Best Access control for rental apartments in 2024

What is apartment access control?

Apartment access control in Kenya is a method of automating property access for authorized tenants, residents, staff, and visitors. While there are many different types of apartment building access control systems in Kenya, they all share the common goal of simplifying building access for authorized tenants and visitors. Controlled access apartments enjoy greater convenience and security.

Apartment access control systems are installed at entryways where only authorized people can pass through. They allow building owners, landlords and property managers and operators to keep doors locked for security while providing a simple way for approved tenants, residents, guests, and staff to gain access.

5 common types of apartment access control in Kenya

Not all access control systems work the same way. There are four different types of access control to restrict access within your home or business. There are pros and cons to each, so it’s important to think about your own unique property security requirements and choose the type of access control that fits your apartment.

The five types of apartment access control systems commonly used today:

  1. Key fobs and key cards
  2. Mobile access control
  3. Apartment intercom systems with door release
  4. Keypads

1. Key cards and key fobs

Key fobs are a form of keyless security. Instead of relying on traditional keys to open doors, you can use fobs to open doors electronically. Fobs are easy and convenient to use and can  upgrade the security of your business and apartment.

Key fobs

Key fobs interact with readers, which lock and unlock doors. Keys and readers communicate with each other using radio-frequency identification (RFID).  They contain antennas and microchips that allow them to share their unique IDs with the reader, and when the reader recognizes that ID, it unlocks the door. Because key fobs use radio signals, RFID is exceptionally difficult to hack, making it one of the most secure ways to lock a door.

Key card access control systems 

Key card access control systems are another option for apartments security aside from traditional keys. Most modern key cards use RFID, just like fobs, because they are more secure than magnetic key cards.  Magnetic key cards are often seen in hotels, and they work by storing data in the magnetic strip. This type of key card is easy to copy and can be damaged by magnets or wear and tear.

Types of Key Fobs

There are two primary types of key fobs, the passive and the active. Each one functions differently.

Passive key fobs

Passive key fobs are the most affordable option. They tend to be small, and they don’t need to have batteries. They are activated by the presence of an RFID reader, which sends a request to them. They’re also read-only, meaning you cannot write over or edit the data they contain. They tend to have a very limited range, meaning you can only open doors with them when you are in close proximity.

Active fobs, on the other hand, are the higher-end, more expensive option. These contain a battery that allows them to work across distances up to 100 feet. These fobs can be written over with new information when necessary. Their increased functionality means they’re also larger, but they can still fit on a key ring.

Types of Key Cards

There are a few main options when it comes to key cards.

The first kind of key card is a swipe card. You’ve likely encountered this kind of  entry card at hotels. They have the same black magnetic strip as credit cards, allowing them to hold a lot of data. These key cards are popular at hotels because they can be overwritten with new information when necessary. This keeps hotel rooms safe even if someone loses or keeps a key—they can change the ID needed to get into a room.

Smart cards are another type of key card. These use RFID just like key fobs, and they allow you to open doors with your proximity. They’re able to open doors within small proximity, often just a few inches. Still, they are more convenient than traditional keys.

Mobile access control system

What is a mobile access control system?

Mobile access control takes smartphones, tablets, and wearable electronic devices and allows them to function as a user’s credentials to enter to an apartment, offices or other business facilities in Kenya.

Introduction to smartphone access control systems

Mobile access control systems offer access to secured apartments’ building and rooms with just a couple of taps on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Such systems provide apartments property manager, landlord, building and office managers with a cost-effective solution for managing identification credentials. The ease and convenience make mobile access controls a promising alternative to physical cards.

Video Intercoms System with Door Release

How do visitors access your commercial building? If you don’t have a commercial intercom system installed at your property, it’s time to invest in one. One of the most important considerations when choosing a commercial intercom is whether it will have a door release mechanism. Your best bet is to choose a commercial intercom system with door release.

What is an apartment intercom system with door release?

An apartment intercom system with door release is a communication and access control system installed in multi-unit residential buildings. It allows residents to communicate with visitors at the entrance of the building and grant them access by remotely unlocking the main entrance door. This system provides enhanced security and convenience for the residents.

Door entry panel

Door entry panel: The call panel, usually installed at the main entrance, features a microphone, speaker, and a list of apartment numbers or nameplates. Visitors press the corresponding button to initiate a call to the specific apartment they want to visit.

Indoor phones

Indoor phones: Each apartment has an intercom station, which usually includes a speaker, microphone, and a door release button. When a visitor initiates a call, the resident can speak with the visitor through the intercom station and identify them.

Door release mechanism

Door release mechanism: If the resident decides to grant access to the visitor, they can press the door release button on the intercom station. This sends a signal to the electronic door lock at the main entrance, which then unlocks the door, allowing the visitor to enter.

Keypad or pin pad

Keypad access control systems typically consist of credential readers installed in selected entry points in an apartment. To gain access to an apartment, users must input a pre-approved series of numbers or a PIN code to the keypad system. By operating a door access keypad, property owners are able to allow access to tenants, staff and guests while securing select locations from unauthorized persons and potential threats.

The scope of an installed door access control keypad system will depend on the use case. Standalone single-access keypad readers or PIN door locks can be utilized to secure private properties and homes from intruders, while integrated keypad access system networks can be developed for commercial enterprises with multiple entrances to secure.