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City Council Seeks to Limit Use of Keyless Entry Technologies

Physical Key Locks Would Be Required at all Times

At a time when rental property owners are focused on the effects of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) of 2019, the City Council has not skipped a beat, continuing to introduce anti-owner legislation on the local level.

Intro. 1758, introduced by Council Member Brad Lander, would require rental property owners to provide physical keys to residents for both the exterior door of their buildings and the doors to their individual apartments. The legislation defines the term key as “a piece of shaped metal with incisions cut to fit the wards of a particular lock, which is inserted into such lock and turned to open or close such lock.”

Most importantly, this proposed bill would also prevent owners from requiring that tenants use keyless entry technology to enter either their apartment buildings or their individual units. Keyless entry technology is becoming more common and popular in multiple-dwelling buildings and this legislation would put many owners who have already installed keyless entry technologies in a considerable bind.

These technologies include, but are not limited to, keypads, mobile phone applications, facial recognition technologies, radio-frequency identification cards, and others. Countless RSA members and other property owners throughout the City already rely on keyless entry technologies in their buildings and have already replaced physical keys in various parts of their buildings with numerous keyless methods over the years as technologies have advanced.

The City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings is expected to hold a hearing on this proposed legislation in the upcoming months and RSA will undoubtedly testify against the bill. We will keep you apprised of further developments. 

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