Users of Smart Lock Apps

In my case I use August but my question may apply to others as well. Have you ever had a guest have someone else sign up for the app with their phone number and home access to enter a house they were not authorized to be in? If so, how did you handle it? How can it be prevented? I can only think of a couple options: 1. Put in the House Rules that only those given direct lock access are authorized to use it and there will be either a $100 fee (or police called as a possible option) or 2. Require guests to contact me to unlock the door sonI can unlock it remotely when I can verify on the doorbell camera that only authorized personnel are there.

Any and all discussion and suggestions are welcome.

It’s not clear who your “authorized personnel” are. It sounds like you only consider the reserving guest authorized, but not the other guests on the reservation. If that’s the case, I think you’re being too restrictive.

I have a smart lock, but it’s not app-based. Almost all of my guests share the door code among their group, as I expect them to. All of them are my guests.

At least among my friend group, everyone equally pays for our accommodations so we’d expect equal access. (At least after check-in. I can understand a host wanting the reserving person to be present when we arrive) . If that means one key we pass around, fine. But if it’s a door code or app we’d all expect to use it. I’d be irritated if I had to get in touch with a remote host to unlock the door each and every time I wasn’t with the reserving person.

I can think of some examples from my recent travels where this would have been a MAJOR inconvenience - so much so that I’d probably call Airbnb to complain, or get creative with how we accessed the house (Leaving a door unlocked or climbing through a window)

I’d suggest having a house rule of “Only registered guests are permitted on the property and granted door access”. Give door access to each guest in the reserving group. Ask for first/last name of each registered guest if that feels more secure.

edit: If I misinterpreted, and you mean they shared access outside of the group on the reservation, I’d say that’s exceptionally rare. I’d address it as a violation of my “no unregistered guests on the property” rule. Mentioning a fee or police involvement seems excessive.

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Did this happen to you? Or have you seen anything on host forums indicating this is an issue?

Thinking of getting a smart lock so interested in responses

I would put in the house rules that door codes are only to be used for registered guests, and then if you see extra people arriving on your camera, just charge them for the extra guests.

Or are you talking about someone giving the code to a completely unrelated party and then your house getting broken into with that code? I’m a little unclear about your question as well.

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You did misinterpret unfortunately. I’m talking about someone signed up as a single and let someone else completely set up their app access and go into the house alone. Then later the correct authorized guest shows up. I have instituted all your recommended rules and luckily Airbnb paid me the fees but they didn’t make the guest pay all of them because she said she couldn’t afford them…

It happened to me. At least twice. It’s just that this time I have figured out how it happened because I have added a doorbell camera and the guy had the balls to stand in front of it while asking the authorized guest how to set up the key and stated he couldn’t use his own security picture and then stated…I got in the house!”

The first time it was a Latina lady who apparently rented the house for her work crew and never stayed there herself.

It isn’t a code but app access. The access is given to the account holder with the phone number of the registered guest. If they share their account anyone can get in but without a camera it just looks like it is that correct person coming and going. When I have multiple guests I ask them if they all would like keys and give them each access by their own phone numbers.

I guess I could switch to a fingerprint door lock. They are only like 4x more expensive…lol

I don’t have the answer to the question about the lock as I don’t use that kind of lock but I will suggest when you see this again you immediately message the guest and tell them they are breaking the rules. There’s little point in having camera and rules if you aren’t going to enforce them.

I didn’t see it until after and I DID enforce it. Airbnb paid me because the authorized guest said she couldn’t afford it. It was $20 for the extra guest fee and $50 for the unauthorized guest fee I have on my Rules.

Ah, apologies for my misreading!

I don’t think there’s a way you can set up the door lock to prevent this. It sounds like your rules are working as intended to deal with the situation when it arises.

That’s BS that Airbnb didn’t collect due to hardship. Most of us would consider travel a luxury item. Air should cover the difference if they’re suddenly into charitable giving.

They did cover the difference. They usually are the ones who pay the various fees I have listed for not following rules as well as some of the pet fees that guests don’t want to pay. That part is less and less because I now try to require them before check-in.

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Does your lock not have a keypad to punch in a code? It’s only accessible with the smart app? That would make it tricky. I have a Schlage smart lock, but I just give each guest a unique code.

I have a key pad I can use but only put it out for those without a smart phone. I THOUGHT that by requiring the app that only THEIR PHONE would open the door but I was wrong. A code would be worse because anybody can pass along a code. In most cases there would be one of the codes that would be easiest to remember for a group and they would only use that one anyways.

Sorry I don’t understand your response.

So you are confirming that twice your guests gave their check in details to someone who didn’t book?

So presumably you cancel the bookings in both cases and the guests were banned from airbnb/

Yes that happened twice. However The first time I didn’t have proof so Airbnb wouldn’t do anything. This time last week I didn’t know until after the one night booking was over. And not only did Airbnb NOT ban the Guests but actually PAID part of her unauthorized person fee!!! So technically I guess now you could say that Airbnb is also an accomplice to the crime?? Or at least aiding and abetting??

Well, the same thing can happen with a regular lock-box or keypad if the guest give the key (or the code) to someone else. The only way to catch this is to have a ring camera to see how many people get inside.

Although I like technology and I think it is great what they did for us hosts, I would keep in handy hidden somewhere a real key so that if internet is down for some reason the guest could be able to get in.

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The nest doorbell camera is how I caught it. It didn’t prevent it from being able to happen is what I’m saying. And it’s not about number of people necessarily it’s about the WRONG people. In this case it was one person booked and one person walked in…until 20 minutes later when the authorized guest arrived.

As far as how the smart lock works it has nothing to do with internet (unless I want to access it remotely). It works off of blue tooth. But yes, regardless keep a spare for ANY lock.

Smart locks do not depend on internet OR bluetooth to work. Internet and/or bluetooth is how they are programmed etc, but I do not know of any smart lock is unable to work without wifi or bluetooth.

The August smart locks require either Bluetooth or WiFi or manual operation from inside.