Locks, Keys and Safes: Buying, Repairing and Maintaining

Own a Holiday Property? Here's How to Let Your Guests Inside Without Being There

It's not as though you need to think too much about collecting your key when you stay at a hotel. You walk up to the reception desk, check in, and your key is handed to you. If you own or manage a holiday property, it's not as though you will have a permanently-manned reception desk with someone ready to hand the keys over to your guests whenever they arrive. Chances are that you've spent many an hour waiting diligently for guests to arrive so you can say hello and hand over the key before going back to your own home or office. Sometimes this probably doesn't feel like an efficient use of your time. It would be nice if the key handover could happen without any physical intervention on your part. This is not as difficult to achieve as you might think.

Smart Lock

Any locksmith can replace the property's existing front door lock with a smart lock. This allows you to remotely deactivate the lock using a smartphone app from wherever you might happen to be. You still need to be available, but only via the phone. Your guests simply call or text you when they're outside. You would then deactivate the lock, having left a physical key inside. The front door still remains securely locked until such time as you deactivate the lock, but you don't need to be physically present for this to occur.

Combination Lock

Locksmiths can just as easily replace a traditional front door lock with a pushbutton combination lock. The code can be sent to your guests while they're on their way. Opt for a resettable lock so that the code can be changed after your guests leave (or periodically as you see fit). If the lock is entirely battery operated (with no option for a physical key), the changing of the batteries will need to be added to the property's maintenance schedule (as per the lock manufacturer's instructions). 


You could also simply install a secure lockbox to the side of the property (although this might only be feasible with semi or fully detached properties as opposed to apartment buildings). Much like a small, outdoor safe, this wall-mounted box will securely hold the physical key, and again, you simply send the code to your guests and change it as needed.

Arranging entry for your guests without you being there doesn't require any major modifications to your rental property, and it will greatly reduce the amount of time you actually need to physically be there.