An increasingly common sight on Melbourne’s city streets is rows upon rows of mysterious-looking locks, often dangling from public infrastructure near apartment buildings. Most of the time, these miniature safes contain keys or key cards that give renters access to an apartment.
It seems harmless enough, right? But this key delivery method is causing enough of a problem that the City of Melbourne has recently banned lock boxes in public spaces. The city’s reason for this decision is that:
Lock boxes can impede access to services, cause damage to property, or obstruct genuine use of the structure.
– City of Melbourne
There might be a little more going on than this, though. After all, with the short-term apartment rental business booming, more and more visitors to Melbourne elect to stay in rentals as opposed to hotels.
For some apartment owners, this has proved to be a sore point. One building manager told The Age that in the building he manages, holiday units left largely unattended (with lock boxes as the guest’s primary source of access) had been used for dubious drug deals and much more.
Left wholly unvetted, a clientele of the sort one doesn’t want staying in one’s apartment (or building, for that matter) are doing just that and fellow owners aren’t too happy about it.
That’s just one troubling aspect that lockboxes present. The “security” they offer is flimsy, to say the least, and they can easily be opened with an angle grinder. While it might seem unlikely that thieves will go to such lengths to break into a lockbox, it does happen.
Or, if the would-be robbers don’t happen to have their power tools handy, they can find numerous tutorials online explaining how to break into key safes. A Google search offers 135,000,000 hits for “how to break into a lockbox” many of these are highly sophisticated explainer videos.
The glory days of easy Airbnb self-check-in are over and owners need to find key exchange solutions that abide by the city’s laws, keep the neighbours happy, and provide adequate security. So use an Airbnb property management company in Melbourne.
While Melbourne is currently the only city in Australia to forbid key safes, it is only a matter of time before other Airbnb hotspots such as Sydney and Brisbane follow suit. Body corporations all over Australia are putting bans in place and it would be surprising if further state regulatory acts did not follow.
So, what are the alternatives to Airbnb lock boxes?
Greet every guest yourself
In an ideal world, your job, children, and other responsibilities are flexible enough that you’re able to meet and greet every single guest to your short-term property rental.
But we don’t live in an ideal world and prior commitments and a busy schedule are the exact same factors that led to lock box use in the first place. While checking-in every guest by yourself is a solution, it isn’t a very elegant or practical one.
Hide the keys in a public space
While some guests may be enamoured with the idea of going on a key treasure hunt in the nearby park, most will be put off by this. Imagine the negative reviews…
Hiding keys in fake plastic rocks or up a tree really only works if you have a private garden on the property, and even then you face a security issue.
Use proper Airbnb management services
Roomerang has partnered up with KeyNinja, 24/7 Key Delivery Service and their team of professional riders to handle your house keys and guests’ check-in experiences. Key handovers and guest ID verifications for all of our properties are all conducted in person; we’re not a fan of lockboxes and you shouldn’t be too!
Related Tag: Airbnb Rental Management Melbourne
Original article posted here