key organisation.
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
key organisation. (by 6x6 [TN]) Nov 22, 2020 10:24 AM
       key organisation. (by Steve [MA]) Nov 22, 2020 10:42 AM
       key organisation. (by Deanna [TX]) Nov 22, 2020 11:10 AM
       key organisation. (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Nov 22, 2020 11:47 AM
       key organisation. (by Ken [NY]) Nov 22, 2020 11:57 AM
       key organisation. (by Nicole [PA]) Nov 22, 2020 12:05 PM
       key organisation. (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Nov 22, 2020 12:19 PM
       key organisation. (by Dee Ann [WI]) Nov 22, 2020 1:13 PM
       key organisation. (by Ken [NY]) Nov 22, 2020 1:18 PM
       key organisation. (by Nellie [ME]) Nov 22, 2020 8:05 PM
       key organisation. (by MikeA [TX]) Nov 22, 2020 8:06 PM
       key organisation. (by Barb [MO]) Nov 22, 2020 9:28 PM
       key organisation. (by Greg [MO]) Nov 22, 2020 11:00 PM
       key organisation. (by Hoosier [IN]) Nov 23, 2020 1:56 AM
       key organisation. (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Nov 23, 2020 3:12 PM

Click here to reply to this discussion.
Click Here to send this discussion to a friend

key organisation. (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 10:24 AM

For those of you with many doors, How do you keep track of your keys?

How do you organize them?

How do you remember to take the key with you when you go to the property?

Do you keep a set in your vehicle?

If you were to loose them somehow, are they tagged or marked in a way that would not be easy for a thief to know what or where the went to so as to avoid liability?

Thank you for your time and wisdom.

key organisation. (by Steve [MA]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 10:42 AM

Most of our places including SFDs have a passage set & a single cylinder dead bolt on the entry doors. All of our locks including padlocks, common areas & individual units are on a master key system. Any keys currently in use are stored in a locked key cabinet & labeled in a code that pretty much only we understand. Extra locks including those previously used are kept in a locked storage area. Any lock that is removed is put into a zip lock bag along with a note saying when & where it was used. I currently have enough locks so unless I have a huge increase in moveouts, I won't have to start using any of the previously used locks.

For my construction business we put one of our own locks on a door so we don't have to rekey their locks when we finish. Of course if we're only going to be there when the homeowner is there, we don't bother to do it.

key organisation. (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 11:10 AM

When I had under-10, I used the Kwikset locks. I'd keep them in baggies, stored in those 14x10x3 plastic document boxes. I'd go to the store and buy 2 or 3 sets of matching doorknobs and deadbolts, and would keep them together. The keys would have plastic keycaps, color-coded. If a lockset had been rotated out, I'd leave a scrap of paper inside with the last addresses, so I didn't use the same set of locks more than once at the same house, but also didn't use the same set of locks straight off a fresh vacancy. The keys that were not in use would be stored inside the baggies/boxes with their sets; the keys that were in use would be stored on a carabiner, with a paper tag marking the address.

The shortcomings for that were that pieces seemed to go missing. I'd be very careful to put all the pieces into a baggie so that nothing went missing--- but invariably, a screw in a new set would be missing or otherwise not-right, and so a screw would get cannibalized out of the outgoing set, and the problems would cascade.

Likewise, I'd run into problems with keeping track of the keys. I might have 5 spare copies of a key--- but it might not be put back on its carabiner. Or the paper tag might fall off, and I might forget which red key currently goes to what house. Or whatever. I'd tried subdividing the carabiners by LLC's--- all the houses in this LLC box go on this carabiner, all the houses that are under renovation go on that carabiner, and so on-- but it was still clunky. If I had three or four projects going on at one time, I also ran into problems with getting my own personal keychain all cluttered, because I'd permanently carry keys of active vacancies and renovations and problems, so that I wouldn't be caught out and about needing to get in a door and not being able to because I didn't have the right key on me.

By the time I got to around #12, it was so clunky, I started getting into LL locks. It was a lot easier. Now, I didn't have to worry about the hardware vanishing during transition. I didn't have to worry about carrying keys-- just one master key, one control key. All my duplicates are baggied up and organized for when I need them. I keep track of what lock is (and has been) on what door with a Word document. I switch out locks myself in a few minutes, rather than having to rely on DH or a handyguy to do it. Sometimes the locks still need adjusting (house shifting, seasons) and sometimes I run into errors (a core that breaks open and spills the little pins out, or it just plain freezes up).

But it's way better.

Earlier this week, we needed to get the local PD into a vacant house that's way on the back burner. It was one of the last ones to be put on the Kwikset locks before I gave up on them. DH is like, "I need the key. Now." And I'm like, "It's in the drawer. It should be on the carabiner. It's yellow." We eventually found it-- sealed off in the baggie full of key caps-- but not before having to sift through everything else you might have in a junk drawer, plus dozens of old keys to who-knows-what.

If it had been migrated to the current system, DH could have been out the door instantly with his copy of the master key, and able to open it up.

key organisation. (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 11:47 AM

I do landlord locks. I have a tool box that is set aside for keys and extra locks and doorway type tools, like the jig for cutting new holes in doors.

Locks and cylinders are marked with an engraving pen.

I had a very bossy Papillon named Ceilidh, so the master key is on a key ring with a metal Papillon and we call it "the Ceilidh Key", because it is the boss key that controls them all.

My son, who does a lot of my handyman work, keeps a master key in his truck that he uses to carry tools in. The Ceilidh Key is kept in the basket with my car keys, so I can pick it up as I pick up my car keys to leave the house. --76.178.xx.xx

key organisation. (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 11:57 AM

I have a master system which i use for my rentals,my flips i just use locks from home depot since they are half the price of the master system,i put a lockbox on the front door and i keep a key in my truck and the guys on the job regularly have a key or just use the lockbox,when i sell it i tell the buyer they should change all locks.The keys in my truck for rehabs i just write the house number on the tag with no street name on it

key organisation. (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 12:05 PM

master key system through a local locksmith.

key organisation. (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 12:19 PM

Ohhh. I never thought of using a 'lock box' at the rental. New tenants are always losing keys, asking me to let them in, etc. I don't give them the key, I do it myself because I don't trust them to return it. (past experiences) A lock box with the correct key, right at the property would be so handy! I could just go there and get the key. Tenant would never have the combo for the box. Nice idea.

Problem with the last Tenants is they CHANGED some of the locking knobs inside the house (bedrooms, bath) didn't leave me a key and I had to break in through a window, unlock the door from the inside and then remove the knob.

AND in changing the bathroom knob, I was inside, removed the knob, the latch was still in place, the WIND blew the door shut, ALL my tools were OUTSIDE the door and I was trapped in the bathroom with nothing to trigger the latch! Nobody to call, window was too tiny and too high to crawl out. I felt really stupid. No cell phone to call anyone (other tenant right next door but they couldn't hear me yelling). It was sort of like the 'Escape Room' challenges. So I finally looked at everything in the bathroom, managed to find ONE lone bobby pin in back of the dirty toilet, YUK, and managed to push the latch and escape. Embarrassing!!

key organisation. (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 1:13 PM

We've always color coded keys. Use colored nail polish "dot" on any keys for that property. Keep them on a same color key ring. Label keys w/B for backdoor, F for front door, etc. so if we were to lose any no one knows what the key is to. Hubby keeps a backdoor key to each property on his ring. Tenants let him in when he needs to do something in a unit. I keep full sets of keys at home in a mini milk crate. Spare lock sets, rekeyed and keys in waiting for move new move ins.

The lockbox idea will be helpful if we have a few move out/ins at the same time and can't change the locks right away. Would have a few so can change the combination between workmen and tenants move in if necessary. --75.11.xx.xx

key organisation. (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 1:18 PM

Sorta Blonde,when a tenant loses a key i just call the locksmith and give them the key number and tell them my tenant will be in to get it and charge the tenant for it.Then i call the tenant tell them who the locksmith is and they go pick it up,i dont have the time to run around because a tenant cant keep track of his keys.If you leave a key in a lockbox you can give him the combo and change the combo later if you want to

key organisation. (by Nellie [ME]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 8:05 PM

Every unit has all locks keyed the same. So 1 key is needed. And that lock I can unlock with my master key. We take the locks to the locksmith at every turnover for rekeying. If we had more units I would have a few extra sets and rekey them in one trip to the locksmith and have them ready got the turnovers.

key organisation. (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 8:06 PM

I still use the Kwikset smart key. I have a ring of keys in my truck that have engraved sequential numbers, no way to tell what key goes where. On my phone I have a notes file with the address and the key number. At home I keep a multi-compartmented box that I keep spare keys by sequence number. At lease signing, I reuse one of the sequence numbers that hasn't been used on that house before (I have more keys than houses on my ring). I also have a "0" key that I change to when a place is vacant. My key contractors each have one of these so I don't have to worry about getting them a key at turnovers, lock gets changed to a sequence key at lease signing so no one can get in after the tenants have possession.

key organisation. (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 9:28 PM

Landlord Locks.

We’ve been using their Kwikset version for years, and are moving over to the iCore system. It is SOOOO much easier when I need to swap cores.

We have 13 homes on the iCore, so one master there (old ones are a different master). We also have three cores in a different color that are for contractor access. I can drop the contractor core into a lock in moments, and my cleaners can do their magic!

key organisation. (by Greg [MO]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 11:00 PM

We use Kwikset smart key Landlord locks. Deadbolts with 2- cylinders, 1-hidden cylinder only revealed by rotating face of deadbolt.

All units have deadbolt and passage so tenant must have key to lockup. Saves tons of calls. Everything master keyed.

We have 25 different key numbers or codes. All keys stamped their number. Ex. 7 All locks in a unit take same key.

Every unit rekeyed between tenants. Very good experience with this system.

Also have some of old style Kwikset Landlord locks in service but both styles use one of our 25 key numbers.

Have a master list in office of which units are keyed to what number and handyman texts office each key change.

key organisation. (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Nov 23, 2020 1:56 AM

Master key through landlord

key organisation. (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Nov 23, 2020 3:12 PM

Whew! You guys are wearing me out just READING about all the key fiddling.

Me? I USED TO do all those things. Carried 200 keys on rungs in a briefcase everyday. Engraving, testing key copies, nail polish...

I realized I was spending 30-60 minutes A DAY messing with keys and locks.

NEVER leave a master key in a vehicle for a thief to steal. When a crime happens the police will ask who had access to your master key.

My locksmith charges $40 to come to a house.

Now: simply iCore from

I carry a MASTER key and a CONTROL key (used to swap the cylinders). Takes 3 seconds while we are there.

We swap out the cylinders in front of the new res (Momma LOVES to see fresh locks!) and write the new cylinder numbers on the move in inspection. DONE!

As cylinders come back we just match up any keys that were returned. Cylinder and keys are number stamped by Landlordlocks.

When we need more keys we send an email to landlordlocks with the numbers and fresh, computer cut keys that ALWAYS work with the cylinder number stamped on the key arrive in a day or two.

We rotate the cylinders to other homes.

Yuck: Kwikset Smartkey give the res control over your locks and allows them to lock YOU out.


Click Here to send this discussion to a friend
Report discussion to Webmaster

Subject: RE: key organisation.
Your Name:
Your State:

key organisation.
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: