Tenants locking themselves out?

So I have had issues with my second tenant locking himself out. I won’t be able to let him into his room until 8 hours from now. Do you offer compensation for the inconvenience? What do you offer or even charge as penalty?

I’ve had this on an number of occasions.

I didn’t refund as most hotels etc. will charge for a new key in these situations.
My guy had to wait about an hour though I had to dismantle a door

I wouldn’t charge anything if they didn’t actually lose the key (if they merely locked themselves out). In the future, I recommend keeping a lockbox on site with an emergency extra key. Only disclose to guests for emergencies.


Penalty? Waiting around for 8 hours is penalty enough. Compensation? There is no standard for this. It is at least partially the tenants fault ( I assume). Start with a low offer (“sorry about that”) and see where it goes. Going forward, lockbox with key, locked out guest contacts you for code. Lockbox key should be attached to a keytag that says “Lockbox key, return to lockbox” so if they use it it is not uselessly laying around in the room the next time they do it…


Great tip! Totally stealing that.


@Yen1 your guests are not tenants. It’s important that you don’t label them as such as tenants have very specific rights.


Thanks so much for the advice! Do you have any recommendations on which lockbox to get? I apologized to him and he took it well and he apologized back for locking himself out. He also was more relieved when I told him I would get a lockbox with a spare in case he locks himself out again.

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I use this one, attached to a wall on my porch that can not be seen from the street.

My guests do not carry their key with them. Instead, it is stored in the box for the few times that they need it. I change the code for each guest, creating something related to their phone number.


We have installed keypads for our lodging. They can be programed for several codes. We program them for the last 4 digits of the phone number on the guest’s registration as well as our code. There is a key for entry as well that is in a lock box. We keep a copy of all keys on a rack at our home. This has really helped with the late night calls. Though it was amusing to have the hot tub visitors come to the back door dressed in towels in the middle of a chilly fall night having locked themselves out and the phone in…


Not sure if any of you remember the story from last year when we were out of the country and the people staying in our condo locked themselves out. I had a friend with spare keys (@designconsortium2003) watching the house while we were gone. He, of course, RUSHED over to let these poor souls in, only to find them drinking wine on the patio, because they didn’t actually lock themselves out! They also failed to call and let anyone know that they got back in!!

So, I do understand how we can become jaded, in situations like this. We also installed a key pad almost immediately after this incident. We also now have in the house rules a lock out fee. I get we want to be as accommodating as possible to guests, and of course, we try, but we are not hotels. People book with us bc for whatever reason they didn’t choose to stay at a hotel, so they should be willing to tolerate the differences that come with the experience. That being said I fully agree to help them ASAP, but there are some times where we as hosts can not just drop everything bc our guest did something.

We were just in Greece and every hotel we stayed at had physical keys, we were told we can either leave them at the front desk when we go out, OR the cost was 200Euro to replace them if lost. It sounds like the OP figured out a lockbox solution, but for some of us that are not able to put a lock box on our doors, maybe a version of what I experienced in Greece will detour people from taking and losing keys.

I believe @Anastasia_Stal recently had a terrible lock our story, where the guest took it upon themselves to call a locksmith?


At my Guest Inn in Kyoto, all guests were asked to leave their keys on the front desk upon leaving for the day. No one was really watching them, but Japan is a super safe country to visit.


I remember this story @azreala . Even before something like this happens I have had a Lost Key/ Rekeying lock Fee . Never has there been an issue with Lost or Forgotten Keys , as I tell the guests directly about the fee as well as its in my Listing agreement /house rules so they pay attention to this and if a guest locks themselves out for whatever reason they will have to wait until I return from work etc . I now have a keyless lock , but some guests even forget the simple code number I give them . I just might hide a lockbox somewhere just in case I lose my keys .

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Exactly. The LockSmith actually did open the door for them without my knowledge or permission at 6am. I was surprised they didn’t even check the ID of the person while breaking in in someone’s house. Later the guest were insisting I should refund the cost of LockSmith service, I declined. Crazy woman.


Right!! That was the craziest part of the story!!

We were out of town and out housekeeper had to call a locksmith to open our front door, and the locksmith did the most minimal ID check. The entire process was beyond bizarre.


The guy locked himself out again! But this time I was showing the other room to the other guest. Just wondering, if a guest locks themselves out and even locks themselves out with the spare key, do you charge a fee? I don’t have a second hole for a number pad and I just got keyed doorknobs.

Is it possible that your lock situation is too complicated?

My advice in these situations? Buy those long key rings that can be attached to a belt loop or the inside of your bag. They can be clipped to things and become impossible to lose.

Here is my posh one that I bought in LA while I was there. (I actually have two) This is made of leather which you absolutely don’t need to do, cheap plastic works equally well.

The loop at the end can be attached to your handbag handle or to a rucksack etc.

Here’s the cheaper version of these;

When you give your guest their key suggest they attach this to the inside of their rucksack or belt loop …

No because it is just the doorknob lock and oddly whoever rents out the other room never gets locked out

Your guest is simply forgetful. Don’t blow hundreds of dollars trying to find a fix for something that’s an issue for one in a hundred.

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