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Locksmith payment refused by Air B+B

Nope nope nope. I am a geek. Technology is not always the answer. Look at guest skill sets & options available. If you may have nontech savy guests, go with the least tech dependent solution. It isn’t about the host. It is about the guest

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Business travel —I routinely leave card in room at check out.

Agreed $300 is too much my local locksmiths charge $75 for trip & unlock after 5:00 pm

Why does a guest need to be tech savvy to press numbers on a keypad? If they have even so much as a flip phone, then they have the tech skills to use a smart lock. It’s that simple.

Two types of smart locks. Code to phone & press numbers like you describe.

If smart phone required, some guests are screwed

My 87 yr old Dad would flip out. Independent.lives alone. Gallivants with lady friend who is same age—reconnected at high school reunion. Texting is unknown

Personally I wouldn’t book a place that required a code sent to my phone. Too iffy and too techy for me. A lock box where I just key in the numbers, no problem.

@Debthecat I also just have keys. I have a spare set hidden outside, a spare set in my house, a spare set in my bag. So far, no guest has ever walked off with the key or lost it.

Only my friends do that :slight_smile:

The code just gets sent in a message; they don’t typically use their phone for access.

Now if you’re referring to the recent discussion of sending the code immediately before arrival, I’m with you on that. I like to send the message several days out, because many of my guests come in on long flights. I program the temporary code for the dates of their stay, and the code is digits from their phone number so it’s easy for them to remember.

Many of my guests are staying here for their quarantine, so they require no-contact check in.

I can lock and unlock remotely if necessary, and change access codes using an app on my phone. There is also a key backup, so a copy could be left in a lockbox for emergencies

Also as a guest I find keys annoying, especially if there’s just one.

So does mine. And you don’t need a phone to unlock it. You just punch the numbers on a keypad. And I always change the code between guests. The only physical key they have is a NFC tag that is used to gain entrance to the building after hours. They are supposed to leave it in the room on checkout and in two years nobody had taken it away. And even if they did it would only cost me $30 to get a new one. I might charge the guest for that.

Why were the cleaners relying on accessing the guests key. If they had their own as they should/you had spare keys- this situation wouldn’t have happened @Cillikugel

The cleaners get the code to the lockbox and use the key that is there.
If it’s not there,they have to cancel the clean as the office where the spare key is kept is in another part of London and may not even have been occupied regularly in Corona times.
They usually have another clean scheduled right after,so there just wouldn’t have been time to get another key.

May 4

I’m sorry if you can’t get reimbursed by the guest, but you can then pursue it with Airbnb if the time involved is worth it to you.

But I also don’t understand- there was only the one key to the door? No spares? That seems very odd. Why would your cleaners not have their own key? Why wouldn’t you?

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Dear Brian,
You’ve made some good points,especially the one about someone local having a key.
I have been paying a company to be in charge of all this and their solution was the locksmith because there was no key available.
Thanks for the pointer.

May 4

I agree with a few of the others that the guest made a mistake, but your system of access to the listing for guests, cleaners, and yourself has some problems.

The fundamental problem is that there were no other keys available. What would you do if the lockbox failed? If you are a remote host, then you should have a local cohost that has keys. What would you do if the guests accidently locked themselves out? The correct answer to that question should not be “call a locksmith.”

BTW, I’m also in disagreement with hosts that think smart locks are the answer. Smart locks are much less reliable than traditional key locks, so you might not have to worry about losing a key, but you do have to worry about the lock failing, and you are just as screwed if you don’t have a backup plan.

You are so right…THANKS……I shall look into this. I know it was expensive because it was a holiday but ….

May 4


I had to pay £300 for all this!

that could have paid for a few smart locks…

You have multiple failure points here, but the worst one is that the cleaners didn’t have their own key! And no spare somewhere in a second lockbox, if you MUST use one.

As fpr the $300 charge you hired an incompetent locksmith. Every locksmith I’ve known could open any cylinder or mortise lock in a few minutes, for minimal charge. The only locks I’ve seen that couldn’t be picked use multiple sets of cylinders and a key with a hex shaft with dimples for the lock cylinders. It would have to be a really extreme situation for a locksmith to have to destroy a lock to open it.

I like my Schlage smart locks. I have to enter the codes manually bit it it would take just as long on my phone. I just change the batteries earlier than recommended. 3 years with no failures except for human error. There’s an override key in the lockbox next to the door but I’ve never needed to use it since the lock was installed.

  1. Your ‘lockbox’ is fronted by a ‘smart lock’ (keypad)? Hmmmm, you have a smartlock but add another level of complexity with ‘keys’.

  2. Every cleaning service that has to work ‘old school’ has a key ring with keys on it. Again, you use a smartlock to add another level of potential failure for your cleaners.


  1. over 2 million subscribers, and 'how-to’s of how to pick locks within a minute; use this link in the future:

Sorry, but this is your fail or your property manager’s. If there was another key available at an office, someone should have been able to access it and courier it over.

Trying to charge a guest 300 simply because they left the key inside is not acceptable. Take it as a learning experience and move on.

Why don’t you have a smart electronic lock? Even if you get one that’s not hooked up to your wifi, get an electronic keypad lock. The cleaners have a code, guests have unique codes for their stay, you have a master code. Half the price of the keys and locksmith.

The 6 spare keys…sorry,there were only 4.
Three waiting for me in the office of thw company that manages the flat as I have not been able to come to the UK during Corona
One in the office for the office
One in the lockbox

Apparently the locksmith couldn’t do otherwise but why he charged so much I must find out!

Am I missing something here? This is the management’s duty - they should have gone to your airbnb and used one of their keys to let in your cleaner, and replace in your lockbox (I imagine). Might be time to get a good management company…


@Rolf makes a good point. Charge the 300 against their next payment, since they didn’t do their job and this is the cost of that mistake.

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