Securing Your HMO Property with A Master Key System: Pros and Cons

Master Key Systems | 9th August 2021

Considering Securing Your HMO Property?

If you’re considering securing your HMO property with a master key system, you’re in the right place. In this post, we run through the advantages and disadvantages of such a scheme. We then conclude with a discussion of why master key systems are almost always the right choice for landlords.

Securing Your HMO Property With a Master Key System

Advantages of Using a Master Key System

There are many advantages of using a master key lock system.

Master Key Systems Are More Affordable Than Other Options

While card entry is an option, it tends to be significantly more costly than using master keys. In many cases, it’s also unnecessary, especially if you do not need to put access on a timer. Thus, HMO door locks preserve your return on investment.

Ability To Create Tiered Access

Master key systems allow you to prescribe different levels of access, depending on the key bearer. For instance, you could:

  • Give yourself master access to all rooms in an HMO property. Doing this would allow you to access the property quickly in the event of an emergency or hazard.
  • Give tenants access to their individual private units by putting HMO locks on bedroom doors. This way, you are able to save money and control who can access various parts of the building.
  • Give maintenance staff access to shared areas only. In this case, you can reduce the risk of giving maintenance staff general access keys and negate the need for somebody to be present in the property to let them in.


Access All Areas Of The Property Quickly

Carrying around a large set of spare keys is inconvenient and, in emergency situations, potentially dangerous.

You don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find the right key when you need to access areas of a property quickly.

Under a master key system, you eliminate this issue. You’re able to access any area of a building with a single key.

Furthermore, if you have multiple HMOs in your portfolio, you can put them all on the same master key scheme, improving your access further.

Disadvantages of Using a Master Key System

While the master key system offers multiple advantages, it isn’t perfect.

There's A Limit On How Many Locks You Can Install

Master key systems are suitable for landlords with multiple properties in their portfolios. However, most systems have a limit to the number of locks you can unlock using a single grandmaster key.

Fortunately, this upper bound is usually quite high - between 1,000 and 4,000 locks depending on the system. However, you should be aware of it, just in case you manage a particularly large portfolio.

If You Lose Your Master Key, You'll Need To Replace It

Replacing a key card is a relatively quick and simple process. You just reprogram a new one with your credentials and cancel the missing one.

However, if you lose a master key, getting it recut can be a long process. Furthermore, if you or your tenants lose too many keys, you may have to redo all of the locks.

Why Use a Master Key System for Your HMO Property?

While master key systems have some drawbacks, their utility for HMO compliant door locks is considerable. With a functioning master key system, you can improve your security and provide complex access rights, all without the need to invest in an expensive keycard system.

As always, it’s a good idea to take some time to research which system is best for you.

Discover Why Our Tailored Master Key Systems Are the Ideal Security Solution for Your HMO Property

Find out why our tailored master key systems are the ideal security solution for your HMO property. You can also get in touch with a member of the Master Key Systems team today via our quick and easy contact form

Alternatively, you can contact a member of our team today on 01902 737 672 or by emailing us at We look forward to hearing from you.

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