Word of the Day - January 10, 2019

Auto Lock – オートロック – Real Estate Japan’s Word-of-the-Day

Auto Lock


  • English definition: An auto lock in an apartment building is an electronic lock usually equipped with an intercom and/or viewing monitor that allows you to buzz visitors from the entrance lobby to the part of the lobby with access to the elevator. An auto lock is considered a desirable amenity because it provides an extra layer of building security.

Good to know

  • In a building with an auto lock, you usually need two keys to actually access an apartment unit. One key (either a metal key or electronic key card) to unlock the auto lock and another to unlock the door to the apartment.
  • When a friend or delivery person wants to visit your apartment, they have to input your apartment number into the keypad. Depending on how sophisticated your auto lock system is, they’ll be able to talk to you via intercom and/or you’ll be able to see them on the video screen in your apartment unit.
  • Newer and higher-end apartment buildings (called “mansion” in Japanese) tend to have auto locks.
  • Japan is a very safe country, but if you are especially concerned about safety, you can make this a criteria in your home search.
  • On Real Estate Japan, you can check to see whether a property has this feature by checking the Property Description section of the listing.

Auto Lock in a Japanese apartment building.

This auto lock unit is equipped with a video camera so you can see who is asking to be buzzed into the building.

Apartment Tour in a building with an auto lock

Visit the link above to take an apartment tour with Ken from the GaijinPot Housing Service.

Yesterday’s word-of-the-day: Chiku-nen – 築年 – Year Built

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