Guests Leaving Property Unlocked

Hi, we’re new to AirBnb having just started in February. We have a townhouse in the city that my husband uses during the week and we rent it out via AirBnb on the weekends when he is at our home in the country.
Our last 2 groups have both departed without locking the doors behind them. The first group also left dirty dishes in the dishwasher (not a a huge issue, but the food dried on the plates and had to be practically chiselled off), and the second group left crumbs and spilled juice on the countertops (again, not a huge issue, but potentially attracts ants and worse).
My question is how to review these guests. My thought is Following House Rules: 3/5 for leaving the property unsecure; Cleanliness: 4/5. I like to leave reasons for my scores in the “Private Review”. Are my scores reasonable?

Leaving the place unlocked would score a 1 with me. Major security breach! Food left like that, a 3. Major insect attraction requiring visit by an exterminator.

Don’t leave the reasons for your score in the Private section – leave them in the Public section so that your fellow hosts understand just what kind of guests they were. Reviews are more for us than for the guests.

“Guests seemed nice, but they did leave the place unlocked when they left, and did leave dirty dishes in the dishwasher/food spills on the counters.”

Why, oh why, have you not changed out the door locks to the kind which automatically lock every time the door is shut??? If guests are leaving doors unlocked it’s as much your fault as theirs!


(revised…not important)

Good point Ken.
We’ve just installed an expensive Schlage electronic keypad lock on the front door. I will have to re-read the manual and see if it has an automatic lock function.
The rear door consists of two glass sliding doors and there is no way (that I know of) of having them automatically lock, as the doors have to meet in the middle for the lock to engage. I will do some research though, and see if I can find a solution.
i have now prepared a laminated “before you leave” check list which I will leave in a prominent place and see if that has any effect.


Not sure how you manage your property but also make sure whoever goes in after guests have left check that doors etc have been locked.

Thanks Como, it’s just us and our guests - no-one else has access

I know that not everyone can do this but it is important to make sure that someone goes into the rental as soon as possible after guests have left, even if it’s just for a two minute check.

This can be the host, a manager, a cleaner, a neighbour … but it can save a lot of bother for the host.

I know, it’s easy for me because I live only steps away from our rentals but even if I didn’t I would go just after checkout time or sent someone else.

In @623Cox 's case, she would have been able to switch on the dishwasher, cleaned up the food spills and locked the door - all this even before the guests had got to the end of the street.

I like to ventilate the place too because there are often lingering breakfast smells.

I always check too that the guests haven’t left any belongings. It easy to call them and get them to turn back if they’re only a few minutes away. Much easier than finding something later and having the problem of whether or not to mail it on,


If your guests all leave without locking your door, then you have to assume that they do this during their stay as well. A door that has a self locking handle or a lock that locks after 30 seconds will go a long way in preventing problems with your space.

My rule of thumb is that if one guest does something that is bothersome then you can probably ignore it, but if 2 or more do something, then it is YOUR problem. Usually when people do not do something you request (such as manually locking a door every time they leave) it suggests that people are accustomed to the opposite of what you expect - for example, they expect the door that closes behind them to lock.

If the solution to a problem can be as simple as changing a lock, then your and their life will be better from it.

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@jaquo put it well, this is just one issue out of many possibilities, I am on site so it is easy for me to check but I always check the room, even more important for a stand alone listing.

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I have a Schlage keypad (not a remotely controlled one, however) and I’ve TAPED DOWN the autolock button in the correct position so the door locks upon closing. It’s also explained in my welcome book.
I’ve only had one guest tear off the tape, turn the knob, and leave the door unlocked. She had asked to leave her car in the drive after check out and pick it up at the end of the workday, which I foolishly agreed to, and I assume she did it on purpose so she could freshen up before driving off. Didn’t even have the courtesy to re-set the autolock, left the place wide open.
Even the car thief who broke into my daughter’s car re-locked it when they were done!

No good deed goes unpunished!

If manually locking doors is in my house rules that’s what I expect! I would give 1 star for house rules and a thumbs down for leaving the house unsecured. I don’t expect to have to change my locks to suit what my guests may or may not have at home. Also on a period property it might not be straightforward to swap lock types, or economic.

A one star review will not lock the doors.

Obviously a 1 star review doesn’t lock doors, but it does rightfully restrict inconsiderate guests on Airbnb, who think they know better in someone else’s property. If they are careless enough to leave doors unlocked then they can’t be trusted with water/electricity/gas etc. either and we’re better off without them.

Now THAT’S the kind of guest we want!

I’d suggest a check out list specifically mentioning to please lock the doors. Where my place is, we never lock our doors, I would not be worried if my guest failed to lock up. If your guests live a place like that, they may not thin of it, or they could be newbies who think it will self lock like a motel