Guest let herself in via unlocked door...HELP

OK so in this scenario, there are things I could’ve done better as a host but I’d like input anyway to see if I’m overreacting.

I am a live-in host with one guest bedroom. I make it clear in my listing that check-in time is 3 PM and then in my pre-arrival message I reiterate my check-in time policy.

So last night, my guest for tonight messaged me and said she wanted to check in between noon and one. I replied to her and said I could not accommodate because as stated in the listing and my arrival message, check-in is firm at 3, and I had guests last night to flip the room from and I couldn’t guarantee they’d be out before my 11 AM check out and etc. She said OK to that.

This morning they were gone by 8:30 so I was able to get the room flipped so I messaged tonight’s guest to let her know she could come at 1 if she wanted, but she replied and said she was going to go downtown instead. So I asked her what time she’d arrive instead and she said “around 6.” It took her until almost 4 PM to let me know that. I decided to take a nap upstairs in my master bedroom and set my alarm for 5:45. I left my side door unlocked, but I didn’t leave the key in the lock box for her.

When I came downstairs after my nap, she was already here in my house.

This is where I’m not sure how to proceed.

She arrived after check-in time, but I don’t really like that she let herself in at some point when I was sleeping, when I hadn’t left the key.

Leaving the door unlocked is entirely on me, but she told me around 6, and arrived way before that (she’s American, as am I, so this isn’t a cultural misunderstanding of time).

I feel really weirded out and etc. by all this, and again I know it’s on me for leaving my door unlocked instead of following my usual procedure of putting the key in the lockbox for the guest. Which is the same thing (letting themselves in) but the former doesn’t bother me and the latter really does. The lockbox doesn’t bother me because I fully expect them to let themselves in, thus I’m prepared for them to be here, but it’s rather startling otherwise like today.

I’ve been hosting for about a year, highly rated Superhost, etc. and I just really don’t like how this check-in happened. I almost feel inclined to mention it in my review of her, but I feel like it’s mostly on me. What do you guys think?

I think you are over reacting. As I read it, it seemed to me that by leaving the door unlocked it looked as if you had done that to facilitate her letting herself in.


I think if you didn’t tell her to ring the bell or call you when she arrived on your doorstep, and you left the house unlocked, though very forward, the guest didn’t really do anything wrong. She arrived after your check in time, though earlier than arranged. I would probably mention the fact that she arrived before the arranged time, but nothing about just letting herself in.

Of course, you might have a procedure outlined in one of your messages that indicates that you need to be alerted so you can greet guests at the door.


For all you know, the guest thought she was supposed to let herself in and not disturb you. Mentioning that a guest arrived an hour earlier than she estimated (but well after your 3 pm check-in time) is also nit-picking if you did not leave her with clear directions that she ought not to arrive prior to 6pm.


The guest arrives, she finds no key in your lock box, she knows she is expected, the door is unlocked…of course she comes in - she is EXPECTED!
Your fall down in process not hers.


Yeah, i would rack this one up to a reminder to lock the door, if you don’t wnt them coming in without notice. We have an electronic code to the house that we give to guest once they give us an arrival time. Guests have come in early a number of times, we just kind of got use to it… So we ended jsut putting a lock on the master bedroom door so my wife would feel safe napping. Don;t worry about this one too much.

Yep, it’s on you, for not locking your door… this is the 21st century, and there are lots of not-so-nice people out there; you’re lucky you woke up to your guest, and not some perp walking out your TV and computer!

I think you’re definitely over reacting. I would do the same thing if I were a guest and a host told me I could check in at 1 and I showed up after that. We have a whole house rental and I am always paranoid of early arrivals. If there’s any chance of it I constantly lock the unit door even if I’m in and out cleaning, etc.

If she was otherwise okay I would just mention the surprise entry in the private feed. Maybe she knocked and because you were asleep she thought it okay to come in?

In the future, make it easy on yourself, keep the time firmly at 3. This could have been avoided…

Make sure the door is always locked before you go to sleep. Then this problem will no longer occur.

I agree with the others.
I would not mention it in the review. Next time lock your door.

I had somebody turn up 5 hours before my earliest check in, I was shopping, found a door around the back and let themselves in and made themselves comfortable.

Decided they were weird but harmless.

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I guess I’m the only one who would be slightly weirded out by someone letting themselves in.

I understand but the actions of the guest aren’t that strange given the info we have. I suggest the OP lock the door and move on to more important things.

When I started with my location, I had so many assumptions. I assumed that people would know to leave the bathroom door open when they were finished, that they would understand how to take their luggage into the room etc.

Then I put myself in their place. They’re coming to stay with you so the first thing is they know they have to get inside. No it’s not normal to know where a key is hidden or if there’s an access code, or how the door works or even after they get in the house what direction to walk. So, you put yourself in their place, All they needed to do was come to your house and get in and they found an open door and logic tells them they should be able to walk through that door. So many times people here say if you don’t want them going through your things don’t put them out. And these guests are not people who are kleptomaniacs or just sneaky, they figure if it’s there it might be something to investigate… they assume it’s there for a purpose. If they don’t see a drawer full of things it never occurred to them to contact you and say I’m looking for a drawer full of things. And finally you have put out all the stuff is in your house and you’ve decided the clock needs to sit there and the flowers need to sit over there - the guest does not know that and if they move the clock so they can see it from their bed and leave it there they’re not trying to destroy your place, they’re just living.

Just about every other day somebody gets on here it says I have a problem - my guest made toast and they left the bread knife on the counter instead of Some other place that I always put it. Or they operated my curtains and left them open/closed/halfway open. Or the biggest sin - crumbs on the table where they ate. If the problem is egregious then it deserves a note or paperwork. If it’s simply a guest choice on how to do things, make a note of it and either modify your arrangements so that it works for the guests, or if it’s a one off, just ignore it.

I guess the point I’m making is that there is no set rule for how many crumbs could be left on the counter before the guest is held accountable for destroying your property . And in the bigger picture, for Texas to wipe them off, you’ve made their money, made them happy and they are gone.


I would not be the slightest bit weirded out by someone who was coming to stay at my house letting themselves in the unlocked front door. If I leave the front door unlocked it’s because I don’t want to have to drop what I’m doing to greet a guest. If I want to greet a guest I lock the door.

We used to have a regular guest who refused to set an arrival time. After a couple of times of waiting all evening for her we started leaving the front door unlocked so she could arrive whenever she wished.

I would assume that if the front door is unlocked, that it is unlocked for guests to let themselves in. Where I can from we ALWAYS lock the front door - even if we are home taking a nap.