HASS.IO for rental property: ideas?

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has implemented HASS.IO on a rental property…

I am looking for suggestions on how and what configure for a rental property in the following use cases:

  • Long term rental
  • Short term rental (AirBnB)

I have not installed anything yet, therefore I am just looking for ideas in terms of:

  • Which devices make sense to install
  • How to manage groups of people and access rights (to the system)

Many thanks


@Greenhouse has a setup running for his AirBnB
Airbnb automation (dynamic calendars based on guests)

Perhaps fixing the heating temps, but allow the user to temp boost heat for say 30mins.

Regarding user access, couldn’t you use an old / cheap tablet just displaying what you want to have access to in Kiosk mode?

First, I have had absolutely no success using a tablet in a Kiosk mode. Also, if you leave a tablet in a rental, you will be replacing it frequently.

I decided to use a Nextion smart display mounted in the wall. (Don’t ask for details- it’s still a work in progress). The Nextion display shows only what controls you want it to show, and button presses send an MQTT message. In other words, you can make it as dumb or smart as you want to allow renters to access. Best, the renter can’t screw it up as is possible with a tablet- even in Kiosk mode. Here’s a blog from someone who did exactly what you are asking for: Pete Scargill’s Blog

Come to think of it, I’ve seen Pete on this forum as well.

Yep, I have exactly that! In my scripts yaml:

  alias: Hot Water 60 mins
  - data:
      payload: hotwateron
      retain: true
      topic: /sensor/studio
    service: mqtt.publish
  - delay: 0:60:00
  - data:
      payload: hotwateroff
      retain: true
      topic: /sensor/studio
    service: mqtt.publish

Then in my kiosked tablet, the renter can run this script. There’s no reason that you can’t modify it for air heating/cooling.

I highly recommend using fully kiosk browser on a cheap android tablet. It can be password protected and only show one site (a custom group you set up including only what you want them to see/control).

I do short term rentals here on the island and I have automated a couple with:
schlage FE599 zwave entry combo locks and an Emerson Sensi thermostat.
The requirements to run them remotely is 1) Internet router and 2) zwave hub (I use a Wink Hub).

They are controlled and monitored by my pi3b+ here at the homestead.

The lock combo can be changed on the fly remotely and the thermostat can be locked down on the fly remotely also.

The only warnings I offer is make sure everything you automate can also be controlled manually in case something (Internet, router, hub, home puter) fails and see if you can secure the router and hub in a locked closet or at least out of sight.

Thanks All…

I guess that group and access control could be a good thing in the future…

My guessing is that there is still a gap in the market/solution for rental properties… As a landlord I still don’t see a realistic use case on why should I invest on it… There are few use cases, entry door, temperature control, light control that a short rental (AirBnB) could benefit, but I think we are still far away from a stable solution (correct me if I’m wrong)…

For long rental I don’t see any benefit for a landlord to invest… (Mabe some preventive maintenance?)

Consider how many people are renting (don’t have the stats, but my assumption is that there are more people renting than owninv and living) but there is a HUGE potential market on landlord solutions :wink:

What are your thoughts?

Thanks all!

I think there can be use for a solution as long as it does non intrude on the tenants privacy. Like logging the use of the lock etc

The thing that kicked off my interest in home automation was arriving at the rental property (which we also use ourselves) the day before Christmas Eve and realises we had run out of heating oil. Being able to remotely monitor the oil tank level was the driver for everything I have done since.

I’m slowly adding to the system, but at this point it is for my management rather than exposing anything to the guests yet, but ultimately via some kiosk type tablet is the plan.

I’ve added sonoff relays to the electric radiators too in order that if the guests turn them up and then leave them on when they leave (and the property is empty thereafter) they can be remotely turned off.

I’ve discovered the quickest thing to cause a call to the agents by the guests is if the internet goes down, so I recently switched to UniFi Access Points in order to be able to remotely control access etc which all lives well with HA.

Tried the “Fully Kiosk Browser” for android? I set it up in less than 1h.

Even fully kiosk browsers has issues if non-tech people rent the place.
If you want something that a renter that has no tech knowledge can use, and you don’t want screwed up or to go missing, the Nexion displays hard wired and inbuilt would be better

I know this is an older thread, but it still seems to be active.
I think, for a rental property that others will be using, you need to work on keeping it simple.
You want to cater for the lowest common denominator. It won’t be automation as much as maybe some smart controls that are touch sensitive or whatever.
Personally, if it is a rental place that you own and plan renting to others, I do not see the point of investing in any automation at all as you have no idea what the people using the property will want or need. Automation relies on knowing how the property will be used.
Why install a touch switch when a standard light switch will do the job equally well? You don’t want a light turning on with motion because you like it that way if another person living there will hate it.
If it is a place you are living in yourself, then there is no point investing in short term, unless you really like tinkering :slight_smile: . Long term, you look at what you need and want to happen and find ways to do it. As long as you can revert it back to how it was with no damage, you can install Zwave switches or MQTT touch panels or anything like that.
HassIO/Home Assistant would be very much overkill if all you want is a touch controlled light switch or very basic scenes.
The other thing to remember is reliability. Anything that runs on a computer, needing an IP address or a router will need maintenance and will need to operate manually in the event HA or the router crashes.
It is a lot to consider if you are living there, let alone doing it to try and cater for any average Jo that rents the property

I know, only my opinion, but it seems like a lot of trouble to go to for something which gives no benefit as far as rental income and potentially can cause more maintenance for a Landlord to repair it when the Tenant kills something.

1 Like

I end up
On this thread searching online for a while, actually I’m about to makeover an apartment sea front in my home town, so I’m looking for a solution to rent it while away.
I see some good aspects of investing in home automation, temperatures and lighting controls, while away, guest don’t care if they pump up the heat in the apartment and leave for the day, same as lightning. Home automation can only activate that if guest are in the perimeter.
I’m also looking to keep my belongings there, I use Yeelock for the moment to keep some wardrobes and drawers locked, and I look for the day it will integrate with open solutions and it can automatically unlock when I enter the place :slight_smile:

You could use some kind of key fob for presence detection, so aircon/heating can go into an “away” mode when people are not there. Yeelock with a secure PIN is a good option for locks.
You could use some kind of temperature limit too, so it can;t go above a certain temperature, and can’t be set below a certain temperature.
You could have it setup so in the warm whether, it has a set minimum cooling and in the cool weather there is a set maximum heating.
You want to keep it simple though. Something that won’t easily be broken and won’t need a lot of maintenance.

For me, from a cost control perspective, I’m looking into the following applications:

  • Turning boiler/hot water on only when reservations are in house. Same with underfloor heating.
  • Using a motion detector and turning aircon off if no movement is detected for a period (prevents tenants from turning the aircon on and leaving the house for the entire day)

This is certainly doable. Based on my limited experience, I would put an ESP board, like the Wemos D1 Mini (assuming you have WiFi in the house) at the boiler, air conditioning, and the motion sensor. All reporting back to my Home Assistant over a public MQTT broker. I would stick a temperature sensor there also.

I would be careful about turning off the A/C. How do you know the occupant is out of the house and not merely sleeping during the hottest part of the day?

I would tell the renter that the A/C will turn itself off if no motion is seen in two hours.

As soon as they discover that you are monitoring the systems, they will start looking for cameras.