Restricted space within rental house

Our current rental offers full access to the entire space of the house with the exception of 1/2 of the basement which is behind a locked/keypad door and disclosed in the listing. Recently noticed it was broken into, not by force, but we noticed a few items were missing. Looking for suggestions on better securing that half of the basement to prevent this from happening. Stronger lock, security camera etc.?

Do you know which guests did this? If so do mention in your review.

Did you not have a proper door lock with a key fitted?

If not a proper lock and camera seem the right solutions.

Can you store those items in your home instead of that basement? I think keeping them elsewhere is the best solution. A camera can be covered and a lock can be broken. If they want access, they’ll find a way to get in.

No we don’t know which guests, we’ve had 3 different guests since we were last there. We do have a keypad Schlage lock on the door already but no signs of breaking an entry.

So how did they get in if no sign of forced entry? Doesn’t really make sense. Who has the code aside from you?

I once figured out the 4 digit lock combo to a friend’s briefcase that he had forgotten the code to, as he hadn’t used it for a long time, by patiently going through every number combo, which took hours, while we were talking, but I can’t imagine a guest doing that.

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Camera inside the space pointing at the door to record the picture of anyone entering. Even if they cover their face, there will be a date stamp


a sign on the door with “no access. basement has internal security cameras”.


If the code is “easy” or basic, it’s not inconceivable that someone might say to themselves, “I wonder if the owner is _____ enough to have set 1-2-3-4 as the lock code…” (or 1111, or 2222, etc.)

Our cabin uses a keypad lock we can remotely administer, and each guest has their own 4-digit code, which is only “active” during the dates and times of their stay. So they can’t get in early or after check-out. We can also assign codes of 4 to 12 digits in length. Each cleaner has their own code which, again is only usable during the hours they are expected to be there.

You could always try a padlock and heavy duty hasp. You cold also place a standalone alarm on the door to alert you immediately of the door is opened.


We were thinking maybe they used a credit card or wire to bypass the door lock.

If the OP puts a sign on the door inside the basement that mentions a camera (or simply has a camera inside the Airbnb space), a guest could complain about the camera and Airbnb could well shut down the listing and all future bookings.

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I think if they mounted a camera inside the locked space with a disclaimer in the listing and a note on the door saying the space was private, along with a note about it in the house manual, they would be safe.

I have heard of hosts doing that in shared homes or homes they normally live in, but rent out when they are away, in a bedroom or office space that is off-limits to guests.

As long as the camera wasn’t mounted outside the locked door, in an area the guest has free access to, it should be okay.


This is why we are hesitant on doing this.

I have two friends (separate rentals) who’ve had their owners’ closets emptied by guests or maintenance.

In one the thieves removed the door from the hinges & emptied the closet then reinstalled the door so no sign of break-in. The other either picked the lock or had the master key from building management.

The solution for the hinge removal was to place a dead bolt locking toward the hinge side of the frame so locks to left & right. Looked odd but worked.

The other was to put a motion activated trail camera bolted to the wall. It’s a closet with no power supply or wi-fi available. She placed a small but visible sign above the door knob “private/no access allowed - camera monitored inside”

@muddy is correct if the camera is in the non-public area & it is disclosed that area is not for renter access, the camera is fine.

This past summer there was an abundance of guests reporting (falsely) inappropriate cameras either to get a refund on their stay or in retaliation for the host reporting a party. There doesn’t have to be a camera there for the wrong guest to report one for the sole purpose of causing the host distress. I wouldn’t let fear of camera reporting stop me from putting one in a private space.


One poor host who posted not too long ago on the CC who got his listing suspended because of a bogus camera complaint, had the Airbnb rep send him a photo of what the guest claimed was an undisclosed camera, or it might have even been a photo off his own listing of the outside pool/patio area, with a small thing in the distance circled in red. The rep asked him to explain “what type of surveillance device” it was.

It was a regular shower head in the outdoor shower where guests are meant to rinse off before or after using the pool. :roll_eyes:


we all know this. I didn’t say put a camera in the common area. in fact, I just suggested a sign as the deterrent. I don’t see how a sign stating there’s a camera monitoring a private, locked not-on-the-listing space should be a concern, but you are right that CS are hopeless and could shut down the listing while they “investigate”.

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Which apparently takes about 10 days, because looking at the host’s listing info, where all the cameras and their locations are clearly disclosed, which would take all of 2 minutes, is just not humanly possible. :crazy_face:


I once sat and waited for about an hour to get into a unit where I had to install some new curtains, because the property manager had neglected to tell me he had changed the door code, and wasn’t answering his phone.

Wasting time alongside me was the welder who had made the new curtain rods and needed to install them, and his helper.

Finally the welder said, What was the old door code?- maybe they just reversed the numbers.


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Why don’t you just fit a lock and key into the door @rjruiz

Yeah we were thinking to deadbolt it as well. However not only do we have our cleaning person access the area, but sometimes plumbing people, exterminator etc.

So…we were considering a simple smart lock with a keypad like August Smart Locks or similar so we know when the door has been accessed.