Security and Access Control Considerations for Airbnb Hosts

Airbnb is still growing, globally, and as you might imagine, Southern California is a popular Airbnb hotspot. And why not? We have the sun, the surf, the entertainment and so much more.

Safety and security, for both their guests and the property itself, has to be top of mind for any Southern California Airbnb host. However, there are some special access control considerations that must be kept in mind if you want to be a ‘superhost’ who can offer guests a safe stay while also protecting your property and its contents. Here’s a look at some of the most important.

Doors and Locks: Making Things Convenient, Safe and Secure

Many travelers love Airbnb because of the flexibility it can offer. Many also appreciate the peace, quiet and privacy. A trip can be so much more enjoyable when you can come and go as you please, uninterrupted by hotel staff. Getting in and out of the property is something that Airbnb owners have to give careful thought to.

The old way of letting a guest into your property was by giving them a key. In some cases, there would be different keys for different areas of the house, especially if the property, as is the case for many larger Airbnb properties in Southern California, has been divided into several different units.

This process is, however, cumbersome, inefficient and not very secure. Hosts would either need to be available to hand over the keys or place them in a lockbox. Keys are easy to duplicate and easy to lose, and if there are several entrances a guest has to unlock things get even more complicated.

Automatic locks are a far better access control solution for everyone involved. They can usually be set and reset via a mobile phone, which allows hosts to create a new passcode for each guest that can be changed as soon as they check out. This prevents unauthorized (unpaid) reentry will also offering the guest extra peace of mind that they will be super safe inside.

If your Airbnb contains several units passed the front door, a code handle lock can be an excellent way to secure the space and allow easy access control to those who are supposed to be there (ie paying guests)

These handles, like this one from one of the excellent security equipment providers we use, ASSA ABLOY, look like standard door handles, but they have a built-in keypad into which an access code will need to be entered in order for it to open. This code can be set and reset remotely on an as needed basis and the handle itself is sleek and unobtrusive, so it won’t clash with your interior decor.

Party Damage Prevention

Most Airbnb guests are great. They respect the host and their property and behave in a wholly appropriate manner. Most guests. There are stories, horror stories, about parties that get out of control, doors that are left unlocked so valuables are stolen, and noise levels that not only annoy neighbors but violate local ordinances as well.

This can be especially worrying for Airbnb hosts who do not live in or around the property. A tilt motion sensor can help. These sensors can alert a host when a door has been open for too long, or when it is being constantly opened and closed (a great indication that a party’s happening) and even if certain valuables have been moved.

Alerts are sent to a cell phone, no active alarm is sounded on the property, and so a host can monitor activity without violating guests’ privacy.

Sounds sensors are another great way of alerting Airbnb hosts to unusual behavior without encroaching on the guests’ privacy. A sound sensor will alert owners to any decibel spikes in their property. It doesn’t eavesdrop or record sound. It just alerts the host of loud noises.

Video Cameras

Video cameras are a sticky issue with Airbnb, so you have to make use of them carefully. If you have any cameras installed this must be disclosed in your listing in general and to any paying guests specifically. Most guests, however, are fine with CCTV camera installed at entrances to the property, and so as long as you disclose the fact that they are there adding this layer of security will be a plus in many guests’ eyes, not a negative.