After Hours Lock Outs

Apartment Lock OutWe have all taken the 3am call for lock out service. “Hi, I locked myself out of my apartment; can you have someone from your team come and let me in?”

And we all have some form of the following:

Apartment Lock Out Policy

If residents lose their key or become locked out of their apartment, the following options are available: [loosely adapted from a quick search result on Google]:


1. During posted normal business hours (excluding holidays) residents may come to the main office for
2. After normal business hours, but prior to 9:00 p.m., residents may contact the emergency phone
number provided on the office door or on the recorded message, and a staff member, if available, will
open the door….
3. After 9:00 p.m., no lock out service is provided and residents have the option of calling a locksmith at
residents’ own cost and expense….

Is it Customer Service or a Serious Liability?

I do admit that I see the people side of this in that we want to be there to assist with any and all after hours calls no matter the nature. I also see the downside in that many of us do the service but charge for it if it is after hours. In that case, right or wrong, I see serious liability in asking my service team to collect a check, cash or money order prior to handing out a key. I also see liability in asking them to rifle through a resident’s file to compare and contrast ID’s against written records. Or, even worse, they just take the resident’s word for it.

In any case, I am looking for some quick thoughts on the subject.

Is it a good move to stop doing lock out service all together during off hours and leave residents on their own?

Your always wondering multifamily maniac,


Author: Mike Brewer

Out to put a dent in the multifamily universe. Love compelling conversation...