What to Do When You’re Locked Out

It’s happened to everyone. You get home after class or work, reach for your keys, and they’re not there. After frantically checking every pocket or dumping the contents of your purse onto the floor to search for them, you remember that you left your keys on the kitchen counter. The good news is, you know right where they are. The bad news is, you’re officially locked out. Now what?


Locking yourself out of your apartment is one of the most frustrating feelings ever. If you know right where you left them, you’re annoyed with yourself for forgetting them. If you’re not sure where they are, you’re also worried they’re in the hands of the wrong person. Regardless, now you just need to know what to do. Here are some steps you can take to get back inside your apartment:

Call Your Roommate

If you’re one of the lucky people who live with a roommate, be sure to have all of their contact numbers in your phone. Sure, you have their cell phone number, but if they’re at work and unable to check their phone, you’ll want their work number, too. Hopefully your roommate is nearby and can swing by the apartment to let you in.

Contact Your Landlord

It’s never fun to have to call your landlord to let you into your own home, but that’s part of being a landlord. If it’s during business hours, your landlord should be able to swing by and let you in quickly. After hours, this may take a bit longer, so be prepared to wait or find another way into your place. If you’re a Hunziker resident, keep our property management’s contact information in your phone, just in case.

Find Another Entrance

This is the time to think like a burglar. It’s not ideal, but in an emergency situation, it might mean you get into your apartment faster. If you typically leave a window unlocked and it’s easily accessible, now is the time to try it. Be careful, though! Don’t go climbing up walls or other people’s decks. Never risk an injury just to get into your place faster.

Call a Locksmith

Contacting a locksmith is typically the last resort when you’re locked out of your home. If it comes to that, though, remember that if the locksmith must damage any part of the building to let you into your apartment, the bill will be sent to you. Also, if you’re locked out of the entire building and not only your apartment, the locksmith may not be able to let you in without permission from the landlord. Most locksmiths will also want to be paid on the spot, so be sure you’re ready to pay on the spot. It’s a good idea to do some research about the most reliable locksmiths in your area and save their contact info, just in case.

Prevent Lockouts

The best way to handle a lockout is to, of course, prevent it from happening in the first place. Making a copy of your key and giving it to a trusted friend or relative that lives nearby is always a good option. You could even place a spare key inside your cell phone case. You’re more likely to have your phone on you at all times than anything else! A (nearly) foolproof way of preventing a lockout from happening is to get into the habit of unlocking your door on your way out, then locking it once you’ve closed it from the outside. That way, even if you forget your keys inside, the door is already unlocked.