Best Door Locks for Apartments and Renters

We selected the top door locks that are easy to install without angering your landlord or risking the loss of your bond.
Best overall
Defender Security Satin Nickel U 10827 Door Reinforcement Lock
Defender Security Lock
  • Icon Pros  Light
    4-screw installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy to use
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    Force rating up to 360kg
Best for convenience
iFJF Travel Door Lock
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No-impact installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Portable
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    Cheap
Best for keyless entry
Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Fits existing deadbolts
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    Fingerprint unlock
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    Bluetooth functionality
Best budget
Schlage Door Bolt
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    No keyhole to pick
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    Works with most standard strike plates
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    Cheap
Best deadbolt
Kwikset Single Cylinder Deadbolt
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    SmartKey feature
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    Simple design
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    Adjustable latch to fit most doors

The Defender Security Lock boasts an affordable price and strikes the perfect balance between temporary and permanent use. Installing it takes just four screws, which means uninstalling it leaves only four small, easy-to-fill screw holes behind. Even better, it can withstand up to 800 lbs. of force, and there are no keyholes to be picked.

We reviewed the top locks on the market, keeping your varied security needs in mind. The Defender Security Lock may be the best overall pick, but read on for insight on specific needs like portability, keyless entry, smart locks, and deadbolts.



Compare the best apartment door locks

Lock
Best for
Price
Drilling required
Lock type
Learn more
Read review
Best overall
Icon Cons  LightYes
Door jammer
Best for convenience
Icon Pros  LightNo
Door jammer
Best for keyless entry
Icon Pros  LightNo
Smart deadbolt
Best budget
Icon Pros  LightNo
Deadbolt
Best Deadbolt
Icon Pros  LightNo
Deadbolt

Prices are accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

1. Defender Security Lock: Best overall

Best overall
Defender Security Satin Nickel U 10827 Door Reinforcement Lock

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The small and discreet–but effective–Defender works much like a door blocker. When it’s in the locked position, it rests in a slot and can withstand up to 360kg of force. To unlock it, you slide it up and swing it out.

There are no keyholes that can be picked, and unlike a swing latch or chain, it doesn’t allow your door to open even a crack, so it can’t be tampered with. At under $30, it’s also easy on your wallet.

It fits most exterior doors, but it’s probably not a great choice if your apartment door fits snugly in its frame, as you might have to chisel out a chunk of the frame to get the security lock to fit. Our research showed that some of these locks come with rough, sharp edges that might require some filing down.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Low price tag
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Force rating up to 360kg
Pro Bullet 3” screws included
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Sharp edges
Con Bullet May not be durable with frequent use

2. iFJF Travel Door Lock: Best for convenience

Best for convenience
addalock door lock

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The iFJF Travel Door Lock is the easiest, lowest impact item on our list. It works like a door blocker, but it’s held in place at the existing strike plate on your door, so there’s no drilling or changing out hardware.

Like the Defender Security Lock, you’ll need to make sure there’s enough room between the strike plate on the door frame and the edge of the door itself for this lock to slide through.

Most complaints from customers were about this lock not fitting their entrance doors, so it’s worth the extra time to ensure a good fit.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Portable design
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Low price tag
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Doesn’t fit all doors

3. Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro: Best for keyless entry

Best for keyless entry

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you like the idea of a hands-free, keyless door lock for your apartment, then the feature-packed Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro (which is also our pick for the best smart lock). A total of 148 Amazon reviews mention its easy installation.

If you have a single-cylinder deadbolt on your door (keyhole on just one side, not two), you simply upgrade it with the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro by replacing your standard thumbturn with the battery-operated smart device.

What we love best about this lock is how many different unlocking methods you can use. You can unlock it with your fingerprint, a numeric code, the smartphone app, or a good old-fashioned mechanical key.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Keyed and keyless entry
Pro Bullet Bluetooth functionality
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT compatibility
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Pricey
Con Bullet Requires batteries

4. Schage Door Bolt: Best on a budget

Best budget
$19.67

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Schlage Door Bolt has a thumbturn on the inside for you, and a solid blank plate for everyone on the other side of the door. It sends a clear signal to intruders that there’s no picking your lock, since there’s no keyhole to pick.

It’s designed to work with most standard strike plates and is an ideal choice for that added bit of security when you're home. On the downside, it won't add any extra security if you decide to go on a road trip or holiday, since it can't be locked from the outside.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet No keyhole to pick
Pro Bullet Works with standard strike plates
Pro Bullet Works with all standard door preparations
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Only useful if someone is home

5. Kwikset Single Cylinder Deadbolt: Best deadbolt

Best deadbolt

Price is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you want to lock up your belongings when you’re away from your apartment, the Kwikset Single Cylinder Deadbolt lock is sturdy, easy to install, and has a nice, simple design.

The SmartKey feature lets you rekey your own lock if a key goes missing, and it makes the lock resistant to bumping and picking. It’s a little pricier than standard deadbolts, but we think it’s worth the investment.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet SmartKey feature
Pro Bullet Works with all standard door preparations
Pro Bullet Nice design
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Pricier than most deadbolts

Final word

Before choosing a lock, consider whether your apartment security concerns are for when you’re at home or when you’re out. If you want to feel safer while you’re in your apartment, adding an additional lock to your apartment door that works like a door jammer (like our top pick, the Defender Security Door Lock) will do the job. If you’re worried about people using old keys to get in while you’re out, then a full lock replacement might be in order.

FAQs

Permission to change the locks on your apartment depends on your lease. Some leases allow it, as long as it doesn’t cause damage, while others don’t. Before you make a lock change, check with your landlord or property manager.

It depends on the types of locks you have in your apartment building. Most door knob locks can be pretty easily changed as a DIY project, but mortise locks and electronic locks with a pin code are more complicated and will likely need a professional.

Again, it depends on the type of locks you need to change. Electronic door locks will involve more time, labour, and cost for materials, while knob locks are more common and will cost less.

There are a wide variety of sliding door locks and door security bars you can purchase to secure your sliding door, and many don’t require drilling holes.

If you’re locked out, check all possible entry points first for something you might have left unlocked. If you can’t open the door or a window, ask for help from a neighbour, landlord, property manager, or call a locksmith. Our favourite method for avoiding this scenario is to hide a key somewhere outside a neighbour's home or apartment. That way you can always get it, but any intruder who finds it won’t know what door it goes to.

How we chose the best locks for apartments and renters

Most apartment building dwellers want to avoid upsetting their landlords, so we looked for door locks that could be easily installed and removed with little to no trace. We watched a dozen installation videos to make sure the locks we selected are easy to install, and we read more than 100 customer reviews to ensure we chose the most secure, durable locks.

Check out our full methodology for more about how we review products.


Disclaimer
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Kaz Weida
Written by
Kaz Weida

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