Is Copying Apartment Keys Illegal?

After shifting into your new apartment, you can take over the custody of its keys. The keys allow you the privilege of entering and leaving the apartment at will.

But can you copy the keys?

Now that’s a key issue.

Making duplicates for your keys is not illegal, but if your lease agreement forbids you from making copying your keys, then you should avoid doing so.

Peruse the Lease

The lease should clearly delineate any restrictions that the landlord wishes to place on renters.

The rental or lease agreement should lucidly outline the code of conduct so that there is no ambiguity or dispute over any matter.

Certain rental or lease agreements have more austere measures like the prohibition on copying keys. Such provisions may be more common in urban areas where security is often an issue.

If there is no prohibition on copying keys in your contract then it may be safe for you to make duplicates.

Safekeeping for Your Keys

It is best not to store your keys outside the apartment.

If you are allowed to copy keys, you can keep the duplicates in an accessible place that always remains within your reach, like your wallet or handbag.

Outside of your apartment, the car could be another place that might be somewhat safe for your duplicate keys.

Scrutinize the Key

Another way in which restrictions may be placed on copying keys is by inscribing the message on the key itself. If this is indeed the case, you may find that the ‘Do Not Copy’ message is engraved on the key.

Certain manufacturers have patents for their keys. Thus they can prevent locksmiths from making copies by engraving this message on their keys.

Locksmiths may be more willing to duplicate keys for customers who can show that it is for a property that they own rather than a rental unit.

Talk to Your Landlord

To remain on the safe side, it is always best to speak with your landlord about anything that may not be clear so that there is no possibility of an issue later on.

Hence, you should ask your landlord if they are fine with duplicate keys.

Doing so will give you the reassurance that you and your landlord are on the same page as regards a key issue.

Duplicate Keys for Lock Outs

Renters and property owners are almost certain to get locked out at some point unless they are extra scrupulous about keeping their keys with them.

This is where duplicate keys can come in handy. You can avoid this unpleasant scenario by keeping duplicate keys in your car for instance.

There is also the possibility of losing your original keys. In this case, you can use your duplicate keys as an alternative rather than wait outside and have the door lock pried open.

In short, duplicate keys if permitted can save you from inconvenience and frustration.

How Duplicate Keys are Helpful

Another major benefit of duplicate keys is that they can be most useful for friends and relatives that you trust.

Whether it is your partner or older kids, you can give them duplicate keys so that they can enter your home when you are not around.

Providing duplicate keys to trusted people will also save you plenty of hassle since you will not have to get up and open a door each time that they want to enter.

You can then enjoy deep slumber any time that you like knowing that you will not have to remain awake for any trusted person who wants to enter.

Keeping your loved ones waiting outside while you are dozing peacefully can be a rather mortifying experience.

You can also go anywhere you like outside your home knowing that your loved homes have duplicate keys to enter without you.

The traditional metal key is the one that we are most familiar with.

However, with advancements in technology, there are also newer kinds of keys. Here are the various kinds of keys that are currently in use.

Metal Keys

The good old-fashioned metal key is the most straightforward variety. Almost everyone has handled and used these keys at some point.

The conventional metal key is the first thing that comes to mind when there is a mention of keys.

Locksmiths often used machines to cut keys. The key has a very specific sawtooth design that is made to fit your lock and open it.

Despite the various kinds of electronic keys that are in vogue, the metal key is still very much in use and will continue to be of service in the foreseeable future.


The keycard does not look like a key. It is basically a card with a magnetic code that a reader scans to authorize entry. These kinds of keys are now often used in hotels.

The keycard is relatively inexpensive and should not be too costly to duplicate if your landlord has given you permission.

The keycard often resembles just another credit card and can thus be easily kept in your wallet.

Keyless Entry

For keyless entry, a specific string of numbers serves as the ‘key.’ Since this code is intangible, such a method of entry is considered keyless.

You just have to remember the code and punch it in the keypad by your door to gain entry.

Since there is no physical key, there is no risk of losing it either – a key problem that many renters and homeowners face.

What to Do With Spare Keys

If you are allowed to make copies of your key, then by all means do so. Just be sure to keep them in a safe place so that you do not lose any. You can make use of the spare key in case you lose your original key.

When you are finally leaving your apartment for some other place make sure that you hand in all keys to the landlord or manager.

Take extra care when deciding to hand out keys to others. You should give your kids keys only if they are old and responsible enough.

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