Guest locked us all out

Level 2
Houston, TX

Guest locked us all out

We have a room that we rent and we prefer to come in and out of the garage instead of the front door which is actually on the side of the townhome. We give our guests the garage door remote and ask them to come and go through there. We have not had any issues but the guest we currently have in our home locked the actual door to enter the home from the garage. So we can get into the garage, but not the house. We don't carry our house keys as we also come and go through the garage. Now we have to call a locksmith to let us in. My husband is upset and thinks we should charge her. Has anything similar happened to anyone? What should we do? I don't know how she was thinking she'd unlock the door if she was only given the garage door remote. 

12 Replies 12
Level 10
Quilcene, WA

@Mae337 frankly it's hard to believe you would even consider charging your guest for this. It's up to you to maintain a system where you can't get locked out of your own property. If anyone should be upset, it's your guest. In your shoes I would be apologizing profusely and focusing on making my entry/exit system fail-safe.

Thank you for your response. I actually didn't know what to do hence my post requesting feedback/assistance. I actually was leaning towards not charging her because I agree it is our  responsibility to provide a fail-safe system. I was only conflicted because upon check-in, we had a lovely conversation and discussed in detail the entry/exit system. 


I value the wisdom and knowledge of more experienced hosts in the Community and definitely want to do what is right. Thankfully our guest was not inconvenienced by the situation. She is gone until the evening and the situation has already been resolved. It was my husband who was unable to enter the property. 


Thanks again for your response. 

Level 10
Toronto, Canada


Every mistake we make as hosts is education for us to move forward with in the future, but as I always say, education is never free.  My contractor did this to me once before we never locked the deadbolt we only locked the handle, he went out the bsmt and locked the door behind him but had deadbolted the upstairs door.  For some reason I didn't have the bsmt key so I was locked out.  We had just moved in but certainly learned a lesson, I didn't charge him, that same contractor was at my unit yesterday tightening taps, fixing the toilet and refreshed paint on a couple doors.  My bill came in as, "you owe me lunch"; pay for expense of the locksmith, it will all work out in the end.  Dont sweat the small stuff, and happy hosting. 🙂

@Krystal16 Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful response. I completely agree with you and will do just that. Have a great weekend! 

We had a situation when we were

away on vacation and my daughter and son-in-law were staying in our home to manage our rental. I had asked them not to lock the deadbolt (as it requires a key only we have) to the guest suite, but they did it anyway, and when the guests arrived they were

locked out. They called in a panic, thankfully the situation was resolved quickly and they were

not upset. We have since solved that problem, we often don’t foresee happenings until they actually happen. You’re not alone.

@Mary1710 Thank you for that. Yes, it happens. Thankfully she was out and never knew what happened. We just reminded her to not lock that particular door and she apologized for having forgotten but we ended up laughing it off.  All ended well and lesson learned. Ours was also resolved quickly and our guest left a lovely 5 star review. 

Level 10
Toronto, Canada


You can always set up a lock box by your side door and only use it in this types of situations. I use smart locks (keyless) however I have lock box set up as a back up in case the batteries die. It is good to have a backup and then a backup to the backup. The investment $ is minimal.

@Sean433 Yes! We actually have a smart lock but haven't had a chance to set it up. We plan to set it up before our next guest arrives and now we have created some backups to our backup! Very smart idea. Thank you for your comment. 

Level 4
Humboldt, TN

Lord no. Why would your husband think that is the right decision? I've had many leave the key in the room and lock themselves out. I have the backup. Things like that happen. Sounds like life to me. 

Christine Warrington

@Christine1081 I think it was just in that moment he was frustrated but when he settled down, he agreed it was a lesson learned. We've since improved the process. Thank you for your comment. 

Level 10
Los Angeles, CA

Locked out of your own property? Amazing! Never give your guest / tenant the one and only master key! This is landlording 101. Your fault.

@Peter69 It wasn't the "one and only master key" but thanks for your comment. It has since been resolved.