If you’re a renter and want to get a smart lock what do you do? Landlords don’t want you to change out the locks, they still need to get in with their own key. The answer is get a smart lock that retrofits to the deadbolt. Or you could call it an apartment smart lock.

Because these locks only replace the back of the dead bolt or just attach to the interior part of the deadbolt it requires no modifications to your door or the lock.

Using one of these apartment smart locks allows you to keep your existing key and use it in the event that the batteries are dead.

The drawback when using these types of smart locks is if your dead bolt is damaged or inferior it won’t replace that part of the deadbolt. For example if you want a more secure deadbolt than the one you currently have, these smart locks will not help with that. For that you would need to replace the whole dead bolt with one that is graded higher.

These locks make the most sense for renters. Installing these smart locks does not require the total removal of the existing deadbolt, just the part of the deadbolt that is on the inside of your house. One of them requires no modification to the existing deadbolt at all.

The benefit of these retrofit smart locks is that these are all easy to install, they can be removed with no damage to the existing deadbolt and all are capable of remote operation.


The List:

  1. August Smart Lock Pro
  2. August Smart Lock
  3. Kwikset Kevo Convert
  4. Danalock V3
  5. Friday Smart Lock
  6. Candy House Sesame Smart Lock

The Locks:

August Smart Lock Pro

Pros:

  • DoorSense is included
  • Auto lock and unlock
  • Hub is included that is needed for remote operation
  • Integrates easily with other August smart home devices like their doorbell camera

Cons:

  • Looks bulky compared to some smaller smart locks
  • If using Alexa to unlock the door it will require an additional passcode to unlock
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant won’t work without the August Connect WiFi Bridge

August Smart Lock

Pros:

  • Autolock and unlock feaure
  • Has DoorSense to monitor if door is closed
  • Integrates with most smart home devices
  • Integrates perfectly with August Doorbell Cam Pro
  • Can get the optional keypad for additional access option

Cons:

  • Need Connect Bridge to operate remotely

Kwikset Kevo Convert

Pros:

  • Integrates with other smart home devices like Ring Doorbell or Honeywell Thermostats
  • Has BlueTooth, Amazon Key or Z-Wave Plus models
  • Auto-locking option

Cons:

  • Bulkier than other retro fit deadbolt smart locks
  • Need Kevo Plus Hub for remote operation

Danalock V3

Pros:

  • Danalock app responds quickly to commands
  • IFTTT compatible
  • Has BlueTooth only, Zigbee or Z-Wave versions

Cons:

  • Only comes in the aluminum finish
  • Need an additional hub for remote operation
  • BlueTooth only version does not work with Alexa

Friday Lock

Pros:

  • Comes in 7 different finishes to match any home decor
  • Comes with built-in WiFi
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Easily integrates into an Apple HomeKit environment
  • Has Geo-fencing feature

Cons:

  • More expensive than other retrofit smart locks due to built-in WiFi
  • Have to remove battery to recharge it

Candy House Sesame Lock

Pros:

  • Easy installation and clean removal
  • Small and inconspicuous lock
  • Battery will last up to 500 days

Cons:

  • Cheap and plastic look and feel
  • Looks like a kitchen timer
  • Some features won’t work on Android devices


7 Comments

Alblue · August 7, 2019 at 8:57 pm

Oh thank you so much for listing all of these smart locks! I just rent a new apartment, but the owner didn’t want to change or add more security to the doors. It’s just I’m a bit paranoid, so I feel safer when there are additional locks like this. Personally, I like the August Smart Lock one. Will it notify me if the door isn’t closed after several seconds? And if so, can I set how many seconds it should ring (or notify me)? Thanks

    Bill Kiser · August 7, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Yes it will. August has DoorSense and it comes in 2 pieces, 1 for the door and 1 for the door frame. Once installed they can sense if they line up or not and will let you know through the app. 

Sharon · August 6, 2019 at 9:33 pm

it didn’t cross my mind to have one of these fixed and how easily it can be installed. Having it will certainly give me peace of mind. I like the Friday Lock because I can easily manage it with my iPad. But having to remove the battery for recharging is not that ideal. I will look at the other options. Thanks for your recommendation. 

Peter · August 6, 2019 at 9:19 pm

I have seen some of these locks at friend’s places and have been curious. If I have one on my apartment, can the landlord still get in? I am a bit confused how they work.

If I went away and the battery went flat on the smart lock, my key will still let me in, right? Do you get a warning when the battery is going flat? 

Finally, which one do you recommend?

Regards

Pete

    Bill Kiser · August 6, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Peter, thanks for the questions. 

    The landlord can still get in. These locks only replace the interior part of a traditional deadbolt so the key will still work on the exterior deadbolt. And on the interior you just turn them to lock and unlock like you would with a regular deadbolt or use the smartphone app. 

    The key will still work regardless if the batteries run out or are still working. And you do get a warning on our phone when the batteries need changing.  

    I would recommend the August Smart Lock Pro. It’s just the best one, most reliable, better integrations with smart home devices, good customer service and really low fail rate. 

Daisy · August 6, 2019 at 9:16 pm

Hi

What a great site, I have been able to find out everything I needed to know and more!

Your reviews were very helpful and we have relied on them for our decision on which locks to go for.

Security Tips is also another feature that I really enjoyed reading.

I really love the doorbell camera.

Thanks for having great information.

Kind Wishes

Daisy

Pentrental · August 6, 2019 at 9:16 pm

Smart locks and automatic locks can be useful for sure. I don’t come across smart locks such as this one very often, so I appreciate you asking the right questions here. This is an impressive array of smart locks. For me I like the Danalock V3. Thank you for such great information, well done!

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