A previous article discussed the importance of keeping control of access to your rental. You should control how and when your guests get access to keys for your rental.
But what are the options for getting the keys? There are 7 different ways listed below.
There are two broad situations. The easy one is when your guest has direct access to the front door from the street. The second situation is where the guest has to pass through some common area like a building lobby.
Another test is whether the guest identification is verified before entry.
Let’s take the 7 options separately, and look at the pros and cons of each.
Entry to door direct from the street
The simplest way to get the keys is via a lock box near the front door. Probably the most popular method. You set a combination, the guest gets the combination direct from you some time before arrival, usually by email. The guest keys in the code and gets the keys. In low risk locations (like when you live nearby), the code may stay the same. In higher risk locations, the cleaner sets a unique code each time. A handy way to set the code is to the last 4 digits of the guest’s mobile number, easy for the guest to remember. I used this method effectively for may years in my Richmond city rental and my cleaner loved setting the code!
Pros – Inexpensive to install. Simple. Easy for the guest. Host can arrange different codes.
Cons – As the guest meets no one, there is no verification that the guest is who they claim to be or the number of people entering. In most locations, this is rarely a problem.
The cleaner has to be organised to change the code and the host organised to convey the code to the cleaner. Also the same keys are used all the time, which in theory could be copied.
If the guest takes the keys home by mistake, they need to be returned quickly.
2 Electronic lock
The door is fitted with an electronic lock and the host provides the guest with a unique code. The code can be changed by electronic message and software, or the host can choose from many preset codes, controlled by software. The host sends the code to the guest.
Pros – Easy to set a new code. No keys. The code expires after the guest leaves, low security risk.
Cons – As for 1 above there is no guest identity verification.
Can be expensive to purchase and install.
Relies on the technology working smoothly.
More software for the host to learn.
Where entry is via some common area
This situation is more common in urban areas, apartment buildings, and condominiums. [click to continue…]