Guests "tailgating" people into the building

For some reason this has started to become a problem in the last few months.

I host in a secure apartment building with a pretty standard intercom system. The guest “buzzes” us, we open the front doors, they come up in the lift and then we’re there waiting for them.

Lately, guests seem to be “tail-gating” people through the front door (ie: following them in when it opens) and making their way to our level and banging on the door. This is a bit of a worry as;

  • It’s only a matter of time before I get a complaint from an owner about people following residents through the front door and by-passing the security system.
  • We generally can’t hear them knocking on the door as they are big heavy fire doors and the size of the place means they end up standing there banging loudly (and annoying my neighbours) until I happen to walk past the front door. They then complain that they’ve been waiting
  • Guests get lost (as they can’t figure out what level we’re on) and end up calling me from another level (with attitude because they think I should be able to mind read) or knocking on another residents door and asking them annoying questions.

My listing says this pretty clearly;

On arrival, buzz NUMBER ## to gain entry. Then take the elevator to LEVEL ##. We are door NUMBER ## immediately on your right.

I also copy this information into a message before the guests arrival to make sure they get it. Any suggestions I can make this clearer? I personally think it’s just rude for these people to enter a building without being granted access, but I guess others don’t. Is writing “Do not enter without buzzing” too rude?

Although it seems like guests don’t read anything, you might include in your instructions something like, “You must call us and have us let you in. Please do not follow anyone in to the building as it is easy to get lost and we cannot hear knocking on our very heavy front door.” You might also consider getting a doorbell.


We don’t tell guests the flat number. We meet them outside so we can get their car in the car park and explain the rules and regulations of the building whilst making our way up to the flat.

We figured if we gave them the flat number then they might do as you’ve described.


We can’t install a doorbell, unfortunately. Can’t have additional fixtures on common property.

That’s a good idea Ash. How do the guests contact you when they’ve arrived? We have a lot of international visitors who don’t have phone service.

We agree a time to meet them the day before or the day of their arrival. So far they’ve all been on time and AirBNBers stick out like a sore thumb.

N8, be very very clear in your directions that for security reasons guests must not tailgate and must clearly follow the easy given instructions for access. Don’t be afraid of being firm in your rules! Clearly, the guests aren’t worried about banging around on doors and being obnoxious, so please be clear and FIRM. I personAlly believe guests prefer this approach to a wishy washy one.

Thanks. I think I’m just going to have to be much firmer.

We have a lot of guests who book for one night or book last minute (close to the airport) so we can’t really be meeting people outside.

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So I have a similar situation…

I tell guests I will meet them on the street; they send me a text message when they arrive and then I go down and meet them.

It was the only solution I could find because weirdly, the intercom to my building is behind the locked gates guests need to go through. (Don’t ask me who came up with that clever idea) and I wanted to avoid them tailgating residents.