Guests locking themselves out of the bedroom

I rent out a room in my house and put locks on my bedroom doors, as I know many people like to lock their bedroom door when they leave the house. I’ve only had 8 guests so far, and 2 have accidentally locked themselves out. In order to lock themselves out, the guest would have had to manually turn the lock and close the door behind them (both guests denied doing this and said the door locked itself!). The locks are Schlage keyed entry levers.

I am amazed that 25% of my guests have been unable to operate a simple doorknob. If this happens while I’m at work, I can’t leave work to help the guest out, and don’t want people to cause damage to the house trying to get back in, or give me bad reviews because I can’t respond immediately. Should I change back to regular interior door levers? Should I hide a lockbox with a spare key for accidental lockouts? Both times the people locked themselves out when I wasn’t home and they didn’t have their phones, so one broke the window to get in from the outside, and the other waited for hours until I returned. I’m trying to provide an amenity that I know people like, and if I change back to regular doorknobs I’m sure somebody will complain about it.

Is it possible that the doorknob is hitting a wall or something when they open it, and that is pushing the lock mechanism? That is weird that it’s happened more than once.

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Where both guests from the US? Different countries, different locks.

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Yes, both from Chicago. Does Chicago have different locks than the rest of the country? : )

It’s not a push mechanism, the latch has to be turned 90 degrees to lock.

I understand, but usually, those locks don’t actually have to be turned the full 90° to lock. If you just barely turn that little lock handle, it will lock it. So if it’s bumping the wall just enough to turn that a slight bit, that might be doing it.

Interesting. There is a wall that it can hit if fully opened. I’m not sure what the solution is if that’s what’s causing it.

Unlike most people on this forum I’m actually going to try to answer your questions, LOL.

You could put double keyed entry locks. These need a key to be locked from either side. When they are in the room they can put the key in the lock so they don’t misplace it and so they can quickly turn the lock just as they would the little thumb knob. Then when they leave they have to take the key with them and insert it in the door to lock it. There is zero chance of locking the door without the key.


Thank you! I had thought of this but then was thinking about whether that would create safety issues (let’s say someone forgot to leave the key in the door and then there was a fire and they couldn’t find the key). I guess there’s not an ideal situation that will fit every need, but this may be the most practical one that will save me from many headaches.

Did you see the video about how a closed bedroom doors help save lives in a fire? So a misplaced key would be equally likely to save a guest as endanger the guest.

You could drive yourself crazy thinking about safety issues. Like what if a guest locks himself out and then cuts himself on the broken window trying to get in and bleeds to death?

I’ve had guests who were here for three days and on the third day they locked the lower lock with the same kind of thumb turn. The code only worked on the deadbolt of course. So I took the locking lower knob off and now to lock the door they have to lock the deadbolt with the code or the key. Next someone will lock the wrought iron screen door. You can’t prevent all guest mistakes.


Wow, really? I kind of assumed that fixing the problem might be a better solution than buying a whole new doorknob/lock, but I’ll be sure not to stray from the asked questions from now on. :roll_eyes:

It’s a long running joke here on the forum that we go off topic and we don’t answer the question asked. We are much more likely to interrogate the petitioner about what they did wrong than the address any question asked. I don’t know why you thought my remark was intended as personal insult directed at you.

I’ll take care to avoid your sensitivities in the future.


No, I haven’t seen that video. I know I shouldn’t let myself worry about every possible thing that might happen. No matter which route I go, some guest is going to eventually find issue with it or potentially make a mistake.


It’s hard to read tone on the internet and some of your responses to people are a bit harsh (like this one), so I assumed your previous post was a passive-aggressive dig at me (again, like this one) for giving the OP a different answer that what they specifically asked for.

May I suggest a small sign on the inside of the door reminding guests not to lock themselves out when leaving. Or leave a key hidden in the main part of your home so you can text them as to it’s location if needed. Lockable room doors are a good option but not totally necessary if they have just locked themselves out of their room and not the house.


I had this issue too. Guest messaged me at 12.30am to say they had locked themselves out of the second bedroom. They would have had to manually lock the door to the alfresco area and the door to the lounge room and then pull them both behind them.

I saw the message at 7.30am and sent them the code to the lock box which holds all our keys. They said they slept on the couch. Housekeeper was pleased she would have less beds to do! She arrived to find the sofa not slept on - all of the many coloured cushions were left in the identical order and position she left them in. All the beds were stripped, they had used the keys to access and empty all our supply cupboards. On one bed they had but 7 bath mats. They accessed and used all our spare towels and did other annoying things like turn our welcome sign face down and turn off the automatic watering system.

I phoned Air and told them I wasn’t sure what they were playing at but something was going on. Two days later they asked for a total refund. I was willing to give them some refund until we found all the silly stuff they had done. Air sided with me, no refund.

So I learnt a few things from this: we removed the knob on the inside of the bedroom door so it couldn’t be locked from the inside. We also placed a spare key on a hook under the kitchen sink that you can only see if you lie flat on the floor so that we can send guests there rather than give them access to all our keys.

In their review they complained that they couldn’t get hold of me, so said I was a poor communicator (in the early hours of the morning!). I added into my info that I can’t offer after hours service if it’s an emergency call 000.

As annoying and upsetting it was at the time I learnt a few things and took steps so that it couldn’t happen at one of my other places as well (we disabled that bedroom lock).

if the lock hits the wall and activates, you could maybe fit a door stop, a rubber bung that screws to the floor, will stop the door just before hitting the wall. Shouldn’t have to buy new locks, Schlage seems like it should be foolproof!


How about using this lock (I use them for my interior doors to get inside the suite.).

On the inside of the door, the door knob doesn’t lock. Instead I have the type of chain you find in hotel rooms. This can only be locked when you are inside the room.

The door knob with the key code has a little battery backup kit that you can hide in case the batteries die. It’s a bit complicated to use but the knob makes a beeping noise when the batteries are running low so I’ve never needed to use it.

These locks auto lock from the outside? So once the guest enters and closes the door, it locks. The chain is just to make sure the host can’t enter? BTW, I had one of those kinds of locks (one way from the inside) for awhile but decided I didn’t like the idea of being locked out of my part of my own house. Now there is a deadbolt with no handle between my part of the house and theirs and then their entrance door. They can lock that door and the security screen door but I have keys of course. If they need more than that they can buy their own travel security lock.

Oops, I just read your comment again. Yes that is correct. . I have the master code so I can always get in (Unless the chain is on but that can only happen when the guest is in the room) . Once the guest is inside their bedroom, they can use a chain to prevent me (or anyone else from getting in). Unless they crawl out a window, the only way to get out of the room is by unlocking the chain.

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