Have you ever locked yourself out?

If so, I am curious as to how it was dealt with on your end and the owners’.

Yes, once.
Luckily we remembered that the neighbour had a key.

Not only that, but we also managed to lock ourselves in! :rofl: We locked the door at night and couldn’t figure how to unlock it in the morning. It just kept on turning. We called the owner who told us the lock was faulty and it happened to her before. A friend of hers came to the rescue. :grinning:

Now we always ask who has a spare key.

Yes I have had complicated locks locked myself in locked myself out figured it out eventually. Bit of a panic for a while.

I forget which sit this was but there was a balcony through a sliding glass door. I was told not to EVER close it behind myself if I went out on the balcony because they had had a past sitter who did and she was locked out of the flat, several floors up for several hours without her phone unable to get into the apartment. I think she was eventually able to shout down to a neighbor.

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In the UK there’s a locksmith company called Banham top of the range and often an integral part of a full alarm system. On occasions these door locks have been my nemesis.

When I arrive at a home and discover there are Banham locks I work out a secure, alternative entry option, just in case … because if I’ve ever had issues it’s been with this make of lock. Fortunately on the odd occasion when I’ve been “locked out” my husband has been on the other side of the door … Phew.

Touch wood never been locked out and had to call a locksmith or an owner. I make sure I always have a way in, especially if there’s a pet family member the other side of the door … the locked door. Often a neighbor has a spare key or there’s a special place for a “just in case” one.

I did get locked out of a home in LA, the owner was with me and she had forgotten the key. :wink:


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I will be on the lookout for Banham locks!!:joy: We stayed at a house with very difficult locks, but our problem was we couldn’t lock them once we’d unlocked them and we had to leave! They were French doors with lever handles. My husband rigged up some sailor’s knots and tied the two handles together from the inside with some rope were were lucky to find in the garage.

Omg, poor sitter. That must’ve been terrifying while it happened. I’ve only been on balconies where I never saw another neighbor nearby. Lucky her.

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Well, we have never locked ourselves out of a sit, but our sitters locked us out of our home! We try not to carry our keys with us when we travel and have a spare set hidden in our sunroom. We always told our sitters where they were in case they got locked out but always stressed they put them back when done.

Well, low and behold our sitters locked themselves out, used or hidden key and didn’t put it back in the designated spot. They were gone when we returned home at almost midnight and when we tried to get in, we had no key. We couldn’t get a response back from them so my husband had to break in through a bathroom window. Literally as he was walking to the door to let me in, they texted back and said they had put it somewhere else by mistake. Needless to say, we now have a backup for our backup! LOL

I got locked out in an apartment in NYC many years ago. Cost 430 bucks to get back in! Now whenever we stay at a place that has a door where you can set it to lock or not lock automatically when you close it, we make sure it is set to not lock. And when we have a door that locks automatically, we are VERY careful to make sure we have the keys with us when we leave.


Yup, automatic door lock on the garage I didn’t know about. Luckily it was a retirement community and neighbors called staff to let me in. It’s a good reminder that people should know that a sitter is staying.

Just started a sit and the door has a Yale lock. Not used one in over 30 years, nearly locked myself out twice now and that was just to go into the garden. Last sat here 3 years ago, it’s coming back to me that I had this problem then too.:rofl:

Yes and nobody had a key. A loch smith costed me $150.

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We have two family members with keys, one about 15 minutes away. So if anything happens the sitters can communicate with them as they have their phone numbers in the welcome guide. And besides, every time we leave our two sitters each have a key, so they do have a backup.


Oh gosh, I spoke too soon. Locked myself out this morning feeding my dog separately from the HO’s. Phone and 2 dogs inside. Managed to find couple of bits and pieces in the outbuildings and tweaked lock open with only minor damage to woodwork. Yale lock will now be left in open and main key used. :scream::woman_facepalming:t3::blush:

I do have to share a story of one of our sitters a few years back. We had stressed the importance of knowing where the spare key was as our sunroom door had a tendency to lock on it’s own. He told us over and over that would not be an issue and that he had never locked himself out in all the years he had been petsitting. At any rate, we showed him the location of the spare key.

Well, in his message to us the next morning he said we would get a chuckle as he had opened up the door to let our little girl out and walked into the sunroom in his boxers (we had curtains and blinds on the doors and windows). He let the door shut behind him and it did exactly what we said…locked tight! He laughed and grabbed the key in the hidden spot in the sunroom to let himself in. He said if he hadn’t known, he would have been slinking over to our 87 year old neighbors house asking her for the key she also had. His words were “lesson learned!” LOL

We have so far (touch wood) never locked ourselves out, but will learn from all of these lessons.
We did have an owner in a rush to get to the airport in the early hours who took the keys and gate fob with them. We could lock the door from the inside but not from the outside, luckily we sit as a couple and it was only a few days so we just went and did errands individually. Luckily someone else had a spare gate fob, but no key, so we could get the car out. I have made many human errors with things, so we understood. It was a good lesson in us being able to adapt and check we have a set of keys as soon as we arrive!

We also had batteries run out of the code pad on the door of one sit, that was another lesson and thing we now ask and check. Always learning :rofl:


What a good reminder to all sitters to ensure they note the emergency numbers on their phones or take a photo. It won’t be much help if the guide is inside the house and the sitter is locked out. Also an important lesson for HO’s to share the guide through the app or electronically!


About 12 years ago we arrived at a dog sitting, met the owners, bonded with the dogs then went to the supermarket. Mr Itchyfeet took control of the key as “I am not to be trusted with keys”.
We arrived back only to find that the key must have dropped out of a hole in his pocket. Dogs inside getting hungry. We walked a few minutes to the emergency contact only to find that they didn’t have a key. They did invite us to a party over Christmas though.
We went back and knocked on the house opposite on the off chance they had a key. The man treated us with a great deal of suspicion then wanted to know all about house sitting. We were desperate to get away from him.
We stood outside the property wondering what to do next when a man walked by asking if there was a problem. It turned out that he knew the property as he had done work on it before. He went off to his house and returned with tools to enable him to remove a small pane of glass at the back and retrieved the french windows key. He then put the pane back.
We told the owners who posted a replacement key to us and we left some cash in case the window pane needed to have more treatment.
A lesson learned!

We locked ourselves out a couple of months ago on a sit. The HO had given neighbours as a contact but they didn’t have a key, so we ended up paying for a locksmith $180. The HO offered to pay us back but we didn’t accept. Worst part though was they had an outdoor lockbox for a spare and we found out they had done it themselves a couple of times but hadn’t put a hidden key somewhere :woman_facepalming:

Hi @Itchyfeet you have just reminded me of a situation in San Diego. There was a screen door outside the main from door I was putting the garbage bins out had closed the screen door and “propped” open the main front door, somehow the front door “blew” shut locking me out.

At the point of panic, two kitty cats were indoors, I remembered one of the emergency contacts/key holder was the next door neighbor who was home.

“No they didn’t leave me the key” he must have seen the blood drain from my face and then said “I do know a way in though if you have another way in to the house” (I had left the back patio door unlocked) … we went into the garden of the neighbor on the other side and low and behold there was a hidden gate which led into the owner’s garden.

Kitties were saved an I had a permanent “way in” solution, just in case!!! :slightly_smiling_face: