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5 Best Doorbells for Apartments Plus Installation Tips

Jan 8, 2020
A white door from an apartment building.

Smart home technology is changing the way homeowners are protecting and managing their homes. However, when you’re renting a house or an apartment, you may not have access to the same smart home devices as homeowners. Don’t fret! Just because you’re renting does not mean that you have to be left out of the smart home technology club.

What are the best doorbells for people living in apartments? Ring, Arlo, VTech, RemoBell, and Yale have great options in smart doorbells for renters and people living in apartments.

Check out your options for smart doorbells in your apartment, as well as some installation tips to make sure you stay compliant with your property manager’s requirements.

The 5 Best Smart Doorbells for People Living in Apartments

When you live in an apartment, you may not have as much freedom for smart home technology as homeowners do. You may not be allowed to drill walls, you may share walls with other tenants, and you may have less access to certain devices. However, you still have some great options if you still want to install a smart doorbell in your unit. Check out some of our favorites.

Ring Peephole Cam

The Ring Peephole Cam is a great option for people living in apartments or renting their home. Instead of having to drill and screw into the wall beside your front door, you simply install this device on top of your existing peephole. This is a great option as many renters are not allowed to drill into the walls of their apartments.

This battery-operated device is styled similarly to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, but instead of one lens, it has two—one for the conventional peephole viewer and one for the camera. It works the same as the regular Ring Doorbell. When someone presses the button or when the device detects movement, the user will receive a notification on the Ring app on their smartphone. The easy-to-install camera comes with 1080p resolution and is compatible with Amazon Alexa devices.

Check out our post on the best overall video doorbells here!

Arlo Audio Doorbell

The Arlo Audio Doorbell is a relatively cheap option for renters and those living in apartments. Unlike the traditional smart doorbell, this device does not come with a camera. It simply records and transmits audio communication from your visitors.

Without a camera on the Arlo Doorbell device, its battery can last up to a year on a single charge. This is great for renters because you can install the device once and not have to worry about charging it or changing any settings if you’re living in the apartment for a one-year lease.

The device will send notifications to your smartphone when incoming guests approach your home. And because the device can detect motion, it’ll alert you even if the visitor does not press the button. You can customize your preferred chime, adjust the volume settings, or turn off the sound completely, which is an ideal option to avoid potentially disturbing neighbors if you share walls with another tenant.

VTech Audi/Video Doorbell Answering System

The VTech Audio-Visual Doorbell Answering System is a unique alternative to some of the more advanced smart doorbell options out there. It’s a cordless phone system that works as front door surveillance. It’s a cheaper option if you don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars for your apartment.

The system comes with two telephone headsets and a doorbell unit with a built-in camera and microphone for communicating with visitors. The VTech Doorbell System provides clear phone communication that can double as a walkie talkie. You can watch a live feed of your front door and even take snapshots of who’s approaching. The system is easy to install, which is great if you don’t have access to a traditional doorbell system to route wiring through.

RemoBell Wireless Video Doorbell

The RemoBell Wireless Video Doorbell is a reliable and easy to use WiFi doorbell. Because it works on AA batteries, you can essentially install it anywhere without the limitations of power outlets and complicated wires. The device will send you alerts when people approach your door. You can view a live feed or choose to watch the recorded video later.

This device has many of the same features as other smart doorbells on the market like motion detection, HD video, two-way communication, and night vision. Installation is simple; you just install the base plate to your wall, then snap the video doorbell into place.

Yale Look Door Viewer

The Yale Look Door Viewer is a smart peephole device. The installation is relatively easy, as it just connects to your door’s existing standard peephole slot. This device is a great option for apartment dwellers as it is wireless and runs on a battery.

The device allows you to easily see who’s approaching your front door through the Yale Look app on your smartphone. It can detect motion up to six feet, send your alerts, and it allows for two-way communication with whoever is at your door. You can also take snapshots or record video of your front door. The Yale Look Door Viewer comes with an SD slot, so you can easily save your photos and videos.

Tips for Installing a Smart Doorbell in Your Apartment

Smart doorbells are great tools to have in your home no matter where you live. They can let you see visitors approaching your home, record a burglary, and communicate with the person loitering on your front porch. You can manage these features whether you’re away from home, or if you just don’t feel like getting up to open the door.

How high should you mount a Ring Doorbell? Read our post here to learn more.

You can definitely install smart doorbells in your apartment, but your limitations will depend on your landlord or property management company. Many smart doorbells are wired into a property for power, which may require a lot of drilling and electrical work your landlord may not allow. Some installation will require a professional electrician to help, which can equal higher costs for you upon initial installation and when you move out.

If you want to install a smart doorbell in your apartment easily and without getting in trouble with your landlord, consider wireless options like the ones listed above. These can make the process easier because they are powered by batteries and don’t require any electrical work.

The device itself may need to be attached to a wall or door frame, but most often, they will not upset your property owner and are reversible when you leave the unit.

Another great tip is to make sure you notify your neighbors, especially the ones who live across from you, that you will be installing a video device. They may want to be aware of any recording that takes place, and you can notify them that you will delete any video of them that your device may capture. Check with your apartment complex to make sure there are no rules against installing video doorbells.

Explore More Smart Home Products

When you live in an apartment, you may think that your options are limited, but, they aren’t! Smart doorbells are just the beginning of the possibilities you have with smart home technology. You can easily install and remove many devices in your apartment or rented home to advance the way you connect with your home while you’re renting.

Explore our articles to learn more about smart thermostats, lighting, security systems, and more. Don’t limit yourself or wait for the perfect moment to build your smart home. There’s no time like the present to grow smart technology in your home.