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So I’ve had several guests for my room, and really am loving Airbnb concept. However, this week door the first time, a guest locked her room.
I found myself startled over this. And started to think why. I guess it’s a trust issue really and to me it seems off that a guest who basically has access to your entire house locks his/her room to guard their luggage? Does anyone else have this experience? How did it make you feel?
Why did you try to open the door to the room if it was during her stay? I, personally, would never go into their room or even check if the door was locked while they were staying. However, don’t take it personal. It’s possible they had a bad experience at a hotel or another Airbnb property and they are just being cautious. On the other hand, if you left them with a key to the door in the room maybe they presumed they should lock it.
I give keys to guests to lock their room. I have 2 guest rooms in my house and want everyone to feel safe.
How did your guests lock their rooms? You obviously gave them keys. So, why are you surprised that they locked it?
I never come in their room for no reason, I have storage there that I needed to be at. So i wasnt ‘checking’ or something. I just need to be there sometimes to get to sheets, my iron etc.
The key was just on the chain to make sure that I wouldnt lose it; I only have one. Obviously I’m taking it off now. Half of my guests forgot to return the key, and would have taken it at departure if i wouldnt have said something. And the other half leaves the window wide open even if they’re not there. Since my insurance would definitely not cover damages if that’s the case, i also need to be able to get in to clear the window.
My thoughts are: privacy is something you both need to respect. It’s not about not being able to be into a room or not. I have to trust my guests too, not to fumble through my belongings, or with the safety of my house and things. To me it’s two-way street. Its word that i make breakfasts for a ridiculous low price, pick people up from the station, cook and clean for them etc, but am not trusted in my own house by a stranger.
Actually i lock my room too. I have some valuables there and dont want to even think of a possibility of loosing them to some weirdo though the chances are extremely slim that someone will go into my room. I had once though a guy who did not realize i was in a house and started wondering around opening doors. And he opened a door to my bedroom while i was laying on my bed resting. He was very embarassed when he saw me and explained that he just wanted to see the house.
WHat if i was not home? He would just come into my room.
I think people have an expectation of locking their room, like a hotel. If you don’t want people locking the room, make a point of it in your listing and at check-in.
I have rooms in my home that I rent, also, but no, no one has locked the door.
It is safe to assume that this is a ‘one-off’. Guests always find new ways to surprise, delight, confuse, and frustrate us. Don’t react. Just think it through - what do you want? Then set your house rules to suit yourself.
I would find another place for the things you store in your rented room & let guests have the option to lock the room if they like. It gives you peace of mind that if anything goes missing you can’t be blamed or responsible and vice versa for them. I don’t see a big problem
We just use chain locks. Our guests have a high degree of privacy as is, having a floor to themselves. The last thing we wanted was some weirdo being able to lock us out of a room in our own house. I forgot that we could just have our own keys. Anyway, the chain locks work fine. The only time they were an issue was late one night when we had an AC emergency: the window unit was spewing water. I had to go to the basement to grab a couple of things and when I got back, found the room “locked”. I couldn’t figure out who the guest thought we might be. They were weirdos who cancelled a couple of days later. Everybody was greatly relieved.
I have a lock on the door from the guest room into the house that I state will be locked if I leave the house and there are guest dogs present (I board dogs in my home.) I put a mechanical lock (not a key lock) on their side so they can lock the door from their side. They have a private entrance into the room from the outside. I’ve had guests check out and I discovered the door was locked and I had to go outside and let myself into their room. I agree with the other posters that if there is a lock on the door you shouldn’t be surprised that people use it. I also don’t advise having only one copy of a key.
I don’t provide locks to bedrooms because several guests have locked themselves out while in the bathroom. This can get expensive and time consuming to remedy. I lock my own door though. I see people trying my door all the time. Or trying to peer in to see if I’m there so they can do something like sneak guests in. People are weird.
As a guest I would feel weird if I could not lock my room. People open doors without knocking, thinking no one is in the bedroom. Hosts can have friends over who might be on their way to the restroom, and then they just open the bedroom door without thinking. Your guest may have been a victim of someone stealing from her bedroom one time, or someone snooping in her room…so now she just makes sure it is locked.
If possible I would defnitely try to install a lock where you can make multiple copies of keys. And then during the tour let the guest know if the window is open (when they are gone) then you will need to open their door to close it. Hopefully that will get people to close it before they leave…if they don’t want you in their room.
This is my home. I have no locks on any interior doors beyond the occasional ancient skeleton key. If I were running a boarding house, rooms would have locks, but I am not. I have invited people to share my home, for a small fee. From a risk assessment point of view, I have far more valuable stuff in this house than any guest could carry in a suitcase. There is no chance that a friend or visitor of mine would go all the way up to the third floor to their private suite and accidentally enter an occupied room.
Furthermore, I enter their rooms daily to refresh their coffee/tea and hot chocolate station, replenish their milk/cream supply and deliver their breakfast for the next day. My listing makes this clear, and guests love coming back from a full day of touring to find that magic elves have left more food.
I had one inquiry that was dismayed by the lack of locks, but her picture made her look to be a 22 year old drug addict. I was very pleased when she disappeared.
I don’t expect that there is any right or wrong way to do any of this. What is important is that the listing accurately describes the experience that a guest can expect.
I was also offended the first time a guest said in private feedback that she wished for a lock on the door. I thought that if I’m trusting them with access to my entire house they should trust me. I then spoke with a friend who pointed out that the guest might be afraid that we could inadvertently walk in when the guest is undressed. I never open the guest room door without knocking and receiving a reply, but if the guest has had someone enter in another listing I understand that they would like a locking door. Also, we had a Muslim guest who said in private feedback that Muslims and people from the Middle East expect a lock on the door. I assume that this is because the prayer rituals are private. As a result of this feedback, we repaired the lock on the guest room door and got keys made (yes, we got a spare key for ourselves). Since then, no guest has used the lock.
A question for the guests who want a lock on the guest room door. I assume that you know that the host keeps a key. How does it make you feel safer?
I would expect the owner to have a copy of the key. But I would feel so much more comfortable being able to walk around undressed, and sleep comfortably knowing no one could enter.
I’ve had roommates who truly saw nothing wrong with knocking on a bedroom door and then immediately opening (without permission). That’s just how they were raised. I don’t know if they would have still opened the door if I had a guy with me…but still it amazes me that even a roommate of same gender, would just assume someone is sleeping soundly all covered up with blankets.
I’ve also had a friend steal from me. The person went through my dresser drawers where I had some money hidden in between my clothes. I opened my home to this person. Of course at the time I wouldn’t have been “friends” if I knew this person was a thief.
So it’s not that I wouldn’t trust the host…but really I would feel better knowing that any friends or family members of the host wouldn’t make their way into my room.
I have thought of this exact thing. With our guest room currently, guests can lock themselves inside. There is a push button lock on the insides of the BR/BA doors, so as to prevent anyone from opening the door to discover nude guests or something. Not, by the way, that this would ever happen, because I flat out do not ever enter the guest suite when we have guests checked in. If I need to give them extra towels or something, I wait until they come into the common areas and give them things.
Anyway, because my listing states there is a lock on the door, I wondered if the lock we have qualifies or not, and thought about getting one that locks with a key from the outside. But as you said Ellen, I would have to keep a key, and that would almost negate the purpose?
That is my exact point. The guests can wander EVERYWHERE in my house. So when it comes to stuff missing, I am actually the one taking the real risk to be honest.
It is in that way that I feel that a basic amount of trust is in order. And obviously I would never walk into the guestroom without knocking first. I would even not come to ask anything at the door at all if they’re there. I always send a text message instead, which is way less intrusive.