owned by Kwikset) that does not have a lit keypad and only has 5 number buttons (2 digits per button) which allows for less code combinations. That one has been the most problematic though it seems stable lately.
On another rental just this year I installed a newer Kwikset model (looks a lot like the Plymouth). It still has only 5 buttons, but it does have a backlit keypad and works smoothly and seamlessly (my installation was much more precise as I'd learned from experience). Both of those Kwiksets automatically unbolt the moment the last digit of the correct code is entered. This newer Kwikset though has a better interior interface as the batteries load more securely (less chance of coming dislodged) and forces one to manually turn the knob from inside to prevent needless battery usage (the older PowerBolt allows for manually or electronic locking and unlocking from inside as well).
When my own home deadbolt failed recently, I decided to install an electronic one as well (for convenience). It is a Morning Industry brand and what I like is that it has 10 number buttons (more security/combinations), a backlit keypad and the feature that when you enter the correct code, a green light comes on along with a chime sound, but you still have to press the unlock button separately (or turn the knob manually). If the wrong code is entered a red light comes on with an error tone. This is also the only one that has a third method of entry (besides the key and code) of a remote keyfob, just like for a vehicle. It is real handy when your hands are full, and not something I have to worry about being lost or copied as it is for my personal home only. It uses radio-frequency which is better than infrared (like a TV remote control). It has the most "solid"-feeling interior knob and also has a secure screw so that guests can't easily remove the cover as with the others.
The first Kwikset sells for around $75 now, while the newer Kwikset and Morning Industry sell for around $100. I am local (I live on site) so I don't need the added expense of a remotely Web-managed or programmable lock like the Resort Lock. However, my Morning Industry does have a separate add-on device you can buy to have it controlled via the web. You connect it to your wirelss router and, as long as it is not far from the door, you can access it via the Internet to have the router tell the connected device to send the remote signal to unlock the door from inside. Kinda neat, though I probably won't need it. It's still less expensive than the ultra-fancy programmable types (often with monthly fees) though.
There are a few locks on the market that specialize in codes for property owners. They all have their ups and downs and have come a long way in recent years. Some have monthly fees to the website, and cost of the lock and hardware is also a consideration.
I sell them all, so if you want to visit my website i can explain the best product for your needs. I ship anywhere. The advantage in the locks is the fact that the times you choose the code to work, which means if your guest is due out by noon time, then the code doesnt work at 12:01, same goes for housekeepers and maintenance, contractors etc. Huge benifit to worrying about who has a key to your property. I offer 2locks that come with software and internet access so no matter where you are you can generate a codes, and can even do 1 time use codes. Software is rather inexpensive, and locks are suprisingly cheap as well. Plus you can call me anytime, and well come up with a solution that fits your needs.
Our Condo Association will not allow the changing of the door knobs because they want all door knobs to look the same. Is there a keyless device without modifying my door knob?
It depends this is something i have ran into quit a few times, Depends on the hoa,, most of them will eventually allow folks to add whatever type of lock on the door as long as the finish is the same, which is the color brass or stainless steel look. Since all code style locks has a key pad its hard to keep it all the same. If you know what kind of lock you have on your door, and what you want your lock to do, such as many codes or 1 code or maybe something as simple as using the same lock, but add a key that cant be made by a local hardware store etc.. Is your lock a lever or a door knob, and does it have a deadbolt as well??i can help you further i just need to know a little more..
When you say they will not allow "changing of the knobs" do you mean you can add whatever deadbolt or lock you want as long as the knob/handle isn't altered? Most keyless locks are deadbolts so you don't have to alter the handle at all. DIdn't with any of mine.
Here is a photo of my door. The entire door knob assembly cannot be replaced, so all units should have the same door assembly from the outside. The key is actually a dead bolt. I suggested a similar color type of keyless door knob assembly, but my condo association won't go for it. So am just wondering if there is another way. And no, I cannot add another dead bolt because it will then look different than my nighbours. How about an added device from the inside only that locks the door and can be unlock with a telephone call?
Oh, I see.... Yeah, yours are different and non-standard to what you can buy at a store. Ours are the gold-plated (polished brass) type with the curly "elephant trunk" non-locking handles you can get anywhere on the bottom, with a matching (separate) gold deadbolt above it. If they invested a lot of money to get unique, matching lock sets they may not allow it. Obviously, if the rule is that no one can have different door hardware whatsoever (including keeping the same but adding additional) there is not much you can do, although that rule seems a bit extreme and unreasonable, especially when the reason isn't taste or design preference but for avoiding re-keying with vacation rentals and/or for extra security. In that case it seems strange they are able to deny that functional basis for your request.
Yesterday I just changed the handle as well on one of my units which I had already changed the deadbolt on to a keyless entry. Some people have lockboxes too, and those are just grey boxes that sit on the door frame besides the door. These units are outdoors and not interior hallways like yours though, so there may be more of a necessity to keep everything uniform in your case. Yours seem to be almost like the interior of a hotel, which I admit would not look great if the door hardware was all different.
Go with the ResortLock. I have 2 rental properties and at first I installed the less expensive Schlage locks and they work great, their problem is that they only hold 19 codes and I have 5 that I keep programmed for my own code, cleaners, hot tub guy, work access etc. I had my cleaners deleting the user code after each clean and so I would need to go to the property and program additional codes every couple months which doesn't SOUND like a big deal until you are behind the eight ball and can't make it!
When I bought my 2nd vacation home, it came with a Kaba lock and I was happy to try the new "pre-programmed" locks that I didn't want to pay $300+ for. As soon as I found out what a complicated procedure it was to switch from the lock from the current owner to myself and then pay a yearly fee for the right to create the codes, I removed it and gave it to the rental company that was renting the house prior. I bought the Resort Lock RL4000 and have been so happy with it that I bought the RL2000 for my original house (the door is covered by a porch so I didn't need the additional weather proofing).
Renters have had no problem using the lock or creating their own 3 digit codes. The cleaners love not having to mess with it and I love not having to add more codes every couple months. I got an iButton too which is like a little magnet on a keychain that you just touch to the lock and it unlocks, works for both houses on the same iButton. This is actually far more useful than I had imagined, especially when your arms are full!
The RL4000 does need a backlight but I solved that issue with a $10 solar light from walmart that I mounted to the top of the door frame pointing down at the keypad. Every night, the solar light illuminates the keypad for about 6 hours. I did this just in case the renter arrives after dark because we all know that when the renters get there, every light in the house and the porch lights all go on and stay on until they leave!
I also use the Schlage iLink locks on my owner's closet doors and they are controlled using Zwave through my alarm panel. The alarm interface on the web and my phone gives me the ability to lock/unlock, see the status of the lock and create/delete user codes which is really nice.
Lastly, I leave a fake rock with the key to the front door in case of failure in a hidden area with other rocks just in case but do not tell anyone about it.