Guests who don’t lock up! Do we ding them in the review?

So this is a personal rant…. And I suppose not a big deal as I have a smart lock and alarm I can set remotely via the internet. But recently have had 2 guests who didn’t bother to lock the house when they left. They also were terrible at communicating and never acknowledged my messages or texts.

I just find that rude and potentially dangerous. Obviously nothing to be done about it other than remind guests in the checkout instructions to lock up (which we already do) but is that worth taking a star off the review for an otherwise good guest who was no trouble and left the place fine?

As I’ve posted elsewhere we’ve just returned from a 3 Airbnb STRs trip.

When we left that last one, I couldn’t get the keypad to lock. "Hey, " I yelled to Himself sitting in the car and ready to go “I can’t lock this door”.

Himself “Oh it’ll be okay. The house manual says that the cleaning service arrives just after checkout time. And it’s a quiet dead end road…”
Me: “NO NO NO We can’t do that. Come and do it”.

Which he did. What I’m saying here is that in some cases, it’s not that guests ‘didn’t bother’ to lock up. They could have simply forgotten. So I’d not mention it.


Set your smart lock to automatically lock after opening. Mine are set for 5 seconds.


So the lock will lock automatically while they are loading the car, bringing in groceries? Not sure how that will work?. Most guests and me too when I am there, just leave it open all day and lock up when we turn in for the night

Some people are just absolutely clueless. We deal with this and open windows all the time.

Yes, it will. And it will also lock when the guest is driving away after their stay, so you will never again have problem with your airbnb being unlocked in the situation you described. Problem solved, I think.

I use 5 seconds because if it is any longer then security for my other guests is compromised by having an unlocked door. You can always set the ‘auto lock’ to 5 or even 10 minutes if that works for you.

This is how hosts make their airbnb ‘idiot proof’.


Long before Airbnb we (the travelling public) stayed in hotels, and many of our micro-behaviours while travelling were developed in that environment. That said – have any of us ever “locked up after ourselves” when we stepped out of our hotel room into the corridor, suitcase in hand, on checkout day. No… because hotel rooms lock up automatically. That’s habit. I don’t know about anyone else, but I try to reserve getting all tied in a knot and feeling compelled to write rants for deliberate acts of bad faith or malice, and not let someone else’s totally avoidable careless habit (avoidable by setting the door to LOCK automatically) get me all in a knot

I think we have to accept that our guests will – as a group – violate Murphy’s law ("…if it is possible for something to go wrong, eventually it will go wrong) and just idiot-proof our operations – and do so without resentment. Even really nice guests will do the wrong thing occasionally, and if we can anticipate and eliminate opportunities for them to do so, our reward is less rants and more *****s.

Now – if this was my idiot cousin who was staying in my empty property for free as a favour, and he left the door unlocked, I’d be yelling at him. “All I asked you to do in exchange for saving you the cost of a hotel was to %^#@ing take care of the place, and you DIDN’T! Stay at the Hyatt next time, #^%hole!


Same way it does in most hotel rooms and residential apartments/condos that open onto common corridors: Door closes, it’s locked.

I don’t know how far it is from a car to your door, but I do know that at my own detached home when I get home from the grocery store I unlock the front door and leave it wide open as I go back and forth to the nearby car to unload, and then when everything (and everybody) is inside, I close the door and lock it. If the door is sprung to close automatically, you can lean the first bag of groceries against the door to keep it from closing until you are ready.


No don’t ding them in the review.

You can’t control guests, only your own strategies to overcome their behaviors which you dislike.

You already have the solution in hand (smart lock) but you choose to blame the guest. I’d be so pissed if you dinged me in the review for this alone.


I agree that guests shouldn’t be dinged for something like this. Smart Locks are an excellent suggestion. An outline for how to use the smart lock can be provided to the guest before check-in to keep it fresh in their mind :slightly_smiling_face:

We have a smart lock. Guest used it many times during their stay. One button to push to lock the door. So if they could lock it when their stuff was inside why not lock it to protect the home when they leave?

Sorry can’t agree that people think the door will self lock like a hotel or that I should set it to automatically lock after 5 seconds. By checkout most guests have used the smart lock over and over and it is never a problem as it wasn’t for the guest who couldn’t bother to follow the 3 items on the checkout instructions they are sent and read…….

Once a booking is completed, the guest should not have the responsibility of securing your property. And since a smart lock can be set to ‘lock’ at any specific day or time, you are guaranteed security - and one less thing for guests to complain about.

I have a self-closing door and a lock. Anyone who has ever stayed at a hotel knows that doors close themselves and lock - it is against the law otherwise - and I always say that retraining guests to do things outside of their ‘natural’ instincts is setting up for failure. Just because you always do things in a certain way at your home does not mean that the guest does the same. Like saying ‘treat my home like your own’ can mean ‘trash my place since that is how your home is treated’, assuming that guests do things like lock up when they leave will not always work.

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