Help! I Locked Myself Out of My Apartment

There have been multiple times where my clients have called me and told me, ‘Help! I locked myself out of my apartment.’ 

This is when my expertise works against them. They keep asking me; “How to break into my apartment?”

Due to the layers of security that I have added to their home, it is almost impossible to break into their own house. That’s how it should be! Right? 

No statements or requests made by my clients enrage me, except for the sentence, “I locked myself out of my apartment.” My security plans are designed and catered to keep the intruders out and not the homeowners themselves! 

But well, we are all humans, and we all make mistakes. If you are locked out, you can’t stay locked out forever, right? I am here to help you. One great thing about 30+ years of experience in home security is that I obviously know how to secure your home, but I can also help you with workarounds in breaching this security. I can give you a perfect answer to your question – “How to break into my apartment?”

How to Avoid Saying: I Locked Myself Out of My Apartment

Getting locked out of the house can be frustrating. Sometimes it can take hours for you to get back in. Staying locked out can be dangerous if you have a baby or pets at home. 

There are ways to get back into the house if you are locked out. But the ideal scenario would be not getting locked out of your house at all. So here are a few pieces of advice that you should follow to avoid getting locked out of your house. 

This way, you won’t find yourself wondering about can a locksmith open an apartment door?

Hide a Spare Key

Hide a spare key outside your house. You can use special objects called hide-a-key to do so. They are objects that hide your key. They blend in with the environment, so no one except you know there is a key there. They can look like a brick or a rock, etc. 

You have to be extra careful while doing this. This is not the safest option, but it is the most efficient one. However, this option may not be possible for you if you live in an apartment complex. It is more challenging to hide keys in apartment complexes. 

Give Away a Spare Key

If you don’t feel that hiding a spare key somewhere is a good option, then you can always give your spare key to someone you know and trust. 

You can give one to your neighbors if you are on good terms with them. The neighbors make a great fit because they live nearby, and it’s easy and time-saving for you to get your spare keys from them. 

But if not, you can always leave your spare keys with a friend or a family member who lives nearby. You can leave your spare keys with more than one person for additional efficiency.

Use Locks That Lock from Outside

If you are someone who tends to forget their keys often, you can opt for a lock that locks from the outside. This way, you won’t get locked out of your apartment while running small errands like taking out the trash. 

Be extremely careful if you use these locks. Since these locks don’t lock by themselves, you always need to remember to lock them. Or else they can be a severe security threat.

Always Check for Your Keys

According to me, one of the simplest ways to make sure that you never have to say, “I locked myself out of my apartment”, is to check for your keys every time before leaving. Make it a habit to check your pockets or your bag for your keys before going. This habit can help you save you a lot of time, effort, and dollars.

Go Keyless

You can also avoid getting locked out of your apartment by installing smart locks. You may forget your key while stepping out, but one thing you will not forget is your phone. So you can get a smart lock that can be accessed via your phone.

To make things even easier, you can also get a lock that uses a numerical combination instead of a key. With this type of lock, you won’t have to worry about carrying a key ever. All you need to remember is your numerical passcode.

Go Keyless

I Locked Myself Out of My Apartment: What to Do Once You’re Locked Out!

One thing that I have observed in life is that no matter how hard you may try to avoid a situation, you will eventually end up there, one way or another. 

The same goes for getting locked out of your apartment. So here are some tips to help you

Call a Family Member or a Roommate

If you live with your family or have roommates, calling them is your best option. You can ask them to bring you a key, or you can pick it up yourself. This can take up some time or may cause inconvenience but trust me; it is an easy solution to your dilemma. 

Check for an Unlocked Door or Window

Sometimes, an error you make can help you. Before you take any majorly destructive actions like busting down your front door or calling someone for help, check to see if you left any door or window open or unlocked. 

If it’s your lucky day, you might find an open window or door which you can use. But, if you reside in an apartment which is on a higher floor, this may not work out well for you.

Check for an Unlocked Door or Window

Call your Landlord or Building Manager

If you live by yourself and don’t have a spare key lying with a friend or a family member, you can always resort to this option. If you rent your place, then your landlord can help you out as they always tend to carry a spare key. They can help you out. 

Your building manager can be your savior if you live in an apartment building. Usually, they have spare keys for every apartment. 

But if you are locked out after hours, you may not be able to receive help from your manager.If it is late at night, calling your landlord and telling them, “I locked myself out of my apartment” may not be a good option. In such a case, you will have to look for an alternative.

Disassemble Your Door Lock

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Now. I know disassembling a door lock may not be easy. If you have a really powerful lock, you may not be successful at it. But then, when you are locked out, you need to test out all your options. 

To do this, you will need tools, which you can borrow from someone. Using them, you can try to remove the main mounting screw. If you are not successful at disassembling your lock, you can always break it. 

Remember, tampering with your door lock can reduce its integrity and efficiency. You should change your door lock immediately.

If you want to know which door lock should you buy next, check out my article –

7 Best Apartment Door Locks to Boost Your Security.

Break Your Doorknob

If you have multiple layers of security, you will also have an additional door lock apart from your doorknob. In the case where your doorknob is locked but the door lock isn’t, you can consider breaking your doorknob. 

Door knobs are easier to break compared to door locks. Also, doorknobs are cheaper to replace compared to locks. 

If you are a renter, remember tempering with your doorknob may result in you paying for it or the amount being deducted from your security deposit. So break your landlord’s possessions only if you absolutely have to.

Break In

Break In

However absurd this may sound, you might have to consider breaking into your own home. Do this only if the previous tips do not work out for you. You can break into your home by either breaking down a window or a door. This may cause your alarm system to go off if you have one. But be careful not to hurt yourself while you try to break in. 

Since this step is a little extreme and causes a lot of damage, your landlord might make you pay for the damages. The actions taken by your landlord can depend on the terms mentioned in your apartment lock out policy. You can also take a look at the video below to figure out, “How to break into my apartment?”

Call a Locksmith

Call a Locksmith

If you are wondering, can a locksmith open an apartment door? The answer is Yes, they can. 

However, calling for a locksmith should be your last option. It is because locksmiths are usually very expensive. One visit from a locksmith can cost you $50 – $100. Plus, their methods to help you re-enter can cause additional damages to your door or door lock. 

Additionally, your landlord can charge you a fee for changing the locks taking advantage of the apartment lock out policy

When you call for a locksmith, make sure to call one from a reputed company or service. Take proper details of the locksmith you call and make sure to verify them. A locksmith with shady intentions can be a serious security threat to you and your home. 


Q.1 If a tenant is locked out, who pays for the locksmith?

Answer – Even though there is a lot of conflict and discussion over this, the simple answer is that the tenant pays for the locksmith. If a tenant is locked out, it is a hundred percent their fault and nothing related to the landlord. So the tenant has to pay for the locksmith.

Q.2 How to get into my apartment without a key?

Answer – As mentioned above, you can get into your apartment in multiple ways if you don’t have a key. You can consider breaking in. You can also test out different tools like credit cards or bobby pins to pick your lock.

Q.3 I locked myself out after hours. What should I do?

Answer – You can try calling a friend or a roommate who might have a spare key. Or else you can try to see if you can enter through an unlocked door or an open window. If nothing works out, you can consider breaking in or calling a locksmith. 

In Conclusion

Getting locked out of your apartment is the absolute worst, I agree. Whenever I find someone saying that I locked myself out of my apartment, I always find it a bit infuriating. If you lock yourself out, it is mostly due to your own ignorance or carelessness. 

But then again, ‘to err is human.’

If you lock yourself out, don’t panic. Instead, with a calm and cool mind, decide what action shall you take. 

But remember, if you end up entering your house by breaking in or by breaking a lock, consider not staying at your house for nights until you get the damage fixed, as sleeping in a house that is broken into or not locked is not a good idea, obviously! 

I want to know if you have ever been in a situation where you locked yourself out of your apartment. If you have, tell me how did you re-enter?