Everything You Need to Know About Apartment Key Fobs

Everything You Need to Know About Apartment Key Fobs

Perhaps you simply moved into a brand new high rise in Philadelphia, PA or a studio apartment in Columbus, OH, and also you simply acquired your new keys. If you go to unlock your condominium, it’s possible you’ll discover that there isn’t a gap for a key however as an alternative, there’s a small field subsequent to your door. Don’t fear, you haven’t been scammed. Almost certainly, your constructing is simply arrange to make use of key fobs as an alternative of keys.

Key fobs are glossy, normally black or grey, and somewhat smaller than your common key. In reality, you’ve in all probability seen a key fob earlier than, since increasingly vehicles use them as an alternative of keys to start out their engine. Yow will discover your condominium key fob on the keyring your landlord gave you while you moved in. Relying on how your constructing is about up, you should utilize your key fob to entry your constructing, condominium, and different amenities in your condominium constructing, just like the elevator and fitness center.

For those who’ve by no means had an condominium key fob earlier than, you might have a bunch of questions. How do condominium key fobs work? How do you copy an condominium key fob? How do you get an condominium key fob changed? Can condominium key fobs be tracked? Learn on for solutions to those questions and extra.

What are condominium key fobs?

Residence key fobs are a handy entry possibility for flats. Often, they’re small, round objects somewhat smaller than a key. You possibly can simply put them in your key ring they usually unlock doorways just by tapping them towards a sensor close to the door you need to open.

Each condominium constructing makes use of condominium key fobs otherwise. For instance, one constructing could have key fobs that open solely the entrance door, whereas different buildings may have you employ your key fob to enter the constructing, stairwell, elevator, and even your condominium. For those who’re condominium procuring, it’s possible you’ll need to verify in with every condominium constructing to see how and the place they use key fobs.

How do condominium key fobs work?

Key fobs use RFID, or radio frequency identification. What does that imply? Principally, your key fob is programmed to transmit a sure frequency when tapped towards a sensor. The sensor will choose up on that frequency and run it by way of a central pc system, which is able to inform the sensor whether or not it’s a match or not. If it’s a match, the door will unlock for you.

Most condominium key fobs will cease working if the facility goes out, since they require a central pc system to acknowledge the fob and unlock the door. So, ensure that your condominium constructing has a back-up plan or generator in the event that they use key fobs, simply in case an influence outage hits.

Are you able to copy a key fob?

Perhaps you might have a pet sitter coming over, otherwise you simply acquired a roommate. Are you allowed to repeat your key fob? The brief reply is, in all probability.

For those who want an additional key fob or an condominium key fob alternative, there are just a few methods to go about getting one. First, most property managers provide the choice to purchase extra key fobs from them. It is a nice option to go as a result of you understand it’s allowed by your constructing, and you understand the important thing fob can be programmed accurately. However, the comfort of this selection normally comes at a value.

You might be able to copy your condominium key fob at a decrease price by going to a locksmith or key copying kiosk. Nonetheless, there are some conditions in which you’ll be able to’t copy your key. As an illustration, some lease agreements forbid copying key fobs. Different keys and key fobs have “Do Not Duplicate” written on them, so you possibly can’t copy them. Different condominium key fobs are copy-protected, which signifies that they’ve particular software program put in which prevents machines from with the ability to learn and replicate them.

As with all new condominium, ensure that to read through your lease agreement earlier than you progress in, so you understand what choices can be found to you.

An apartment building using a key fob system for rental units

What to do should you lose your key fob

There are some conditions the place it’s possible you’ll lose your key fob, or your key fob stops working, and also you get locked out of your apartment. What are you able to do if that occurs?

As defined above, you possibly can in all probability copy your key fob like every other key, or you possibly can ask your landlord for an condominium key fob alternative. “If any key fob is stolen, misplaced, or broken, it could actually shortly be deactivated and changed with a reprogrammed fob. You’ll by no means have to alter locks once more,” provides Tom Krones from Host Tools.

In case your key fob stops working, you possibly can ask your landlord to have it reprogrammed or ask for a brand new fob. Hopefully, your property supervisor received’t cost you for a brand new key fob in case your outdated one simply stopped working.

In case you need to know the way a lot both of those choices will price you or what it is best to do should you get locked out for any motive, return by way of your lease settlement, it ought to be listed out for you.

Within the meantime, earlier than your key fob is again to working once more, your landlord can in all probability make it easier to out. Most property managers and upkeep staff have a grasp key ring, together with a key fob, which they will use to unlock your door for you.

Once more, try your lease to see what choices you might have should you get locked out of your condominium or if in case you have hassle along with your key fob.

Are key fobs secure?

In some methods, key fobs are literally safer than bodily keys as a result of the locks can’t be picked and should you lose it you possibly can have it deactivated. Plus, they are often linked to cameras and different security systems to observe entrances and exits. In different phrases, you possibly can try when your condominium is being entered or exited. Ori Residential’s Assistant Property Supervisor, Jesse Tavenner, explains, “Not solely are you able to see each one that comes out and in of the condominium, however you may as well management the entry they permit to sure locations within the constructing. For instance, if you wish to use the elevator it’s a must to first scan your fob earlier than it should transfer to a ground, and it’ll solely allow you to go to the ground that your unit is on (apart from frequent areas, after all). This prevents strangers from with the ability to achieve shut entry to folks’s items in the event that they someway have been in a position to get into the constructing.” Key fobs primarily add an additional stage of safety.

Residences with key fobs include some benefits

Since condominium key fobs might be programmed and deactivated remotely, they arrive with a ton of advantages:

  • Fast to program
  • Fast to deactivate should you lose them
  • Could be linked to alarms, cameras, and different security measures
  • Could be linked to your cellphone for alerts
  • Can create customized codes for sure ranges of entry
  • Your key fob will get a code that’s distinctive to you

Key fobs include some drawbacks

However, key fobs aren’t good:

  • They’ll cease working if there’s no electrical energy
  • You’ll need assistance from administration if in case you have technical points
  • Your key fob might have batteries

A key fob system installed into a residents front door

Pointers to condominium keys for all renters

As with all condominium key, there are just a few tips it is best to observe in taking good care of your condominium key fob. Following these common guidelines will make it easier to waste much less cash on keys and get your safety deposit again while you finally transfer out of your condominium.

Duplicate should you can

To keep away from paying any more money to your landlord for alternative keys or lockouts, duplicate keys your self, should you can. Copying keys your self is normally cheaper than shopping for extras out of your property supervisor. And you should utilize that further key as a back-up should you ever get locked out or should you determine to live with a roommate.

Return all of your keys

If you transfer out, ensure you give your whole spare keys again to your property supervisor. Having free keys is a safety downside to your landlord, and also you’ll in all probability must pay a high quality for not returning your whole keys while you transfer out.

Don’t hand out extras

An enormous a part of with the ability to return all of your keys while you transfer out is with the ability to spherical up all of them. For that motive, ensure that to not hand out too many further keys to family and friends. Contemplate giving a spare key or two to 1 or two trusted folks and that’s it.

Flip in your keys on time

Lastly, hand your keys in on time. Most landlords will cost a late charge if they’ve to attend weeks or months so that you can get your keys in.

A modern apartment with a keyless access control system for entries and exits

Different sorts of condominium keys

The next are different sorts of condominium keys it’s possible you’ll discover by way of your condominium search. Every can be utilized in numerous methods, relying on how the property supervisor desires to safe the constructing finest. As an illustration, an condominium constructing could use a conventional key for constructing and unit entry, whereas they use a key fob for entry to facilities just like the fitness center. Or, they might use a key fob for every thing.

Keyless entry

For those who’re vulnerable to locking your self out of your condominium, keyless entry could also be the best choice for you. With keyless entry, you possibly can let your self in utilizing your cellphone, passcode, or different “key.” You even have the flexibility to grant non permanent entry codes to folks like pals or child sitters while you’re away. Increasingly more condominium buildings are providing keyless entry since it’s handy and a stylish good dwelling addition. Vincent Breslin, the founding father of Uplisting, believes keyless entry is the best way of the long run, “Particularly for property homeowners that lease out their items. Not solely is it a safer possibility, however it additionally simplifies the turnover course of! Whereas the preliminary price could also be better than that of conventional key fobs, the time you save by not having to be bodily current throughout turnover greater than makes up for it.”

The one draw back to keyless entry is that it isn’t so nice if there’s an influence outage or energy failure.

Key card

Key playing cards normally use a magnetic stripe or RFID, relying on what sort of key card you get. Most condominium buildings don’t use key playing cards anymore, however they might be used to unlock the constructing, entry the elevator, fitness center, or different facilities.

Key playing cards are cheap, small, and might simply be created or replicated, which makes them fairly handy. They’re wallet-sized, which is one other plus. As with conventional keys and key fobs, you’ll must ask for assist should you lose your key card, and energy outages is usually a downside in case your constructing isn’t ready.

Conventional key (steel key)

Metallic keys are the one bodily keys that received’t allow you to down should you lose electrical energy. Plus, they’re normally the best and least costly to repeat. The foremost draw back with conventional keys is that you could’t deactivate them should you lose them, which might change into a safety downside. And, should you get locked out, you’ll want to search out assist.

Often requested questions on key fobs

Can condominium key fobs be tracked?

Your property supervisor can see while you unlock doorways utilizing your key fob knowledge, however they will’t monitor your key fob’s location.

What may cause a key fob to cease working?

Key fobs will cease working in a handful of various circumstances. If they’re broken, deactivated, misplaced, or stolen, you received’t be capable to use them anymore. Identical factor goes in case your condominium constructing’s pc system is having an off day or if the electrical energy goes out, they received’t work, until your constructing has a backup generator.

How lengthy does a key fob battery final?

Whereas not all key fobs require batteries, some do. They final for a very long time although, most frequently someplace from 4-7 years.

How a lot does a key fob battery price?

When you have a key fob that requires a battery, you possibly can anticipate them to price normally lower than $10.

How do you program your key fob?

Your key fob might be programmed by your property supervisor or a key copying service. In case your key fob has technical difficulties, you’ll in all probability have to carry it to your landlord to be reprogrammed.

Are all condominium key fobs the identical?

Every condominium key fob is programmed so that each tenant will get a novel code. In different phrases, no condominium key fob is precisely the identical, regardless that they give the impression of being precisely the identical and typically open the identical doorways.

Do condominium key fobs have a GPS?

No, condominium key fobs don’t have GPS. However, your condominium constructing can monitor while you enter and exit your constructing by monitoring your key fob utilization knowledge.

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