Need solution to arm/disarm house with roommates, not family

I rent rooms from my house and looking to ensure the house is armed when everyone is away, and disarm when someone arrives.

Most solutions I've seen assume a "family" household where security of the hub/dashboard/apps aren't of much concern and the users don't change (at least not as often). Also, the tenants spend a lot of time in their room and is not always obvious who is home or away.

Giving everyone a presence sensor key fob does appear to be the best solution (e.g. they carry it while they're renting and return it when they move out). However, the only product I'm aware of is the SmartThings Arrival Sensor that no longer seems to be produced, and very expensive at $80+ USD if you can even find one on eBay. Also, reviews complain about the short battery life.

I'm reluctant to use the Hubitat phone app as a presence sensor solution because it's not always reliable even for me, with full access and permissions that drain my battery fast. I can't expect tenants to fuss with that even if I could add/remove them with ease and restricted access.

I've considered a keypad and require everyone to enter their own code when leaving, and have the rules app keep track of who's home/away. However, that solution is prone to forgetting and a minor inconvenience.

Disarming should be easy enough - Everyone has their own code for the z-wave front door, so a successful unlock signal can always disarm the system. It's the knowing everyone has left and arming the system that I'm having a hard time figuring out.

Hoping someone has some creative solution that is effective, simple and doesn't put a burden on my tenants. Thanks!

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Rfid tag, keypad. Motion sensors.

Auto arm when no motion for a while.

Require the rfid to disarm.

Doddle and no inconvenience. Can't forget to arm because it's auto. Can't forget to disarm because theres an annoying beeper which sounds until disarmed on entry.

Previously replied to my own post and not this response...

Thanks, in a family household situation this would work. However, not in this situation. As mentioned, tenants spend most of their time in their rooms. Even if I had motion sensors in their rooms (not good!) it wouldn't account for when they're sleeping. Tenants are in/out at all times of the day and night due to different lifestyles and work shifts. Annoying beepers would disturb or wake others.

Gotcha. My bad.

I understand the need to avoid presence sensors. They're annoying and garbage IMO.

Would it be doable to simply have tenants leave their own house keys in a specific location when they enter? If so, I think I have a solution.

However, if there is either

(a) a lack of trust resulting in everyone not being willing to walk in, stick their keys on a holder until they leave again


(B) the feeling that this would be difficult for people to agree with

Then it's a no go.

I chuck my keys in the same place religiously. But I'm a creature of habit.

No house keys. As mentioned, there's a z-wave deadbolt where everyone has their own code. But still curious to hear your solution if you wish to share?


Idea is rough round the edges but pretty much I'm not a fan of people needing to hit buttons, type codes or generally do anything outside of the norm. This is based on the assumption that instead of a code, you can have a physical fob for entry. Not sure if that's part of your deal. Just need something physical which is required and would definitely be carried by default. Else there's no point because people would forget and the system falls down.

I use one of these.

Both myself and the wife 100% of the time enter the house then stick out key in here. Is wouldn't be a stretch to use something like this to determine that if there any keys in there, the house is occupied.

If that's doable, then the rest is easy. Auto arm when leaving. Disarm however you see fit.


There's one other thing you can try. Presence by wifi connection but that's depending on what kind of network are you running. I know you could do it with Unifi.

Interesting. I understand the point of having some device to tell others who's home or away, but unclear how you go from that to Habitat being auto armed when the last person leaves?

I appreciate the suggestion. However, seeing how long that thread is and programming discussions makes me believe this solution is probably too complex for my skill level. Also, a quick skim of the thread seems this solution is dependent on static IPs and never putting your phone in sleep mode to work which can be problematic.

Varity of ways, very simple.

Easiest way would be arm if the front door closes and there are no keys in the rack 30 secs later.

Okay, so it sounds like you're doing some customized wiring and possible coding to get the key rack to talk with the hub on which leads are plugged/unplugged. In that case I'm afraid it's beyond the scope of my capabilities.

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I appreciate that.

However, if the concept of this would work in your situation, there are other solutions based on the same principles which may suit your wishes.

There are a few ways to skin a cat, if the desired outcome is a bald kitten =p

Let me know, there are other ways around this is can think of.

Why not just use a lock? When keypad code is entered mode turns to whatever? Have a motion sensor near by so that the lock automatically locks when no motion detected so it arms and locks the door after 10 mins... Just an idea

Thanks much!

Thanks, but I'm not sure how different this would be from the keypad solution mentioned in my original post?

Well, it would be part of the lock.... Instead of having a seperate keypad, you could have the lock do multiple things... Would solve your issue and you could make sure the door was locked after they leave forcing them to use their code to come back in..

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^^ This ^^