Over the years, I’ve been approached by several “Key Safe” companies asking if I’d be willing to promote their gear (presumably in exchange for monetary compensation, though the discussions never got that far).

I’ve noticed these pesky pocket-sized armored safe houses are gaining in popularity, especially among landlords with Holidays Lets and AirBnbs, but I’ve always struggled to wrap my puny mind around their effectiveness (which is exactly why I don’t have the guts have to whip them at you).

Is it just me, or have these “key-keeping” solutions sold their souls to the devil by sacrificing security for convenience? In addition, these devices are intended to provide: peace of mind? Because they make me nervous.

Just to clarify, I am not making a rough statement here, I am talking specifically about Key safes as a solution for landlords and rental properties!

I understand the appeal of them, I totally! They are undoubtedly a useful tool to assist in the exchange of key(s), eliminating the need for physical presence. Who doesn’t like a little convenience? I know I’d rather sit on my ass in the comfort of my own home than meet and greet new tenants, or worse, pay someone else to do it on my behalf.

But isn’t there a fundamental problem when a device designed for security is compromised for convenience?

The problem is: they look too piss-easy to break!

Isn’t this the elephant in the room?

I’m asking sincerely, because maybe I’m the only one (it wouldn’t be the first time).

Key safes are becoming more and more popular among landlords and some are even “police approved” so you can see why I doubt myself, Turn right?

I’m not going to name and shame anyone (because there’s no need to, they’re usually all to blame), but I’ve scoured the internet for several key safes, and my standout takeaway is that I’m not convinced at all they can withstand a few hefty blows from a hammer (a faithful tool for any self-respecting bastard). Damn, some of them look like they would crumble after a few heels.

They really seem like easy targets for those unscrupulous people who live among us.

The obvious flaw is that the metal housings are not flush against the wall surface (ie they are not inserted into the wall) – they stick out — making them prime targets for bashing.

If they were installed flush, buried in the wall, we would now have a completely different conversion. But they’re generally not installed or designed that way, presumably because that’s a significantly more expensive installation.

It should also be noted that key safes don’t really seem that expensive (averaging between £30 and £80), so it’s hard to imagine they were built with the most robust of materials.

Essentially, key safes just don’t seem that “secure” [for landlords].

Am I here alone?

A better solution for key safes? Could be! Quite possibly!

While I don’t have the confidence to thrash Key Safes at you, I’m more inclined to propose ‘Smart Locks’ as an alternative solution, which I believe provide the convenience of Key Safes (if not more) without compromising security.

Yale Assure Smart Lock for Airbnb

I won’t go into the finer details now, as I already did in my blog post ONE (and only) Best Airbnb Smart Lock I Can Recommend. Check it out if you’re interested.

But as a quick overview of Smart Locks:

  • They are keyboards that replace traditional key locks.
  • A pin is required to unlock the door.
  • No keys or key fobs needed.
  • They can be accessed remotely, which means the host can change the PIN between guests/tenants.

Isn’t it the superior solution? Yes, they are more expensive than Safe Keys, but worth it in my opinion. The average Smart Lock costs around £200, but I personally enjoy the Yale Assure smart lock (it’s the one in the picture above), which is selling for £300 on Amazon at the time of writing this blog post.

Final Thought: Before I pick up a secure key to manage your key-keeping solution, my question to you would be: Is your number one concern security or convenience?

As always, I’d love to hear your opinion!

Landlord from xoxo