Adding door lock codes from remote

What is the solution to add door codes from remote for guests staying in your short term rental (Airbnb etc)? I have been doing this with a Vera hub for years without issues. I can do it right from the Vera app on my phone and select for the codes to only work from checkin to checkout times and the the code will auto delete once guests checkout.

However I do like HE better then Vera but unless I am missing something there is no way to do this with HE without some kind of VPN setup at the location of the HE and the door lock I want to add codes to? This is not exactly user friendly for me to recommend to my customers who also have Airbnb’s.

Is anyone else in this situation? Ideas or comments are appreciated.

Check out this video where Bruce talks about remote lock code changes

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Thanks for bring this up Greg. I actually watched that episode back in the summer but somehow didn’t connect the dots. It seems with Global Variables and Connectors in rule machine you can setup a custom dashboard just for inputting and changing lock codes. I had no idea. Now I will say that I am very new to rule machine and this might be a bit over my head as you have to write a bit of code but I will give it a try!

Curious if anyone else has tried setting up a separate dashboard just for putting in and removing lock codes on a door lock as Bruce demo’d in at the beginning of this Hubitat live episode?

The only limitation is you can't say what time the codes are active and when the deactivate like the original poster was looking for.

I've read about AirBNB apps for SmartThings in the past. Have any of those been ported over to Hubitat?

What do you mean? You could use the same action that Bruce used in the GV connector rule but have he trigger be time of day and day of the week.

@cj_rezz That is a good point. I could live without this feature for now as long as I could put codes in from remote and delete them, but having the date and time to add and remove the codes in advance would really improve the experience.

Smartthings has RBoy's Rental Lock Automator app which is amazing for an Airbnb but he does not seem interested to do any porting to Hubitat is what I have read. His code is licenced as well I think so someone can't just port it unless he does it himself. I would pay for it if he did, but I'm not sure if he feels there is a big enough market yet.

Another thing I had considered doing is just purchasing a SmartThings hub as well and having only the Z-Wave locks (with maybe one or two z-wave repeaters as well) paired to ST and use the hub connect app for HE to Smarthings to link them. I have no idea if there would be much of an advantage to link ST to HE with this setup but I know it's possible. Just thinking of all the options.

The simplest option, which costs all of $35, is to setup OpenVPN on an RPi. There's even PiVPN that makes it really simple for a complete novice to setup.


I do the same thing. I wasn't a fan of PiVPN so I followed this guide. It's more complicated but I thought in the end it made it easier overall to use the Pi for other things as well. The VPN isn't my primary means of connecting to the internet when I'm not home. Only used to connect to hubitat.

Also, if you have don't have a static IP at home (which, unless you're paying for it, you don't) you would also need to set up a dynamic DNS service. Most routers have them built in nowadays. I use no-ip which is totally free.

Another solution, and this comes free with every Raspberry Pi, is VNC. VNC allows you to remotely connect to your Raspberry Pi desktop. All you have to do is register your pi with VNC (you get 5 systems for free) and you can connect to it from anywhere, no dynamic dns, no port forwarding or other router magic required.


I don't have an properties that I host on AirBnB or similar services, but if I did, this app for SmartThings would be really appealing:

I imagine something similar could be made for Hubitat.

EDIT: Sorry, I just saw you already mentioned this above

I just use Chrome Remote Desktop. It's free and works good for the few times you need to manage hubitat remotely. I also use @stephack's Boot Me Up Scotty app via a dashboard tile to wake my desktop computer up so I can access it from Chrome Remote Desktop. Works great!

I think the problem is the OP want's to one day be able to remotely enter a lock code that will only work between Oct 24-26th for one booking, then he gets another booking and he wants to program another code that would only work from Oct 27th -28th. I don't think you can do this remotely (without using a vpn or remote desktop). i.e. there isn't a way to remote input the times and dates a new code is good for.

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I'm confused by this. If you get a booking for Friday today, why would you have to add the code immediately and not wait till you got home?

Good question. That's just was I understood the OP wanted to be able to do? I know if it was me, I would want to do it as soon as I got the booking otherwise my forgetful mind would forget. let's see if I understand this right. You get an email notifying you that you have a booking for Friday while you're out grocery shopping. You're going to add the lock code while you're standing in the middle of the grocery store rather than wait to get home?

I would think that anyone who runs an AirBnB would have to remember that the person was arriving so there were clean sheets on the bed and whatnot.

Yeah you're probably right. @spudz what's the use case for doing this remotely? Is it a property that isn't located near you that is perhaps property managed and you need to manage hubitat completely remotely? If so, the VPN would be the way you would have to go.

That would be the way you'd have to manage everything on the hub in that case. I would think you'd want to have that just in case there was a problem anyway.

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@Ryan780 and @cj_rezz I don't live at the property and neither do my clients who I may recommend to use HE as their Z-Wave controller. We use the customers 4 digit phone number for the door code and as you get bookings you can put them in the system with the dates and times of checkin and checkout in advance. This way the whole month can be ready to go and just updated as you get new bookings. Saves a lot of time. This is how I do on it on the Vera hubs and it works well but I am much preferring HE these days myself so would love to switch over. These are vacation rental properties for example so I don't live there.

You are going to have to have remote control via more than a dashboard if you are managing the property. So, you are going to need a VPN type solution one way or the other with Hubitat. You can't do everything from a dashboard.

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@Ryan780 I am starting to understand that would be the way it would need to be done right now (VPN Etc.) if I wanted to use HE for this. Until things change I think that may be more work then just sticking with Vera as I have used in the past or possibly using ST but I don't like the cloud reliance. Vera is like HE in that it will use the cloud but does not need it to operate. The other reason I like HE is because some of the properties would have Lutron lighting which HE integrates very well with but Vera does not at all. Decisions, decisions...

You can control the vera remotely without a VPN? That is a little scary. Let's be clear...we're not talking device control here but Admin control. Obviously device control with HE can be done remotely without a vpn.