Guests locking bedroom

We let out our spare room on a B&B basis. It’s a two-bedroom house, so clearly there are no other guests staying in the house - the only other people on the premises are just us, the hosts.
The guests’ bedroom door has a key, but never in our experience (100+ guests) has any guest locked their door - until today. We felt a bit put out by this - clearly with nobody else in the house bar us the implication is that the guests don’t trust us. which is mildly offensive.
Anyway, we decided that the guests didn’t want us in the room so we didn’t go in during the day to empty bins and to replenish the water and tea/coffee/biscuit supplies.
This evening the guests returned from their day out and have complained that their room has not been “serviced”. Obviously we apologised, but we fear being dinged - for the first time ever - on cleanliness.
Do other hosts customarily go into guests’ rooms? - remember that this is in our house, not at a remote location.

Nothing to apologize about. Very simply, you couldn’t service the room because they locked the door. Then they apologize to you.

When I airbnb’ed the room and guests had access to the house I didn’t service anything. I don’t provide daily service like a hotel. Of course they could come into my part of the home and ask for anything they needed: where to empty trash or another towel. I don’t go into the guest room while they are checked in unless it’s an accident. Yes, twice I’ve just blanked out and gone in. That’s why I’d have a room that could be locked: to protected guests from my mental gear slippages.

In terms of being offended, I wouldn’t waste any more time with that. I think it’s odd that people I’ve known for years will lock the bathroom door behind them. Do they think I’m going to barge in? I think it’s odd that people with so much concern for privacy would rent a room in a shared home. But there are all kinds of people. I’d be bored if everyone thought and did just as I did.


I have to say good grief. There are married couples who lock the bathroom door when only the spouse is there.

Plenty of people lock bathroom doors, whether they live in the house or are guests.

Let this one go by.

1 Like

Rebecca - thanks - but the issue here is the Bedroom door, not the Bathroom door.

You’re not an hotel – don’t even offer “daily servicing”. Just let this “issue” go.


I am spitting blood. Who the bloody hell do they think they are, and who do they bloody well think you are? Their servants? You have absolutely no reason to apologise to these gormless, self indulged twats. And they should be in a hotel if that’s what they want, not in a room offered in a host’s home. Their expectations are well beyond the homestay limits of an Airbnb guest house.

I never go into guests’ rooms whilst they are staying, and I wouldn’t dream of "servicing " them. They can lock their doors but have never done so that I know of. I don’t want to invade their privacy, or leave myself open to accusations. I am left speechless that they would lock themselves in but then expect you to go in and make the bed.

I’m kind of hoping that they locked their door when they went out, but I suppose that’s wishful thinking…

I think I would sit down with them and explain how you manage your home share within the ethos of Airbnb’s so called sharing community. And if they don’t like it, they can bugger off. Don’t worry about the review; I’m sure it will reflect far more on them than on you, people will see it for what it is, and of course, you can leave a factual account for other hosts not to host them!

Keep us posted on how this pans out please.


Sorry for misreading which room it is.

But my comment is basically the same. We’ve had guests in our home who lock their bedroom door. Maybe one out of ten does that. No reason to feel insulted.

As we do the brief tour with new guests, we mention that they’re welcome to lock the door. If it’s someone staying for days, we make sure they know that my husband and I won’t enter to do any cleaning if their door’s locked. We also tell them which day our housekeeper will be there and that she’ll be in their room between X and X hour to dust, vacuum, and empty the trash.

Some guests really value having the lock—even if they don’t use it. Guests have told us that they booked with us specifically because our listing says the bedrooms have digital locks.

When I’m a guest in someone’s Airbnb, if there is a lock on the room, I use it.

By the way, we have a lock on our bedroom door, too, to keep guests from wandering in. Before we installed the lock, two of them did. They’re not familiar with the house and can get lost.

1 Like

If he does give you a negative review write a rebuttal in which you state he locked the door.

1 Like

There’s no reason to be offended. If there was a lock, I would use it but it wouldn’t be personal. I just like having my own space. Even at a nice hotel, I put the “do not disturb” sign out for the entire stay because I don’t want maids and such coming in. Also, because there’s a lock on the door, I would use it, if for nothing else because I would think the expectation would be to lock it.

It seems like servicing the room was expected by these guests. Is this just their personal issue or is it something you offer? If it’s not something you offer, then educate them. However, if it is something you offer (and was thus justly expected), I think they assumed you have a key. At a hotel, you lock the door when you leave but housekeeping still comes in and services the room. So, it could just be a lot of miscommunication.


If servicing the room was part of the deal (e.g. if it was justly expected), I also wouldn’t think that locking the door would prevent the servicing. I think it’s assumed that the host would have a key or the code or whatever.

My biggest question is: was the servicing of the room part of the deal or just some fantasy by these guests?


I’d just forget it and move on. But going forward, you do need to have key for emergencies.


My opinion, there is nothing for you to be put out by. Here’s why:

  1. You provided them a key. If it’s a two bedroom house with no other guests and no need to lock the door, then why give them the key? I realize it might be case that the door is not lockable from the inside of the room without the key, but if that is the case, you could easily install a different lock. However, I would suggest you leave it as is and allow guests to lock their door if they choose.
  2. It’s common practice to lock your door in a hotel or a traditional B&B.
  3. The guests have no idea who else might be in the house while they are out.
  4. [Edit: this point is not valid based on additional information] They assumed (correctly, I am sure) that you have another key to the room and would be able to do whatever servicing you offer for your listing even though they locked the door. If you listing says you provide a service, then you should provide it, and if guests don’t want the service, they should tell you rather than have you assume they don’t want it because they lock the door. Consider cards that hang on the door knob to allow guests to tell you if they don’t want the room serviced.

I don’t see any reason to be offended, but do see opportunity to educate guests about how your Airbnb works.
If you’ve been tidying every day, they can’t read your mind, and why would they assume that, if the door comes with a key, the tidying stops if they lock it. Just talk to them!

1 Like

The way it’s described, it really seems like @southendbootboy advertises daily room servicing as an amenity and guests are both expecting it and paying for it. [Edit: My interpretation is not correct and this is not the case.]

1 Like

Sorry, but have you looked at @southendbootboy’s listing to check this out? I doubt very much that he and his wife offer this “service” as a daily amenity, otherwise he wouldn’t be asking us for our opinions when someone complains about not having it. As he mentions (sorry to talk about you Malcolm, as if you are not part of…), no one else in 100 + guests has done so, nor locked the bedroom door until now.

I looked @southendbootboy 's listing/home sometime ago, when he posted it regarding another issue, breakfast I think. BTW, their breakfasts looked and sounded wonderful!, they have great reviews and offer great, well appreciated hospitality in their own home.

One spare bedroom, in their home. let out on Airbnb does not equate to a hotel room. It is their home in the old fashioned sense of that understanding, before the corporate mindset of Airbnb brainwashed some hosts into thinking everyone offering such should be at hotel standards.

Sorry Malcolm, but i have quite enjoyed being enlivened/irritated by such bollox that I’ve read here tonight!!

And I hope your guests are leaving you both in peace. If not, throw them in the canal.

No, and I don’t know how to find it, but when a guest complains that the host didn’t service their room, and daily service is not offered by the host, the response of a host of 100+ guests should not be “Obviously we apologised.”

1 Like

I think this has been addressed, with a degree of sensitivity, by other forum members’ posts.

Forgive me but I have to ask; do you come on here to be helpful or to simply bully people into agreeing with your own unforgiving mindset?

It might be useful to bear in mind that this is an international forum, not just US centric, with people who successfully host in variety of ways across the world. Like Malcolm and his wife, who found a way to enrich their later lives and meet new people, by offering great accommodation and hospitality in their home in the UK.

Where’s Stanley when you need him?


What did you say to apologize. Not following that. Was there a discussion about their items were to be replenished and why that was not done?

As far as being offended. Don’t be. They don’t know you. You don’t know them. As much as everyone wants to talk about this happy “trust” thing in the ABB community. That’s a bunch of smoke and mirrors. It’s not about you. I understand you are trusting them in your own home. However, they have no idea who might visit you in your home. They don’t know you. When I lived with roommates, I never knew who they would bring over, etc. I always kept my door unlocked. Then I found out that one roommate was stealing change money from me, others were allowed to enter my room, etc. So…it’s not you necessarily. But guests don’t know all the others who may be involved.

1 Like

Apparently, I made a bad assumption but thinking that the daily service was included specifically because the host apoligized to the guest for it not being done. That assumption is false, so my 4th point on the servicing issue is invalid.

1 Like

I am with @Joan on everything she’s said so far.

@southendbootboy I think there are two issues that need disentangling.

  1. Locking the door. I know exactly what you mean about feeling offended by guests doing this. When I first started airbnb’ing by spare room, I remember thinking that I would never put a lock on the door - it’s not a hotel, we’re sharing space etc etc. Eventually I capitulated after a few guests mentioned it. I don’t care any more and mostly don’t notice when guests lock the door because I never go in there while they’re staying. In fact, I’m more likely to be pissed off when they leave the door slightly ajar because then I never know whether they’re in or not!

  2. Servicing the room. From your post it seems like you go into the room daily to empty bins and replenish things. Why? You’re not a hotel. It is not normal to do this on airbnb. Personally, I think you should stop doing it. Just leave guests be.

  3. Guest complaint. It seems like they thought they’d booked a hotel / “professional” B&B. It also seems like they are arseholes.
    Do you actually offer/promise to “service” the guest room every day? If yes, please stop doing that! If no, well the guests can stew.

And to answer your question

Emphatically NO. Don’t do it. Ever. Unless the house is on fire.