Hi Paul , we have had people take keys by mistake , if they don`t return them we charge them $20.00 for the replacement ( ours are just normal keys) In regards to cash paying customers , we make them pay a deposit of $100.00 on top of the room price as not only taking keys, but they can do damage or smoke etc and you wont get any compensation . If the guest wants to checkout before reception opens, well thats to bad ,they just have to wait.Since we started doing this we haven<code>t had any room damage or keys go missing because we inspect the room before they leave. I would rather not have the guest stay if they are not prepared to pay a deposit.
Lots of time i ask them if they have a credit card and they say no , but i can see a visa etc in there wallet. It is amazing how quickly they tend to find a credit card if it`s late and not much choice. Yes sometimes a customer will decide to not stay , but I would rather sleep at night than be worried about them doing damage etc. then doing a runner.