Rental Lock Automater (RLA): FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Please ensure that your lock is within 20ft of a buffering repeater. Click for details
  • What do I need to setup RLA?
You will need any SmartThings hub (v1/v2/v3/adt/aeotec etc), a Z-Wave/Plus or ZigBee lock. WiFi locks are NOT supported, we recommend full keypad locks like Yale (YRD256, YRD240YRD226, YRD216, YRD220YRD210, YRL256YRL226, YRL220YRL216, B1L, T1L), Schlage (FE469BE469, FE599, JFE109), Kwikset (Obsidian916, 914, 620) 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 HostTools, Hospitable, Lodgify, Guesty, 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 Kwikset, Schlage (e.g. YRD256, YRD240YRD226, YRD216, YRD220YRD210, YRL256YRL226, YRL220YRL216, B1L, T1LFE469BE469, FE599, JFE109, Obsidian916, 914, 620). Avoid locks such as the Kwikset 888/910/912, Ultraloq and Schlage BE369 which have multiple digits on a single button, click here for more details. See this link 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 have RLA automatically send SMS/text messages to renters?
SmartThings does not send SMSs at this time. You can use third party channel managers like HostTools, Hospitable, 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)
  • The Automatic User code generated doesn't match the phone number on the reservation / what happens if the phone number on the reservation changes?
If RLA is configured to use phone numbers to generate automatic codes:
    • The user code generated is based on the phone number provided at the time of the reservation. Once a user code is generated RLA will not update it if the phone number on the reservation changes. You can manually override the user code for automatic users from the Manage Users page.
    • If there is no phone number available at the time of the reservation, RLA will generate the user code when the phone number becomes available.

  • Sometimes I get a notification, "No automatic code found for user X"?
This means that iCalendar 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 don't include a phone number. You can verify this by downloading/opening the iCalendar URL using a browser. This notification is only sent once per reservation. If the iCalendar reservation includes the missing phone number during the next synchronization, RLA will generate an automatic code for the renter at that time.

  • What happens when the dates on the reservation changes?
RLA will automatically update the check-in and check-out dates for the Automatic User.
If RLA is set to generate Automatic User codes using check-in / check-out dates, it will not update the automatic code generated using the original dates unless the option for Automatic code updates is enabled in the Manage Property page.

  • 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

  • How does RLA manage Automatic Users when new reservations are made?
RLA synchronizes the iCalendar reservations every 2 hours and ensures that the earliest reservation will be assigned an automatic user. If a new reservation is made which is earlier than the current reservation, RLA will re-organize the automatic users to ensure that the earliest reservation has an available automatic user. Once the guest checks out, it clears that automatic user and reassigns it to the next guest. RLA only requires 2 Automatic Users per unit configured in the Manage Property page and it will reassign the automatic user as needed.

  • 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 many Automatic Users do I need to set?
Only 2 Automatic Users are required per Unit configured in the Manage property page. For example if you have configured 3 units, then you need only 6 automatic users. Setting the number of Automatic Users too high can cause RLA to slow down or have unexpected issues. For optimal performance the number of Automatic Users should not exceed 4 per Unit configured or 15 total, whichever is higher. The total number of users (Manual + Automatic) should never exceed the maximum number of user slots supported by your lock.

  • How do I change the code of an Automatic 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 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 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 long does it take for my last minute "instant" bookings to be processed?
RLA downloads updates about once every 120 minutes. You can force RLA to download the latest schedule updates by opening RLA -> Click on Manage Property -> Click on Next

  • 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)

  • What do the blue, yellow, red and grey colors in the Manage Property page indicate?
The color indicates the current state of the user code:
  • Green means the user code is active (confirmed by the lock)
  • Grey means the user code is inactive/expired/deleted (confirmed by the lock)
  • Yellow means the code 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/hub. Ensure that the lock is no further than about 20ft from the nearest buffering repeater (Z-Wave or ZigBee depending on your lock). You need atleast 1 buffering repeater between the hub and the lock (even if you hub is just a few feet from the lock). A buffering repeater is a mains powered (Z-Wave or ZigBee) 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.

  • 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.

  • I get the message "Unable to download schedules, retrying in 120 minutes" or "Failed with status 500. Retrying in about 120 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: Use a local/different lock in your app to test the user programming

Once you're ready, just switch the lock in RLA 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • How do I reset/regenerate all the Automatic User codes ?
Open the app, set the Automatic Users to 0 -> Tap Done. Open the app again and reset the Automatic Users back to the original number (e.g. 10). Tap Done.

  • 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 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)

  • Can I access RLA from a browser?
SmartThings has a beta web based interface where you can access your SmartApps through a browser at -> Automations tab