Should you ditch the old fashioned metal keys and electronic code-based entry systems for smart locks?
The success of Airbnb and similar services has made it easier than ever to travel. Turning your property into a guesthouse brings certain responsibilities as a host, however, namely how guests gain access to your house. Where you once would have had the tedious duty of greeting every guest at the front door and giving them a tour before finally handing over the keys, you can skip all of that now. By installing a smart lock system, you can control who is authorised to access your house remotely, saving you time and money in the long run. Products like Ring video doorbell for your smartphone also let you monitor your home.
What makes smart locks better than electronic locks?
In addition to providing a digital keycode to your guests to unlock the door you can control when that code is activated, who can use it and how long it is active for. What’s more, smart locks can send you push notifications when your door is locked or unlocked so you will always be aware of who is gaining access to your property. This is great if you use a professional cleaning service between paying guests, who you have also authorised to access the building.
Can smart locks be fitted to any house?
Technically, yes. Smart locks tend to fall down when it comes to flats with shared access however. Most locks are only designed for one door, so you would need multiple locks for shared entry points, which means managing multiple codes. Alternatively, you would need to choose a smart lock system that could be integrated with your intercom service to allow access via the shared entrance.
What happens if a guest cannot use their smartphone?
If a guest’s phone runs out of battery, then you can open the door for them remotely. Or, since smart locks can still be opened with a traditional key you could ask a neighbour to keep a backup.
What if the internet or electricity goes down?
Smart locks are often battery operated and have a sensor to let you know when the batteries need to be replaced, so you won’t get caught out. They continue to function without a WiFi connection. Most actually detect when you’re nearby and unlock the door using your smartphone’s Bluetooth.
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Smart locks and insurance
Remember that when you make a modification to your house, like switching to smart locks, then you will need to tell your home insurance provider so that they can assess any added or reduced risk to your property. This could mean a change to your premium so it's well worth getting in touch, particularly as some insurers will only insure industry-approved lock types.
While the idea of smart locks is relatively new to the UK compared to other countries, the rising popularity of 'smart homes' means that they could soon be widespread. That's why we're keeping up with the trends at HomeProtect; to ensure that we can provide the right level of cover to suit customer needs. So when you take out a quote online you can declare your smart lock and still get an affordable home insurance quote with Airbnb lettings.