Short-term letting and security
Let’s face it, short term letting your property with the likes of AIRBNB, Homeaway, Booking.com etc , is an excellent opportunity for home owners to make some extra income. But the worry for everyone who goes down this route is that the security to the biggest investment you own is compromised immediately when your front door keys are not in your hands.
Do you know where your spare set of keys are right now? It’s a question that you probably can answer. They could be with Mr Smith who has collected them from the key box on the side of your house as per the arrangement and he’s now at the Theatre, he will let himself in later, check out as planned, and return the keys back, perfect!
Firstly is a key box a secure solution? Most are not installed correctly and are easy to remove from a wall, so there is your first compromise. Secondly, how often is the code changed ? A quick ring around to friends I know who host AIRBNB, and all said once in a blue moon! This is unacceptable. One admitted he doesn’t know how to change the code anyway. So any past guest could let themselves in at any time robbing their present guests, it’s a scenario not worth thinking about, and they clearly haven’t.
The third scenario could see your keys being copied at the local locksmiths or key cutters. Unless your front door keys are patented, your keys are now compromised from an unscrupulous guest and potentially used or sold on the black market.
These are very real scenarios, and not even James Bond complicated, arguably the easiest from of crime can be committed with not too much thought. So what can you do to beat this?
If you do have to go down the key box route, a smart key box that you can issue timed codes to your guests to would be an option. This means you can change the codes automatically when your guest leaves. Igloohome make a very popular version that we recommend.
A patent protected key would be another option to go along side this. Some euro cylinders such as Yale, ABS or Mul-T-lock have key protection making it more difficult to get unauthorised keys cut unless you present a key cutting card. These cylinders are typically more expensive than a normal euro cylinder.
A smart lock that could be App controlled or one with an integrated calendar to Airbnb that generates a code would be a fantastic solution, not only does it get rid of keys (although they do have override in case of emergencies) but it gives you the option to remotely check in guests.
Many smart locks have multiple ways of entry, App, pin, fob, bluetooth, and we reckon this is the way forwards and guests pin codes can be changed as soon as they leave. Smart locks do not compromise the security on your house and really just make it a whole lot easier to guest manage.
Matt Kemp has been in the Security industry for over 20 years working for Assa Abloy, Avocet hardware and currently with Smart Choice Security.
He has one goal. “Keep the bad guys out”