Safety of keys beware of distraction theft

This is what happened to me today. My guests were to check out at 8am so I went to the building at 7.50 am and let myself into the building using my key. As I waited for the lift I checked the mail box.
Arriving at the flat it was fairly chaotic with 4 people not really organised. I sat on the settee with my master set of keys next to me.They got their stuff together and started asking questions about how to get to the airport which I did think a bit last minute. I stood up and twice went through the directions and off they went except they knocked on the door, they had left something so I let one of them in They left a second time this time getting to the groundfloor and pressing the buzzer, there was something else they had forgotten. Two of them came back and foolishly I went and checked the back of the 2 bedroom doors to see if anything had been left on hooks and finally theyd left. A couple of minutes later I realised that my master set of keys that is keys to the rental property, my own home, the safe, my bicycle lock and a few more had gone with them. I instantly texted which was ignored then I phoned until they answered of course denying it. I have spent most of the day with a locksmith and am 1600euros worse off having had the locks to both the rental and my home changed. It was a distraction theft at its best. Before anyone asks, myself my cleaner and 3 friends searched the flat moving every bit of furniture. Also as a Pharmacist under normal circumstances I am scrupulous with keys. They were very very good. I guess this is a warning to all the owners out there to beware and I wonder if there have been other victims.

Make sure you report it to Airbnb, the police and leave them a bad review. You won’t get your money back but you can warn other hosts.



Sorry about the theft. There’s a lot to be said for electronic locks. Among other things, no keys to lose. I’d use them here, except they don’t work well with the doors I have here. But if they did, I’d install them, probably.

You left the master keys unattended?

Odd that the guests would deliberately take them especially if they were on their way to the airport.

Like other hosts have said, electronic keys would solve so many issues.


The post was to warn hosts about distraction theft. Yes I feel stupid and there is no doubt that they were taken. There is also only their word that they were in fact on the way to the airport. They could well be moving on to their next rental and try the same stunt hence the warning.

French insurance demand 5 point locks so I doubt electronic would be acceptable but thanks for the info.

Please report these guests in the “bad guests” thread!!!

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I’m sorry this happened to you. It must feel horrible, not to mention expensive. I’m also sorry about the tendency of posters on this board to pile on people to “correct” them. I think it would be nice if people refrained from offering “advise” if none was requested. Look at how many posters recently have been trying to outline every possible scenario for which they might be criticized.


Gladly but not sure how. The keys were the worst part if many complaints

Thanks Ellen, yes I was surprised at the tone of some replies especially when I explained it was a warning and an attempt to find out if anyone else had suffered something similar.


No one here is trying to correct her. I was asking her to clarify the situation she had outlined because I wasn’t fully understanding it.

I was subjected to sustained distraction tactics by four adults intent on theft. This was in the form of repeated requests for directions. They had been guests for 8 days so presumably had more than a working knowledge of where they were. This was then followed by demands to re enter the apartment because they had “forgotten” items. Today, safe in the knowledge that there are new locks fitted on the rental and my home I have filed a police report- get ther at 7am before the queues form.

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Even if keys aren’t taken outright, there’s nothing stopping duplication.

The keys are supposedly impossible to duplicate which hopefully is true. They come with a credit card type ID which must be presented to the authorised dealer in order to obtain duplicates.

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What an awful experience. I hope you get compensated.
Don’t take offense to any of the replies, I don’t feel people are correcting you or have a negative tone. It’s human nature to try and offer a solution (even if none was asked for) when we hear of someones awful situation.
I find most of the posters here are kind, caring, funny individuals who have great advice to offer. (the odd wack job I’ve noticed stands out a mile away and shouldn’t be encouraged with a response)
Even when you only want to vent, people will take your situation and discuss, analyse, disect, advise…just like if you were at a real life social gathering and shared the experience with a group.
It also helps others new to hosting who may encounter a similar situation and can read all the advice given and put it to use. eg I don’t have cameras but maybe I should…
Food for thought is what’s on offer here. Eat up!:fork_and_knife::stew::wine_glass:


Hi @jillthepill1,

That’s unfortunate. I’ve never actually owned an electronic lock, but it’s possible that a good one would make such happenings much less likely. Also, I looked up this x point lock thing, but didn’t really understand what I read. But I’ll take your word for it that electronic locks cannot be 5 point lock systems.

Hi Jill,

I would still submit documentation of costs to Airbnb and tell them you have filed a police report (if you don’t have a copy). Even if guest is going to deny everything, an Air rep. may still decide to compensate you under the host guarantee. Guests deny all kinds of things but sometimes Air will side with the host. Your story is extremely detailed and very believable.

I guess in the future, should that happen again you would accompany them back in. Live and learn. Agree with Cabin. You might be able to successfully claim on guests stealing master keys.

I was in the apartment but foolishly left the keys on the settee while I checked the hooks on the back of the 2 bedroom doors as that is the most common place that people leave things when they leave. I have given Airbnb all the info.


Please keep us posted on their decision.