Until recently, the convenience and security of “smart” electronic locks have been exclusively enjoyed by owners of homes, with renters largely being left out in the cold. Locked out by the temporary nature of their living arrangement, and not allowed to make structural changes to their temporary abodes, these renters have been unable to enjoy the many benefits of these connected devices.

But today, smart lock capabilities are becoming available to renters and rental property owners, thanks in large part to new smart lock conversion products that let renters add smart capabilities without having to remove or alter their original lock hardware.Altering the functionality and aesthetics of your home exterior and interior is entirely your call as a homeowner, but it's more difficult for renters

Rising influence of smart locks 

According to a Nov. 2017 Research and Markets report, “The smart lock market is expected to reach USD 2.67 Billion by 2023 from USD 1.28 Billion in 2017, at a CAGR of 13.11% between 2017 and 2023. Rising adoption of smartphones and other connected devices acts as a driver for the growth of the smart lock market. Moreover, growing security and safety concerns and enhanced features compared with traditional lock systems also drive the growth of this market.”

Until recently, the growth in this market has been created by homeowner purchases, and for obvious reasons. When you’re a homeowner you can update your home however you want. Want to swap out your locks, lighting, thermostats, or add an entire home automation suite of devices?  Go for it. Altering the functionality and aesthetics of your home exterior and interior is entirely your call.

But when you’re renting a property that someone else owns, an entirely different set of rules applies. When apartment dwellers make any physical alterations to their unit, they may be in danger of violating their lease agreement, upsetting their landlord, and ultimately losing their security deposit.

Utilising smart lock conversion kits

There are flexible and affordable DIY products that let you add smart technology to your rented home while still playing within the rental rules Fortunately, today there are flexible and affordable DIY products that let you add smart technology to your rented home while still playing within the rental rules. Smart lock conversion kits can replace the interior half of an existing lock without changing the exterior.

In so doing, they quickly transform these mechanical locks into smart locks. And, just as with all smart locks, they can do it without requiring any screwing into walls or wiring.

Other products can maintain the style of the existing front door hardware and allow the renter to preserve the exterior and match to an existing handle set. This is certain to please landlords and renters who want to maintain a consistent look.

According to a “Smart Lock Audience Segmentation Study” produced by Kwikset, “The ability to work with an existing deadbolt ranks with renters as the number one attribute desired for the smart lock” (tied with auto-locking at 61%).

These conversion kits address this desire while providing apartment dwellers and other renters with all the benefits of smart locks previously enjoyed solely by homeowners.

there are flexible and affordable DIY products that let you add smart technology to your rented home while still playing within the rental rules.
Renters can control their electronic locks by using a web-enabled device, meaning they can use their smartphone to lock and unlock their home

Remote access for lock administrators

Renters can now access the greater access control of smart locks. With a partner home automation hub, renters can control their electronic locks by using a web-enabled device, meaning they can use their smartphone to lock and unlock their home from any location, inside the home or from miles away.

According to that same study, locking and unlocking the smart lock while away from home was important to 43% of renter respondents. The smart lock can become the most convenient place for users to control their entire home automation system

In combination with any one of dozens of home automation hubs, converted smart locks can also become a connected part of a complete home automation system, including lighting, heating, A/V, and more. They can even bring control of an apartment’s home automation system directly to the front door.

And when a home control or security device is located at the front door, it can very easily become part of a renter’s routine. The smart lock can become the most convenient place for users to control their entire home automation system.

Modernising physical key security 

Another huge plus that renters can enjoy with smart locks is that they can put away their apartment key. Not only can they now use their smart phone to enter their home, but they can also remotely unlock the door for any vendor or anyone else that they want to allow access to their home.

Information is power, and apartment dwellers can become much more powerful with smart locks. Renters can now have access to an information audit trail of whether a door has been locked and unlocked, and when this took place.Information is power, and apartment dwellers can become much more powerful with smart locks

They can receive notification via text message of when their teen arrived home safely, or when the plumbers came and when they left.With these new smart lock conversion kits, bringing smart lock technology along to a new dwelling.

Of course, renters don’t necessarily stay in their apartment forever. But that doesn’t mean they have to give up the benefits of their smart security system. Who said you can’t take it with you?

With these new smart lock conversion kits, bringing smart lock technology along to a new dwelling may be the easiest, most stress-free thing about the move.

Smart lock benefits for landlords

The benefits of smart locks and smart lock conversion kits are not limited to renters. People who own rental properties can also reap the benefits of the newest connected lock products.

First, rental property owners can discover the joy of maintaining complete access control without managing dozens of keys. Fear of losing keys and having to constantly swap out hardware can become a thing of the past.

Fear of losing keys and having to constantly swap out hardware can become a thing of the past
Not only can renters now use their smart phone to enter their home, but they can also remotely unlock the door for anyone else that they want to allow access to their home

With remote locking and unlocking controlled through a smartphone, tablet or internet-connected device, property owners no longer have to take the time to come to the property to physically hand off a key. Nor do they have to put a key in a storage locker, hide a key in a shrub (or use one of those fake key-hiding rocks). Frequent resident turnover?Rental property owners can still enter their property by using their own smart phone, or via the old fashioned way with a master key even with smart locks

Owners don’t have to constantly be making new keys. Need to facilitate a repair?  Neither the owner nor the resident need to be at home to let the repair person inside.

Tradition meets modernisation with smart locks

Of course, having complete access control does not mean foregoing access to their property. Rental property owners can still enter their property by using their own smart phone, or via the old fashioned way with a master key.

Perhaps even more important than the convenience is the peace of mind enjoyed by rental property owners, which comes from always knowing who is coming and going to and from their property, and when.

Airbnb co-founder, Nathan Blecharczyk, agrees. He told Lifehacker.com, “Whether it’s my Airbnb guest, house cleaner, or someone else, electronic locks make it easy to manage access to my house while I’m away at the office or traveling.

The information provided by the smart lock to their phones and tablets lets them monitor lock usage and lock status. No matter how far from their property they may be, owners will have an information trail of all the activity that revolves around their door lock.

Protecting holiday homes

These home automation devices can even allow rental property owners to charge a bit more for rent The vacation rental market can be highly competitive, especially in the most desirable vacation destinations. Smart locks, and other connected devices, can also give rental property owners a competitive advantage over other properties in the area.

Offering potential guests the security and convenience of smart locks, smart thermostats, doorbell cameras, and connected lighting can be the difference maker in closing that rental deal. These home automation devices can even allow rental property owners to charge a bit more for rent.

Whether you’re managing a vacation rental from afar, or actually using or living in a rental, the benefits of smart locks have never been easier to access. And with new smart lock conversion kits, this technology has never been easier and faster to install.

What this means to smart lock dealers and integrators is that there’s a whole new market for home automation and connected security products, and a market of renters and rental property owners ready to make their rental units and their lives significantly “smarter.”

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Nick English National Sales Manager, Residential Access Solutions, Kwikset

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