Restricted Key Systems and High Security Locks: The Best Form of Defence for Residential Letting Agents
By Bill Eldred
Dec 01, 2016
Last month we looked at security solutions for commercial property management companies. Of course, a quality security programme is vital for any type of premises including those let to residential tenants.
If you are in the business of acting as managing agent for residentially let properties including multi-tenanted blocks and HMOs, two of the most vital elements of your security armoury should be high security locks and registered keys. As far as locks are concerned, we will look at these in a future post so that we can focus our attention fully in this blog on registered keys.
One of the biggest areas of concern for agents letting to tenants in blocks and HMOs is the unauthorised duplication of keys. Attention absolutely must be paid to preventing such a high security risk. The solution is a registered key system using restricted security keys. Registered key systems can be designed for all types of locks, from mortice locks through to cylinder operated locks, padlocks and cabinet locks.
How a Registered Key System Works
Registered key systems are patented for up to 20 years, after which time the restriction expires allowing legal copying of the system. Opting for as long a patent duration as possible is wise so that you have a more extensive period of control over the security of your property.
With a restricted key system, duplicates cannot be made without an order signed by one of the stipulated signatories. This makes it easier for managing agents to control how many keys are in existence. So for example if you issue three keys when you check-in a tenant, you know they have to give you three back at check-out and that these are absolutely the only three keys that are in existence because there is no way they could have had duplicates made. It also saves the time and expense involved in changing locks between tenancies.
Restricted key systems can be suited (technically known as ‘keyed alike’) so that they can be used to conveniently open groups of doors, for example communal entry points such as gardens, residents’ gyms, rubbish stores and laundries. You may also set special access permissions and confine access for certain visitors such as maintenance and cleaning or deliveries for example who you may wish to allocate master keys for certain areas. It is also possible to create master keys for owners, managing agents or security personnel so that they are allowed access all areas using one single overriding key.
Tailored Advice is Essential
It is important to discuss your precise needs with a specialist locksmith. Once they are aware of the layout of your premises and the required access permissions, they can bespoke-design a system for you. Additional locks can usually be added in the future, providing an allowance is made for such within the initial design.
At Barry Bros Security we operate a secure database for our registered key customers, offering complete peace of mind that no registered key will ever be duplicated without the correct permissions. We are also a Master Locksmiths Association accredited company which means you have even further reassurance as a managing agent that the advice you receive concerning your locks and keys will be technically sound, of the highest quality and fully tailored to your specific requirements. Our registered key system service starts with a personal visit to your premises to plan out your keying programme according to all the doors and locks you have, and what access is required.
For the assistance you need on securing your residentially let properties, get in touch with Barry Bros Security today.