Shared home and locking up?

We’re a shared home B&B in Devon, UK and so far we do not lock up much - means guests potentially have access to all of the house.
As we know nothing of most of them I have wondered if we should lock some rooms at night for example and wonder what others do? As most of our bookings are direct, we have at least their address, but doubt that I would notice, or have the time to check if anything has disappeared and I have collected plenty things. precious to me, over the years…

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UK Home share host here. @Kiewiet

I have a lock on my bedroom door but don’t use it that much.

However my only direct bookings are with repeat guests.

I vet my guests quite carefully to ensure a good fit and they all have photo ID.

Haven’t had anything stolen in six years of hosting.

Why tempt folks. I recently had an appliance delivery and right before they arrived, my fingers were swelling so I took off my antique heirloom ring from my deceased Great Aunt and put it in a container with my pills. Poof, gone. Can not be replaced.

We lock our room when we leave .
I had couple things missing over the years. Once my folding bed dissapeared. It was light weight. Once i needed it and disvovered it was missing.
The rest were kitchen items. Nothing big or valuable.

We share our home and frankly don’t have a lot of valuables accessible. My husband locks one room where he keeps supplies for his photography and entertainment gigs. One room has a locked closet with stuff in in for when my daughter stays in that guest room. Our bedroom locks but we don’t usually bother. Our biggest risk is that our password protected computers are sometimes accessible. I have had one person in over a decade access my computer without my permission before I had a password on the computer when I was away. He used it to access travel information. My feeling is that if there is something attractive that you would be heartbroken to lose, such as an heirloom, lock it up.


Speaking of locking up, yesterday I had my first request for a lock on the guest room door. We have always had a latch for the inside of all bedroom and bathroom doors, but I hated the look of a shiny, clunky lock on a door right off the dining room.
At any rate, it was installed within 2 hours of her request and the guest was thrilled.

In retrospect, I should have done it 3 years ago!


Do you host more than one set of guests at a time? If so, a guest being able to lock their door when they go out seems quite reasonable. If only one set of guests, it makes no sense at all. If they are only sharing with the host, it would be foolish of the host not to have a key to that lock in case of emergency.

I have never locked my bedroom door, but I also don’t leave money, credit cards, etc, around. Only host one guest at a time, no IB, never had anything missing.

Hello and many thanks to all
We have four available rooms- all with locks that can be locked from the inside- by turning the catch and can also be locked from the outside with a key. Pricey locks but at least it means that we won’t find a guest having a heart attack and locked inside their room. Guests can therefore lock their own rooms.
I have had the odd guest, and the only one with us, ask for the key and lock their room- yes a bit pointless …

We always provide a front door key- it is the host risking theft as at present we don’t have an electronic system. But the front door has two locks so guests only get one key to it.

But we do not lock away much - but I have started to lock my silver and crystal cabinets, but plenty on view that might tempt someone light fingered. We also don’t lock our bedroom door, but the dog sleeps with us and is a real ‘yapper’!!

However, we have started locking doors to limit guest access to the private parts of the house - but reluctantly.
Oddly I am concerned for my book collections. People often think that books are disposable and ‘borrow’ them. But they are in our breakfast room- and available all the time. My ‘posh’ books are in the office which can be locked.

The thought that we might have a thief in our home does put us off doing B&B in our home, so we are now building a garden cottage.

Hi Helsi
What photographic I D do you ask for? We get address, phone etc on booking, and a signature on check in where the guest agrees with our house rules, but any details could be fraudulent.
Touch wood, and minus IB and our limits on accepting guests we think we are safe, but before I retired (as a teacher) I had seen everything possible in humanity.

We have cameras that I turn on in our private spaces when we are not at home. But mostly one of us is around. I have called out the cameras in the “owners private spaces” as part of our listing.Thefts do happen – our insurance agent warned us that was the number one issue when we changed to a STR policy – not so much broken stuff but theft.

You could consider a safe bolted to the floor/wall, which would be helpful when you travel as well.

Any standard photo ID ie passport/driving license

I lock all private areas of my shared home listing when I’m not home and lock the cat in the master suite (even though most of my guests come for her! She’s a star and gets in the reviews). I have a safe hidden in a hallway closet that is off limits by a separator and tell guests that part of the house is off-limits.

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This isn’t an issue unless you have rooms that share a bathroom, but we stayed in a 3 rental Airbnb once that had no lock on the bathroom door! It was a little risky if you liked privacy.


Thanks Christine
Our home has always had locks on bathroom doors- including the four B&B ensuite bathrooms inside the four bedrooms- where it’s not so essential as the B&B rooms are for couples or singles only.

Thanks Helsi
Do you tell booked guests that you will need this- as we Brits are not used to carrying ID, and I assume ask for it at check in?
We are new so learning, and have only just formalised check in.

I’ve set up my listing on Airbnb so only guests who provide photo ID can book. @Kiewiet

My direct guests I ask them to provide on arrival and comply with GDPR in terms of how the data is stored (I’m a UK host)

We have an apartment separate from the rest of the house. Obviously we lock that up. But in the house, we have a food pantry, a closet for my good kitchen stuff, another room for cleaning and laundry supplies and tools, a large linen closet for extra towels, sheets, blankets and bedspreads and an office. We have locks on all of these areas. Once, I neglected to lock the linen closet and the people helped themselves to half the stuff in there…mostly towels, which meant I had a much heavier laundry load than usual and I didn’t have towels readily available for my next guests.

My rental philosophy is simple. If I don’t want people to use it, I put it beyond their reach. If I care if it gets broken or stolen, I don’t leave it out. People are curious by nature and look through anything available to them. Imo.


Words to live by…

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We share our home with guests. We have keypad locks on our guest room doors, so they can lock them. A few do; most don’t.

After a time when a confused guest walked into our bedroom, expecting to find the bathroom, we put a keypad lock on our bedroom door, too. We lock it if we have a guest in the house who is there for the first time. That’s rare now, as we mostly host repeaters who know the house well.

We also have signs on doors to indicate what each room is: Poetry Room, Monet Room, Poetry Bath, Monet Bath, and Virgil & Rebecca.

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Many thanks Helsi
We have not yet registered with the GDPR (UK) people but we are about to do so (and pay them!) but I will follow your advice and hope that people accept bringing photo ID.
Can’t think why not…
And if people are reluctant then best they find somewhere else.
We have certainly needed photo ID in hotels in Europe.