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Best Access Control for Holiday Homes (& Cost Calculator)

Elliot Blackler August 11, 2022 15 min read

We all have different things come to mind when we think of a holiday home, maybe it is a second home outside of London down in the south on the beach, or somewhere you own in Spain or just a city you loved when you were growing up.

Regardless of where the holiday home is or the significance it holds, it is important to find a simple and effective solution that can keep it secure when you are not around.

There has been a huge rise in the number of people looking at second or even third properties in the UK, especially since 2019.

Some people will purely keep these for leisure and others will look at renting them out when they are not staying there, both are valid, but both require some form of security system that can keep it protected.

Enter access control, a much safer method than a traditional lock and key and when paired with something like CCTV, you can have a fully remote and manageable property from across the country or world.

In this guide, we will be covering the basics of holiday home access control and shedding some light on the topic in a series of digestible sections designed to be quick and useful and avoiding jargon.

To summarise what we will be looking at take a look at the contents below:


  • Access Control for Holiday Homes Features
  • Holiday Homes Access Control Basics
  • Types of Hospital Access Control
  • Benefits of Holiday Homes Access Control
  • How to Find the Best Holiday Homes Access Control System
  • Holiday Homes Access Control Cost
  • Deciding on the Best Holiday Homes Access Control System

Short on time? Download our Nortech Access Control Comparison

Key Components of Access Control for Holiday Homes 

There are a lot of important features when it comes to holiday home access control, in this section we are going to briefly highlight some of these and give some more information on them.

A Keyless Entry Solution

One of the biggest components of an access control system is the fact that it will act as a non-traditional way to get into your holiday home. No longer will you be reliant on a lock and metal key, but instead a form of digital lock and an access control credential such as a keycard, a key fob or even your fingerprint.

The Future of Home Access

There has been a monumental rise in home and apartment access control solutions deployed across the UK and the world and this is for a lot of different reasons from ease of access to higher security to less external access. 

Access control has been becoming more popular for the last decade or so with gyms, hotels, marinas and everything in between deploying the solutions.

Able to be Customised to Suit the Users

One of the best features of access control is the versatility and flexibility of the systems, there are a lot of options available, each with their own benefits and usages (more on those later). 

Depending on what you are looking for, you can have a different type of access control system, if you want to use your home as an Airbnb or rental you can install a rotating password or PIN, for instance.

Peace of Mind from Far Away

Being able to feel much more secure about your holiday home when you are out of town is a huge factor in installing an access control system and one of its best features. 

A key can be duplicated, a lock can be picked, but a digital access control system is much harder to break into. Pair your access control system with a CCTV setup and you will have the ability to monitor your rental property or home around the clock.


How Does Access Control for Holiday Homes Work?

Access control for holiday homes may be a phrase that does not mean much to the average person and unless you have come across these systems before it may seem a lot more complex and hard to understand than it is.

In short, access control for holiday homes is just a way of keeping your secondary property secure when you are not around, and helps you access it easier when you are. There are a few different types that are often deployed to these kinds of homes, which we will explore in the next section.

Whether you are installing these holiday home access control measures for your benefit or because you want to use your property as supplementary rental income, an access control system is a great solution.

To put it into context, holiday home access control can be as simple as a password entry system on your front and or back door that has a 6 digit code that you can control remotely. All you have to do is type in the code and hit star or hash on the keypad (depending on the model) and you will be granted entry to your home.

From this example, we can see why it is such a common choice for an Airbnb or rental property as the PIN code could be changed at the beginning of the guest’s stay and then reset to something new in between.

Your rental property could be fully remote with you managing it from afar and allowing cleaners in between guest stays to tidy up the rental.

If it is your holiday home and purely for your enjoyment then you may look at different access control solutions as you will be the only people who need access to the property, and thus some of the other access control types may be preferable, which will look at below.

Types of Holiday Home Access Control 

As there are no two properties that are the same, there are also no two forms of access control that are the same, each have locations and types of homes they would work better for. This is by no means to say that there are any bad options, just certain types of access control that lean more to property X than property Y.

Let’s look at some of the most popular forms of access control for holiday homes that are deployed across the market today, this is by no means a definitive list, just some examples of popular holiday home access control solutions.


Password Access Control

One of the most popular forms of access control for holiday homes is password or PIN access control, which is very familiar for a lot of people.

Password access control is widely used, and is as simple as entering an X digit number or letter combination into a keypad and often confirming with a star or hashtag symbol.

In fact in the rental market, password access control is only growing in popularity, and the concept of keyless entry to rentals is becoming the norm in a lot of places.

There has been a huge increase in the use of these access control systems, mainly due to the fact that they are simple to use, familiar to everyone (we have all had to use a PIN for something and a password for anything online) and cost effective.

Finding a solution that is user friendly and secure is a win-win whichever way you slice it, making password or PIN access control a great solution for holiday homes and rentals.


Key Fob Access Control 

On the surface, people may not automatically know what key fob access control is, but they are likely to have come across it at some point. Key fobs are used in a variety of industries from apartments, to gyms, to warehouses and retail locations.

A key fob is a small device that often attaches to a keyring and is used to access doors, gates and barriers. In terms of holiday home access control, it would be used to tap against the reader to your front or back door.

Similar to other access control solutions this is a simple and user friendly solution that works in a range of environments. In terms of a private property, key fobs tend to lean more to a home you do not rent out, but could also be used for your holiday rental property too.


Proximity Card Access Control 

When it comes to smart cards or proximity access control, a lot of people will think about hotel keycards which is exactly what this technology is. 

Either of these access control solutions can be a viable solution for a holiday home, for the sake of simplicity we will focus on proximity or prox cards in this section.

Proximity access control allows the user to effectively tap or hover their card next to the reader, which then scans the credential within a few centimetres and will unlock the digital lock on the door.

As we alluded to above, hotels have been using this kind of technology for almost two decades and it is becoming more and more popular in private properties too. Not only is proximity access control secure, it is efficient, easy to manage and encounters a lot less wear and tear than other solutions.


Biometric Access Control

Although it may seem reserved for spy films, biometric access control is actually a lot more common than you think, and can either be part of a two factor access control system, or used as the primary method.

For example, a lot of theme parks will scan your park ticket and then also require a fingerprint reader scan to verify your identity.

In terms of holiday home access control, biometric systems can be simple to install and the best part is that you don't even need a key, you are the key, your fingerprint or sometimes even an eye scan.

Biometric systems are often the most expensive option when it comes to access control, but simultaneously are the hardest to break into and cannot be picked in the traditional sense.

The Future of Access Control for Holiday Homes 

As technology moves forward and we get more advanced solutions, what becomes the norm in society and access control may change and adapt with the times. But in a modern day setting, all forms of holiday home access control are superior to the archaic method of using metal keys and locks.

We only need to look at the car industry and see that traditional car keys have started to become phased out in place of remote entry and start cars. 

The hotel industry, and even larger apartment complexes and rental properties have started to favour the use of access control and it will only become more dominant in the future.

In the next section, we will be exploring some of the benefits and why this shift has started to happen across a wide range of industries and for both private and public usage.


Benefits of Access Control System for Holiday Homes 

It is fairly obvious that no two holiday homes are the same, each will come with their own security needs, risks and affinity for technology. 

With this being said, we are aiming to cover holiday homes as a whole in this section and give some overarching benefits that will affect most if not all holiday homes when an access control system is installed.

Security Benefits of Holiday Homes Access Control

Access Control Credentials Can’t Be Duplicated

Let’s say you use your holiday home as a rental when you are not living in it, you may be sharing your key with guests multiple times a month and year, it only takes one person to duplicate the key and have access to your holiday home year round.

With an access control system, whatever form of credential you use is much harder to duplicate and in most systems even impossible without the coordinating software that is unique to each location it is installed.

Gone are the days we rely on locksmiths to duplicate a key, especially as these can be with nefarious intentions it has become much less common to use a traditional metal key.


Harder to Pick 

We have all seen films where some roguish sort is able to jimmy open a lock with a couple of metal picks and break into a location. 

This is nearer the reality of the real world than we often like to think, break ins happen all the time, especially in locations with traditional metal lock and key systems.

With the astronomical rise in holiday home lets in the UK this issue is more pressing than ever. Installing an access control system in your holiday home allows for a much more secure environment, and a door that cannot be traditionally picked.

Owner Benefits of Holiday Homes Access Control

Simple Access 

Needless to say, your holiday home should be a place to relax, unwind and enjoy time away from the stresses of everyday life. So, finding ways to take away any additional stress and keep your trip simple is always appreciated.

Enter the holiday home access control solution, a way of quickly and easily gaining access to your second home and being able to relax.

If you use a biometric access control solution, as long as you have your hands or eyes with you, you will be able to get into your holiday home.

This is just an example, but it puts into context how easy it is to gain access to your holiday home. Other solutions such as passwords or PINs are also key-free solutions that remove any need for additional keys or stress.


Remote Control

Being able to remotely control your security system from the other side of the country or world is a real blessing of some access control solutions. It is definitely a feature you should look out for if you are a long way away from your holiday home.

Things like changing the password or PIN on the door every time someone new rents your property or adding a new key card for a family member, friend or cleaner, make an access control system perfect for remote management.

Pairing an access control system with a form of CCTV cameras would allow for even greater peace of mind, safety and efficient remote holiday home security and management.

General Benefits of Holiday Homes Access Control

One Less Set of Keys

A major benefit of holiday home access control is that you can have one less set of keys jangling around and having the potential of getting lost. 

This gives you the innate knowledge that no one else can access your property other than yourself and anyone else you have given a form of access control credential to.

For example, installing a biometric access control system at your holiday home would allow you to just use your fingerprint or an eye scan to open the doors. This makes you the key and means you will not need to even bring one or remember to pack it.


Opens Up Rental Opportunity 

Having a holiday home access control solution means that you open up the opportunity to use your second home as a rental location for short breaks and trips. With the rise of Airbnb it is easier than ever to list your home and even manage it remotely.

Having a way to get some extra income from your holiday home when you are away from it or staying at your primary residence can be an excellent side hustle.

Being able to not even be in the same city as your property and remotely manage the influx of guests allows this to be simpler than ever.

Install a rotating password or PIN on the front door and hire some cleaners to come in after each guest and you’re set for a fully autonomous rental.


What Do You Look For in the Best Access Control for Holiday Homes?

Due to the fact that everyone has a different idea of the type of system they want to deploy, a different budget they want to spend and different requirements; There is no system that is the industry standard, especially for holiday homes, but as a consumer this allows for more options and better pricing.

A Simple Pain Free Solution - in a modern setting, we often forget that technology was actually designed to make our lives easier, not more complex. 

So, understanding this core principle you want to look for systems that fit your needs and you can manage easily while still being secure and effective.

Pairs Well With Other Security Methods - one of the best things we would recommend when protecting your holiday home is to find another system that works well with your access control solution. 

A lot of holiday home owners have some form of CCTV or surveillance technology, such as the ever popular Ring doorbell or whatever the equivalent may be.

Easy to Manage from Far Away - needless to say, the whole point of a holiday home is to be in a location that is not close to your actual home, otherwise you would just do a day trip to wherever it is. 

Looking for a system that you can manage and use remotely is an important factor in your search. Although most access control systems have a level of remote access, they do differ.

A Price Point That Suits You - as we have alluded to, there are a lot of different access control systems for holiday homes, and there is absolutely not one size that fits all. Once you know you have a lot of options, you can shop around for the best solution and price point for you. 

An important caveat in security is that anything is better than nothing, so regardless of which one you pick it will be a vast improvement over no access control or security system.


Cost of Access Control Systems for Holiday Homes 

Some examples of costs that could affect your holiday home’s access control system are listed below, this is not to say all of these will increase the cost, in fact, some may make it cheaper.

This is not an exhaustive list, but just some factors that could come into play when looking into the cost of an access control system for a holiday home.

  • Access Control Installation Rates in the Area
  • How Difficult the Job Is
  • Location of Your Holiday Home 
  • Amount of Doors/Gates in the Holiday Home
  • The Type of Access Control System You Pick
  • Any Currently Deployed Security Systems Installed at the Holiday Home
  • Brand or Model of Access Control Technology Being Deployed

If you are interested in getting a better idea of how much installing access control at your holiday home will be, feel free to reach out to our UK based team who will be more than happy to assist you and shed some more light on the systems available.

Speculative Holiday Home Access Control Example

As we have discussed above, there can be a few factors that can make your quote higher or lower than the average cost, especially when it comes to potential tourist areas; So, when it comes to giving an accurate example quote for a holiday home it can be tricky to pinpoint.

With this being said, we have got an example of the kind of cost for access control for holiday homes below:


Installing the Access Control System Per External Door: £500 


Maintenance (Yearly): £150 per annum contract


Repair Costs: £80 - £120 per visit


Additional Costs: Replacement parts, readers, controllers etc, anywhere from £120 - £400 depending on what needs to be fixed 


Choose the Right Access Control System for Holiday Homes 

Finding the right access control system for your holiday home can sometimes be stressful and the information is not always easy to access and learning about systems can be filled with jargon and industrial terms.

We aim to create content that is easy to digest and designed with the end user in mind, i.e. user friendly information that should help make complex topics easier to understand.

Hopefully, by now you have a much better understanding of some of the most popular types of access control for holiday homes and have learnt a lot more about the topic. 

Remember that there is no solution that is right for everyone and you should always pick the access control technology that is most beneficial and useful for you. Some companies will push you to the most expensive options but not the right one for you, we are not one of those companies.

How We Can Help Your Holiday Home

If you are on the market for an access control solution for your holiday home, look no further.

Here at Nortech, our expert team of security professionals have over 30 years of experience in the market and are specialised in access control solutions across a wide range of industries.

Feel free to reach out to our UK based team below to get started on your holiday home access control journey. We would be more than happy to assist you and shed some light on whatever you need help with.

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It seems that people and vehicle access control is an incredibly complex world using hard to understand technology, yet it impacts so many of the environments we interact with on a daily basis.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll break down access control, the benefits, and drawbacks as well, including expert insight based on over 30 years experience in the industry operating as an independent British company. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

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Elliot Blackler

Elliot is the in-house content specialist at Nortech and runs all aspects of the resource hub. He's passionate about UK manufacturing and how modern content marketing can help bring light to complex industries.

Elliot works extensively with the Nortech team to shine a light on the access control industry for both installers and end users. Always keen to improve, feel free to email him on new content suggestions or feedback!

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