Leaving the Door Wide Open and Other Security Measures!

doorkey2.jpgHow do your renters access your cottage? Do you mail them keys, or hide them under a flowerpot, in the barbecue or on a hook under the deck? I'm often amazed at the ingenuity of homeowners in finding new places to conceal their keys, but wonder why on earth they don't use a simple lockbox or keyless entry system.

I remember getting a worried call from a renter when he arrived at a cottage because the branch of the tree where the key should have been hanging, had broken off in a storm. There was no key to be found. Fortunately, a neighbor had a spare, but this was sure highlighted the risks of secreting keys around the cottage.

I've always used the Weiser keyless entry systems in our rental cottages. Easy to fit, the Powerbolt system lets you have one code for your own use, and another you can set for guests. We reset our door codes to the last four digits of the renter's phone number, so it's changed for each new group. Home Depot stock these and they occasionally come on sale at around $95.

An alternative is to buy a lockbox, however, I'd suggest you avoid the dial type as they can be challenging for people to use if they are not used to them, or if they arrive in the dark.

Julie Nelson

Hi Heather,
We used a lock box for our previous vacation property and then left two keys inside. But we have since installed a lock box for our home as well.

We had one too many calls from our distressed nanny who’d locked herself out, again! It works great, and the kids also know how to use it.

For our new property, I’m going to look into the Weiser keyless system, l like your idea of using the renters last four digits – easy for everyone.


Charlotte Real Estate

Heather, just rented a place over Thanksgiving in St Pete Florida–we got in very lateand it was great to have the keys AT The Door,in a combination lockbox. The best yet. But the Weiser may be betterwith the easy combo reset. Thanks Terry McDonald

Heather Bayer

@Julie – you’ll still need to leave a key hidden outside somewhere in case the Weiser batteries go flat.

@Terry – yes, that trick with the last four digits of the renter phone number is a great one. Easily remembered and good for security for the owner too, as it’s changed for every rental.

Lake Norman real estate

Interesting point of view!

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