The right type of apartment keys in your hand is your ticket to the next stage of your life. You’ve just moved into your new apartment and can’t wait to set up your ‘home sweet home’. But, as new renters, we often forget about the importance of our apartment keys. Yes, KEYS!

It may seem like a minor thing, but a lost or unsuitable key is a renter’s worst nightmare. So, getting acquainted with your apartment keys and picking the right key is important.

In this post, we’ll look at:

  • Types of apartment keys
  • What do to if you lose your keys
  • Key guidelines for first-time renters
  • Dos and Don’ts of apartment keys


Metal Keys

Metal keys are the most common type of key which is still used in apartments. These are the battle-tested keys that stay loyal to you no matter what. You can toss them, drop them, lose them, but they never lose their shape. These keys are generally low-cost and long-lasting.

These types of apartment keys are designed with distinctive cuts and grooves to fit into their corresponding doors.

But, here’s the kick! Before you make a copy to protect against any missing key disasters, check with your landlord first. Does your lease allow you to make copies? Make sure you get the go ahead before visiting the hardware store.

Key Cards

These apartment keys are jeans-friendly, wallet-sized plastic cards that let you unlock doors effortlessly.

These keys grant you access through electrically powered doors with just a tap or a swipe. The embedded credentials on the keycard magstripe (magnetic stripe) are read by the keycard reader every time you attempt to unlock a door.

Key Fobs

These types of apartment keys are just like keycards, but smaller. The fobs are clipped to your keyring. The keys are small and also use a tiny induction circuit, so you don’t have to worry about changing batteries.

The downside to this type of apartment key is that they are expensive to replace. So if you’re someone who loses things all the time, this probably isn’t right for you.

Keyless Entry

Sometimes your key is invisible! In other words, you unlock doors using codes or punch-ins.

Lots of modern building apartments today use this type of key. You simply punch in the code to unlock your unit. In most cases, you’ll be allowed to choose your own code – make sure it’s memorable, and don’t give it out to anyone!


Imagine you reach home, slip your hand inside your pocket and your apartment key is missing! Frustrating right? Don’t panic – you’ll soon find a solution and be back inside in no time.

Stay calm and don’t break into your own house

Losing your key is panicky and upsetting, but try not to get stressed. First things first, never attempt to break into your own house no matter how stressful it gets. An attempt to break into your property can cause damage, and this could be more expensive than calling the locksmith.

A quick flashback

See if you can find your key by tracing back your steps to your last location. There’s a possibility that you might have dropped the key or left it somewhere.

Contact whoever you are living with

If you don’t have a spare key, give your roommate a call. If you’re lucky, they might be home or hanging out nearby, and can come to let you in.

Reach out to your landlord/management

If you can make it to the leasing office, the staff there should be able to resolve things. You can usually contact them during business hours. If the loss happened during non-business hours and you can’t wait until the next morning, then you will have to find another solution.

Contact a locksmith

This should be your last resort. When you have tried everything, you can contact a locksmith who can let you in and fix you with a new lock and key. This approach might take a little while and will incur some costs.


How Much Will Key Replacement Cost?

The cost of key replacement depends on the type of door lock. The cost may also vary according to the location and the time of day or night. A locksmith is likely to charge more for a call at night.

What About Key Duplication?

You never know when your key will magically disappear! Having a duplicate key can be your saving grace if you’re prone to losing your things. We don’t recommend keeping this spare key at home. Leave your apartment key with a trusted friend or family member.

Key Insurance

If you have a home insurance policy, call your provider to check if it includes key insurance too. If you have key insurance included in your policy, you can relax in the knowledge that your provider will cover any key replacement costs.


The Dos

  1. Get creative

Lockouts happen, and a spare key could help save a call to the locksmith in the middle of the night.

You can dig out a spot in your walkway, or secure it in bird feeders, grills, or deep in the garden. Intruders know where to look, so divert their attention by choosing a unique spot for hiding your apartment keys.

  1. A friend is all you need!

If your neighbors are people you can rely on, give them your extra key. This way, you can grab your apartment key quickly from your neighbors when a disaster strikes.

You could also switch hiding spots: stash your neighbor’s key at your place, and yours at their place.

The Don’ts

  1. Place them near the door

Never put your apartment key in obvious places like under the doormat. In fact, putting it anywhere near the door is a no-no, as this is the first place intruders would look.

  1. Use easy giveaways

You probably don’t want to give obvious hints to intruders about your keys. Use your common sense, here. A fake rock on your front porch practically shouts “Keys are here!”…so don’t do that.

As a new renter, keeping your apartment keys safe is a responsibility you should take seriously! Following these guidelines will help you unlock better solutions to keep your keys secure. So, once you have your apartment keys, enjoy a stress-free move-in with our move-in checklist.

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