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Remote key handling
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 345
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:09 am    Post subject: Remote key handling Reply with quote

For those of you who live remotely from your rental property, have any of you worked out how to arrange access for guests without involving a 3rd party who is local to the rental property?

At the moment I have a key delivery and key return process, which works. We have only had one issue of non-return in 8 years trading - after some badgering and police persuasion, the keys miraculously turned up.

However, I recognise their is a weakness in my process. Some say use a keysafe, but I'm concerned about their security.

How do those of you in a similar remote situation handle keys?
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Essar



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 3244
Location: Bournemouth

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This maybe a solution - See here.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 345
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Essar - thanks. Need to do some reading.

Has anyone used this type of wifi technology for property access?

Anyone using more low-tech processes?
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Casscat



Joined: 05 Jul 2014
Posts: 2662
Location: Andalucía

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a keysafe - this one: https://keysafe.co.uk/product/93/c500-keysafe# I've never had a problem or any attempt at forced entry, but I am rural and set well back from any passing traffic or pedestrians.
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EdinburghCityApartments



Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 77
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be so worried about using a wifi enabled service - in case the cleaner accidentally switched router off or if something happened with the service.

I manage one apartment where the door is accessed by a code (digital screen) - by Yale I think.

There are others where you can programme the lock remotely with changing codes (but I get these require wifi).

I use key safes attached to walls and they are very secure.

Why not a combination? A digital code lock and key safe mortice lock?
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Gordo



Joined: 07 Oct 2015
Posts: 190
Location: UK, Spain, Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used key-safes for years both local and remote. For me their convenience and flexibility has worked wonders but in stark contrast I've always been wary of their security! (but I still use them as I believe if a thief wants to get in they'll get in anyway).

Most of the popular brands seem to come with 4 digits by default and the push-buttons types (including the one you have Casscat) are fairly easy to open with a bit of patience as due to random-order numbering there are less than 240 possible codes (e.g. if code is 1-2-3-4 then any combination of those digits will work).

The 'Master' brand wheel type (as sold by screwfix) are very easy to open purely by feel once you've developed a 'feel' for them.

You'd think that armed with that knowledge I've have stopped using them years ago but not so! Embarassed
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 345
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked
These comments aren't filling me with confidence re keysafe vulnerability(we're in town. Tbh, I don't fancy having an easily-tampered with box attached to the wall) and wifi service interruptions(it's never 100%). Though I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Digital lock warrants further investigation.

Does anyone(UK) actually send keys out, and have them sent back? What process/service do you use? Any problems or vulnerabilities, so far?
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alifrank1



Joined: 07 Jan 2007
Posts: 546
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I don't rent any more, I rented my spanish apartment for seven years to English guests. In all that time, I never had a problem and I was very low tech! Embarassed

I would put the keys in a self adressed and stamped jiffy bag, then pop the jiffy bag into an A5 envelope to post to the guest. I took a deposit, which they wouldn't get back until the keys were returned. Easy peasy! I think having a stamped addressed envelope helped as they didn't have to think about it after their holiday, just find a post box.
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1625
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a key safe for the house keys, gate and alarm fob out side our front door but our property is on a complex of 6 villas and and has an electric security gate accessed with a fob. The gate also has a side gate accesses by a key. I post my guests the side gate key and their 'arrival pack' has the key safe combo and instructions. After the holiday guests post the key back and I then refund the security deposit. This has worked well for me for the past 6 years and I do have a plan B if the key fails to reach the guest in time or for last minute bookings. Giving the guest s responsibility to return the key before they get their deposit back has bought time sorting difficult potential deposit deductions.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 826
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a Yale digital lock at home together with a mortice key. Together this is good security as anyone picking up my bag with my address and key in it still could not get past the digital lock. The digital lock is so easy if you are entering when the mortice is not needed eg someone else already at home.

Obviously we have more valuables at home, I don't think you would need the mortice at a holiday let At the cottage we have a key safe. No problems, but you need to think about where you would put the key safe and have your cleaner remove the key if the property is empty.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 345
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alifrank1 wrote:
I would put the keys in a self adressed and stamped jiffy bag, then pop the jiffy bag into an A5 envelope.......


That's almost exactly what I do for all UK-based guests. The only difference is that the outbound journey to guest's home address requires signature on receipt. So receipt can be proven. The weakness is in the return journey. I'd like to sign for them on return, but can't expect guests to queue at the post office. So, it's a basic 'pop it in the post box' SAE with same delivery and return-to-sender address. Without signed-for on the return journey, the package can, in theory, get lost and there is no proof of posting.

(Useful tip from the post office re return journey. They say that if the SAE has the address written on the package(as opposed to on a label attached to or stuck on to the package, which could potentially become separated from the package), then once it is in their system, it WILL ultimately be delivered).

Wish i could purchase stamps which could be used on an SAE, but require signature on delivery. I don't think such a thing exists.

As I say, only one problem in 8 years, but it has always been a niggle. Confused
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Casscat



Joined: 05 Jul 2014
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Location: Andalucía

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordo wrote:

Most of the popular brands seem to come with 4 digits by default and the push-buttons types (including the one you have Casscat) are fairly easy to open with a bit of patience as due to random-order numbering there are less than 240 possible codes (e.g. if code is 1-2-3-4 then any combination of those digits will work).


There's also 'A' and 'B' which increases the random number generator significantly. I'm not sure how many stealth burglars would be willing to stand on the path entering that many combinations! There's also the mountings which are not able to be unscrewed, and the box itself cannot be easily broken into without serious equipment. Actually, I wonder how I am going to get the damn thing off when I move in to the finca permanently! Shocked
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Cymraes



Joined: 07 Jul 2015
Posts: 343
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Realistically how long are the keys in the safe? If you are fully booked it's probably a matter of hours between guests. If it's a longer period you could ask your cleaners to keep them.

I'd be worried about wifi- signal is not awfully reliable where we are.
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Gordo



Joined: 07 Oct 2015
Posts: 190
Location: UK, Spain, Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casscat wrote:
There's also 'A' and 'B' which increases the random number generator significantly. I'm not sure how many stealth burglars would be willing to stand on the path entering that many combinations!


Oops yes you're quite right but even with 12 buttons it's still only 495 combinations (but despite that, all manufacturers advertise it as 4,096 as presumably they don't really want to advertise that the 4 digits will work in any random order). All the codes printed in order are available on the web and anyone with nothing better to do could open it within about 90 mins assuming they chose the correct code last! - a bit scary or what?!!! Another type worth considering for the OP might be the padlock type as at least you can move that to various perhaps more discrete locations.
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amandajane



Joined: 14 Jul 2014
Posts: 173
Location: South hams, devon

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a key safe and it works well. But....it is positioned very discreetly so not really visible to passers by.

Before that I used to send out the key in a padded envelope but without any indication of the address. Guests were asked to lock up,when they left and simply put the key back through the letter box. My cleaner collected it from the door mat and I would pick them up from her in due course. I had several Jess on different coloured fobs so I would know who to ask if one was missing.
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