Rental Lock Automater (RLA): FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Please ensure that your lock is within 20ft of a buffering device. Click for details
  • What do I need to setup RLA?
You will need any SmartThings hub (v1/v2/v3/adt etc), a Z-Wave/Plus or ZigBee lock (we recommend full keypad locks like Yale (YRDxxx), Schlage (BExxx/FExxx) and Kwikset (916) and a buffering repeater installed within 20ft of the lock. You can install additional smart devices like thermostats, motion/water/gas sensors and switches to enhance the guest experience and reduce operating costs.

  • Where do I get the iCalendar URLs?
    • AirBnB
      • Go to Manage Listings on
      • Find the listing you'd like to edit and click Manage listing 
      • Click Availability 
      • Under Sync Calendars, select Export calendar 
      • Copy and paste the calendar link into RLA
    • VRBO/HomeAway
      • Log in to your account
      • If you have more than one property, select the property you wish to edit
      • Click the Calendar icon in the left navigation menu
      • Click Reservations
      • Click the Import/Export arrows icon
      • Click Export Calendar
      • Copy and paste the calendar link into RLA
      • Log on to your Extranet
      • Click Calendar and Pricing and click on Sync Calendars
      • Click on Add calendar connection
      • Click on Skip this step at the bottom
      • Enter any name in the pop up screen and click on Export calendar
      • Click on Copy link and then click on Done to activate it (don't forget this!!)
      • Paste the calendar link into RLA
    • TripAdvisor
      • Log on to your account
      • Click on the Calendar tab for your property
      • Select Export calendar to view your iCalendar link
      • Copy and paste the calendar link into RLA
    • Expedia
      • Log on to your Partner Central account
      • Select Room types and rate plans under Rooms and Rates in the menu
      • Select Connect calendars
      • Select which room or unit you would like to connect
      • Select Create link under Export Expedia Group calendar
      • Select Copy link and then click on Save to activate it
      • Paste the calendar link into RLA

    • Click here for channel managers & custom calendars like Lodgify, MisterBandB, Your Porter, 365 Villas, Beds24, Hostaway, Google etc

  • Does RLA make any changes to my account/reservations? Does it need my credentials?
RLA does not require your credentials. It does not modify your account; it only reads the upcoming reservations through the iCalendar link provided by you

  • Which locks can I use with RLA?
You can use any remotely programmable Z-Wave/ZigBee lock with a keypad and separately buttons for each digit (0-9). Yale locks are generally the most reliable followed by Schlage and Kwikset (e.g. YRD210/216/220/226/240/246, FE599, BE469 etc). Avoid locks such as the Kwikset 888/910/912 and Schlage BE369 which have multiple digits on a single button. You can see this post to compare lock features. Also ensure that your lock is within 20ft of a repeater
(Optional): For Z-Wave locks try the Universal Enhanced Z-Wave Lock device handler from our website for the best experience.

  • Can I access RLA from a browser after installing it?
Yes, you can access RLA from SmartThings web ( ->  Automations

  • Can I have RLA automatically send SMSs to renters?
SmartThings does not send SMSs at this time. You can use third party channel managers like HostTools, Smartbnb, OwnerRez etc to send the SMS and integrate with RLA to automatically generate/manage the user codes.
  • Can I have RLA automatically use the last X digits of the renters phone number as the user code? 
Yes, from the Manage property page you can select from 3 options to generate automatic codes: 
  • Using phone numbers
    AirBnB (other providers do not provide the renters phone number on iCalendar reservations) can choose the last 4 digits of the users phone number (prefixed with additional 1's depending on the length of user codes set on your lock). Custom calendars can also use the last X digits of the phone number to generate user codes.

  • Using check-in / check-out dates
    The user code will be first X digits of ddDDMMYY, where dd is the 2 digit check-in day (e.g. 04) and DDMMYY are the 2 digit check-out day, month and year (e.g. Sept 6, 2021 is represented as 060921).

  • Random code
    The user code will be a random code that is unique to each reservation (guest name)
  • Can I have RLA activate the code prior to arrival of the renters?
Yes you can configure RLA to activate the user codes X days prior to their arrival. See the Manage property page for details on your SmartApp. Setting it to 0 will activate the code on arrival day, at the configured check in time
  • What happens when a renter cancels their reservation?
When the reservation is deleted or marked as cancelled on the property calendar, RLA will also remove the automatic user. You can manually cancel the reservation by clicking on Manage users, tap on the user, change the check out date to yesterday and click Next

  • Does RLA make any changes to my reservations? Does it need my credentials?
RLA does not require your credentials. It does not modify your account; it only reads the upcoming reservations through the iCalendarlink provided by you.
  • My property is in a different timezone from where I live, when I move there and I open the ST app, the check-in/check-out times have changed 
SmartThings mobile app adjusts for timezone differences while displaying the time when your mobile phone changes location. So if you moved from California to Texas, the phone would add +2 hrs to the time while displaying it. You don’t need to worry as the time is translated automatically by the hub. When setting the start/end time of the codes, you will be selecting the time to be used where your hub is located. Once you click Done, the SmartThings mobile app will show you the equivalent local time on your phone. E.g. If your phone is in EST timezone and your hub in PST timezone, you set the time to 2:30pm (hub time), after you click Done it will show 5:30pm (equivalent mobile phone local time) on your mobile phone.
  • Does my mobile phone need to be open all the time for the scheduling and user management to work?
The SmartApp runs in the SmartThings cloud. As long as your hub is connected to the internet, the app will automatically download the latest schedules from your reservation calendars about once every 60 minutes and keep the users on your locks updated, even if the mobile phone is turned off.

  • If my internet connection is disconnected will my lock user codes stop working?
The programmed user codes in the lock will continue to work even if the internet is disconnected. However any new users or removal of expired users will not take place until the internet connection is restored.

  • How long does it take for my last minute "instant" bookings to be processed?
RLA downloads updates about once every 60 minutes. You can force RLA to download the latest schedule updates by opening RLA -> Click on Manage Property -> Click on Next
  • I get the message "Unable to download schedules, retrying in 60 minutes" or "Failed with status 500. Retrying in about 60 minutes"
This means the rental service provider website is having issues and the app will retry again later. This does not affect existing users or codes, just no new codes will be scheduled until the service provider website resumes normal operation

  • How do I test/simulate this before I set it up on my rental unit?
The simplest way to test your setup is to follow the installation instructions and configure it with your actual property iCalendar link, it just like you would do with your rental unit, with one difference:
  1. Set a local/different lock in your app to test the user programming

Once you're ready, just switch the lock in the app to your rental property lock.

For security purposes RLA will not work with "simulated" calendars, you can safely use your property calendar for a real world test. Don't worry, it only reads the reservations on your calendars and cannot make any changes.

  • What do the blue, yellow, red and grey colors for the users mean?
The color indicates the current state of the user:
  • Green means the user is active (confirmed by the lock)
  • Grey means the user is inactive/expired/deleted (confirmed by the lock)
  • Yellow means the programming request has been sent and the app is awaiting confirmation from the lock
  • Red means the lock is not responding to programming requests and may indicate problems with the lock/mesh
The Sure Programming Engine will retry code programming (configurable in advanced settings) on a failure/no response from the lock. Extended yellow and red statuses indicate that the lock is having trouble communicating with the mesh. Ensure that the lock is no further than about 20ft from the nearest buffering repeater (Z-Wave or ZigBee). You need atleast 1 buffering device between the hub and the lock (even if you hub is just a few feet from the lock). A buffering device is any mains powered device like a switch or an outlet. E.g. You can pair and place a Z-Wave Plus outlet between the hub and the lock. You can find more details here.

  • I'm constantly seeing "Added user in door" followed by "Deleted user in door"
This means there is more than one instance of RLA or another User Management SmartApp controlling the same lock. One SmartApp is adding the user while the other is deleting it and they are stuck in a loop.
Delete the other SmartApps. Each lock should only have one SmartApp programming users to avoid conflicts. You can verify this on your SmartThings app by clicking on Automations -> Expand the SmartApps section and ensure that only one instance of the RLA app is installed. Uninstall all other instances or User Management SmartApps.

  • I see the app try to set/delete the same code multiple times or I'm having difficulty controlling my lock
The Sure Programming Engine is built to handle adverse conditions and verify code programming. Retrying the same programming action multiple times means that the app isn't receiving a response from the lock. Try replacing the lock batteries and for best performance ensure that the lock is no further than about 20ft from the nearest buffering repeater (Z-Wave or ZigBee). You need atleast 1 buffering device between the hub and the lock (even if you hub is just a few feet from the lock). This is required to make and maintain a strong/reliable mesh and accounts for most issues. A buffering device is any mains powered device like a switch or an outlet. E.g.You can pair and place a Z-Wave Plus outlet between the hub and the lock. You can find more details here.

  • How do I select different locks for each property/manual users?
Open the RLA app, select ALL your locks on the main page. Do NOT change this as it will cause problems later:
  • Click on Manage Property -> Click on the property -> Scroll down and select the locks you want the Automatic Users for this property to have access to (by default all locks)
  • Click on Manage Users -> Click on the manual user -> Select the locks you want that manual user to have access to (by default all locks)

  • How do I create a Manual User?
Open the RLA app, click on Manage Users -> Click on an empty slot in the manual user section -> Set the name -> Set the code -> Click Next

  • How do I delete a Manual User?
Open the RLA app, click on Manage Users -> Click on the manual user -> Blank out the code -> Blank out the name -> Click Next

  • How do I change the code of an Automatic Rental User?
Open the RLA app, click on Manage users -> Click on the automatic user -> Update the code -> Click Next

  • How do I change the check in/out date of an Automatic Rental User?
Open the RLA app, click on Manage Users -> Click on the rental user -> Tap on Start or Expiry Date -> Change the date (dd-mm-yyyy) -> Click Next

  • How do I revoke/disable an active Automatic Rental User?
Open the RLA app, click on Manage Users -> Click on the rental user -> Tap on Expiry Date -> Set the date to yesterday (dd-mm-yyyy) -> Click Next

  • How do I clear rental users programmed through RLA?
Open the app, set the Automatic Users to 0 -> Tap Done and wait for about 5 minutes.

  • How do I clear/reset ALL user codes on the lock (Clear Codes Procedure)?
Open the app, Set the Manual Users to 0 and Automatic Users to the maximum users supported by the lock -> Expand Advanced Programming Options (optional) -> Enable CLEAR EXISTING USER CODES -> Tap Done and wait for about 10-20 minutes. Open the app and set the Manual Users and Automatic Users back to the original number (e.g. 3 Manual and 10 Automatic)

  • Sometimes I get a notification, "No automatic code found for user X"?
This means that user X reservation is missing a phone number so RLA is unable to generate an automatic code (for phone based codes). This typically happens for pending reservations which sometimes are missing a phone number. You should look into the reservation calendar details and if the confirmed reservation doesn't contain a phone number, you will need to manually create/message the user code. This notification is only sent once per reservation.

  • Does RLA automatically update user codes if the phone number changes?
Assuming RLA is configured to use phone numbers to generate automatic codes:
    • If there is no phone number available on a reservation initially, RLA will generate a user code when the phone number becomes available
    • Once a user code has been generated it will not be updated even if the phone number on the reservation changes in future. You can manually change the user code for the automatic user in their page if needed.

  • Can I install RLA and LUM (Lock User Management) on the same lock?
You can only install one app at a time on a lock, either LUM or RLA, otherwise they will conflict with each other.

  • Can RLA arm/disarm ADT and STHM?
Yes, RLA can arm/disarm ADT hubs directly from the Lock/Unlock action page. For arming/disarming STHM see this link.

  • Can I access RLA from a browser?
SmartThings has a BETA web based interface where you can access your SmartApps through a browser, try it out at You can find it under the Automations tab.