Last Updated: February 2023
Door handles are unsurprisingly one of the most used building fixtures in a rental property. Since door handles are something that people physically interact with, it is important to choose the right one that best fits your rental property’s needs. For a multi-unit rental apartment, maybe a durable low priced option might be a good choice since you will have to buy many for the many doors. For almost any type of commercial property, a commercial grade handle with changeable lock cylinder is likely the best option since it will get very frequent use. Below we explore the top 5 door handles for rental properties based on 5 different factors that landlords and property managers should consider when determining which door handle is best for their rental property.
Table of contents
- Best Rental Property Door Handles
- Rental Property Door Handle FAQ
- Explore More Rental Property Building Products
Best Rental Property Door Handles
Amazon Basics – Shelby Entry Door Lever with Lock
Why We Like This Overall Door Handle
This door handle checks all the boxes for a rental property. Reasonably priced (under $25), stylish design with different color options, and over 3,000 (generally positive) user reviews. If you are a Prime member, you could even get it shipped to the jobsite almost same-day.
Copper Creek – BK2030SS Ball Door Knob with Privacy Function
Why We Like This Economy Door Handle
For less than $15 for a keyed-entry knob (other non-keyed options are cheaper), this door handle is a great option for landlords on a tight budget. It is available in many different functions and finish colors.
Kwikset SmartCode 917 Keypad Keyless Entry Traditional Residential Electronic Lever Deadbolt with Tustin Door Handle and SmartKey Security
Why We Like This Keyless Door Handle
Many landlords (including our team) are choosing to go keyless. This door handle has a built-in keypad and is a great keyless option that is manufactured by one of the most trusted brands in door handles (Kwikset).
Sifely – Keyless Entry Door Lock with Passcode Keypad and Biometric Fingerprint
Why We Like This Smart Door Handle
For under $150 with over 5,000 reviews, this smart door lock is packed with great features for those looking to add a reasonably priced smart lock to their rental property. It is smartphone compatible and has 5 ways to unlock – fingerprint, code, fob, smartphone, and key.
Master Lock – Keyed Entry Commercial Lever SLCHKE26D
Why We Like This Commercial Door Handle
Commercial door locks are built to withstand high amounts of usage (i.e. turns). This door handle is built by the most reputable brand in the lock space (Masterlock), has a changeable cylinder for re-keys, and meets many safety standards required in commercial applications.
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Rental Property Door Handle FAQ
Are Landlords Responsible for Repairing Broken Door Handles at a Rental Property?
When it comes to broken door handles (or door knobs) at a leased rental property, the responsibility to repair usually falls on the landlord or property management company to repair. However, it can also fall on the tenant in certain circumstances. For cases of defective building products through “normal use”, a landlord would generally be obligated to repair. Another case where the landlord would be responsible to repair, is to maintain a reasonable level of safety rental property. An example of this would be if the front main entry door handle broke. Conversely, door handles that are broken due to tenant misuse or destruction may be the responsibility of the tenant to repair. These instances are usually assessed on a case-by-case clarification between landlord and tenant and would have to ultimately be settled based on local real estate laws if disputed. Furthermore, locks that have been purchased and installed by a tenant are usually not the responsibility of a landlord to repair. It is best practice for both landlords and tenants to assess each situation thoroughly before assigning responsibility to repair to one another.
Are Tenants Allowed to Change Door Handles in Rental Property?
In the majority of cases, if a tenant wants to change out any pre-installed door handles to their own, they will need permission from their landlord or property management company. If permission is granted, the tenant will usually assume full responsibility for any potential costs and damages resulting from new door handle installation. Additionally, the landlord may require that the new door handle is professionally installed by a qualified tradesperson for liability reasons. Be sure to keep the old door handle to reinstall if you ever decide to vacate. This ensures that the rental property is restored back to its original condition and reduces the chance of a security deposit deduction. If you are a tenant and plan to change out a door handle, it is best practice to just talk to your landlord or property management company to discuss your plans with them beforehand.
Who Pays for the Locksmith if a Tenant Gets Locked out?
Losing keys or getting accidentally locked out can be a very frustrating experience. Depending on the type of property, if a property management office or landlord cannot assist, then calling a locksmith is typically the only other option to regain access. If the lockout was caused by tenant negligence (e.g. forgetting or losing keys), then the costs and responsibility falls on the tenant. If a landlord has to pay for these costs, they may require reimbursement from the tenant to the landlord. Due to the commonness of this type of event, most rental property lease agreements contain language within them that specify lockouts due to tenant negligence are the financial responsibility of the tenant. Be sure to check your lease agreement. Conversely, lockout costs that are related to legal matters (i.e. evictions) are generally the responsibility of the landlord as commonly found in most local real estate laws. It is important to understand exactly who is responsible should a lock-related emergency occur – in most cases that would be either the landlord or tenant depending on the cause of the lock-out incident.
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