Keyless Deadbolts are becoming more and more common. They are very convenient and eliminate the need for a whole drawer of keys. One of the most common ones is the Kwikset Powerbolt 2. It is affordable, reliable, and easy to use. You can see it is highly rated and an “Amazon Choice” at this time. In this article, we will talk about some of the pros and cons of keyless deadbolts and 1 tip specifically for the Powerbolt 2 but something you should check on any keyless deadbolt. If you don’t care about keyless deadbolt info and just want the tip, click here.
The Good – Keyless Deadbolts
- Convenience – It is nice not to worry about having the right keys. Digging through drawers or fumbling through a whole keyring to find the right key is inconvenient, especially if you manage multiple units.
- No Lock-outs – If you don’t need a key, you don’t have to worry about getting locked out. This is convenient for a homeowner, tenant, and a property manager. Nobody liked dealing with a lockout, so preventing them in the first place is great!
- Quick lock changes – You can change access codes quickly and easily.
- Granting Access – You can set temporary access codes instead of using a lockbox. Also, tenants and owners won’t have to hide emergency keys.
The Bad – Keyless Deadbolts
- Forgetting the Code – You can’t get locked out by not having a key, but what if you forget the code? You can always use a key, but oftentimes people don’t bring their keys since they have a keyless system.
- Hackers – Electronics are more subject to security issues than traditional mechanical locks. Whether they connect to technology apps and can be hacked or if someone just guesses the right passcode – keyless deadbolt security is something to consider. (Remember to see the #1 Thing you should do below.)
- Initial Cost – Keyless deadbolts like the Powerbolt 2 typically cost more than a traditional deadbolt and may cost more to install the first time. Rekeying may save you some money, since it’s so easy, which can help recoup some of this over time for landlords.
- No Power – Keyless deadbolts are battery powered, so if the batteries die, you lose the keyless feature and are back to needing a key. Most of these systems have a low battery indicator and if they connect to an app on your phone, it may notify you. However, if you are a landlord, you may not stay on top of all of these notifications.
Solving the problem of multiple keys when you are managing multiple units is still very attractive, even if you dont like the idea of keyless deadbolts. There are several systems that allow the use of a master key. We personally like the Landlord Lock system that we learned about in Landlording on Autopilot. You can find out more about this system and other tools for landlords on our Landlord Resources page.
#1 Thing You Should Do for the Powerbolt 2 (And Verify Similar Steps with Your Other Keyless Deadbolts)
In our local REIA meeting, an investor mentioned the Powerbolt 2 keyless deadbolt that he likes to use on his rental units. I decided to research this some, and I came across a YouTube video that identified a problem I hadn’t heard about. The Powerbolt 2 comes with a default master code (0000) and a default access code (1234). Apparently some users set their own access code, but don’t delete the defaults. A commenter on this video commented that he went to his neighbors house and tried 1234 and it let him right in!
Kwikset does mention in the instructions to delete these codes. Apparently, some users overlook this step or don’t see it. Obviously this is a huge security concern if you don’t delete these. Here are the instructions if you want to review them or if you need to delete these codes in a lock that you already installed.
I haven’t reviewed all of the keyless deadbolt instructions to know if this is common. You can always test it on your lock or review your instructions if you are using a keyless deadbolt other than the powerbolt 2.