Yale Security Systems Change Of Ownership

5 Feb 2011
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United Kingdom
I have just been through the fairly tortuous process of helping my daughter and son-in-law take over control of a Yale Alarm and CCTV system at their new home. Since it took us a couple of months to sort it all out, I thought I would share some information here, in the hope that it saves others some time.

The first job was to establish exactly what was installed and locate the documentation for it. The Yale manuals are available from a lot of different websites, but in the end I found it best to get them straight from Yale's site at https://help.yale.co.uk/manuals/ - it took several iterations to get the manuals that matched our hardware.

It turns out what we have is a CCTV system based on a Yale Smart Home CCTV hub with wired Yale HD cameras, and a Yale Smart Home Alarm based on an SR-340 kit or similar. The Alarm hub label just says "Smart Hub 2.0 model SR-HUB". The previous owners had left some login details but with no details of what they were for, so we had no idea which app(s) to use and everything we tried failed. So we decided to start from scratch, which turns out to be the correct approach. You can't and shouldn't try to use someone else's accounts because you'll never be in full control of the system; they will.

The CCTV System
Taking over the CCTV system ended up being reasonably straightforward. First we found the instructions for resetting the CCTV hub to its factory settings. To do that you have to connect a monitor or a TV to the hub, open the hub case and hold the reset button down while rebooting the hub. It then boots up and invites you to create a new admin password. You will need this later.

You then need to install the Yale View app on your phone, select the option to register a new system, and create a Yale account using your email address and a password. After registration, you have to register the hub with the app by clicking the + button at the top right to add a new device. The app needs to know your hub's serial number (by QR code or manual entry), and then asks for the user ID and password that is setup on the hub itself, which we now know because we just reset it.

Now, if the previous owner had unbound the hub from their Yale account before leaving, all would be well and we'd be done, but how many outgoing owners are going to remember to do that on moving day?! In our case, the previous owners had not unbound the hub, so the app gave this error:

"Sorry, device bound by xxx*****@xxx.xxx, contact him or her for device share or to unbind the device".

Not the clearest error message in the world, but not the worst either (see later for that one). We didn't know how to contact the previous owner so we eventually found that you can send an email with the hub serial number to [email protected] and they will unbind the hub for you. Yale responded within a few hours and we were back on our way.

Once the hub is bound to your Yale account, you can use the system on any phone by logging in with the account email and password. You only have to bind the hub to the email account once.

The Alarm System
Taking over the alarm system was more difficult. To control the alarm system, you need the Yale Smart Living Home App (Yale Home). Again, you need to select the option to register a new system, and create another (separate) Yale account using your email address and a password. The process in this app is a bit different from the Yale View app. This time, the app wants to know the hub serial number as part of the account registration process, and it will fail if the hub is already registered to another owner. This is the error message:

"Registration error: panel master user is max!"

And after 47 years of software development, I can honestly say that is a strong contender for the worst error message I have ever seen. It simply means that the hub is registered to another user and you can't use it until it is somehow removed from that user's account. I had to go through Yale support to find that out.

It turns out that the association between the hub that you now own and the previous owner is not that easy to undo. It is not undone by deleting the app or hard rebooting the hub. The only way is for the previous owner to delete their Yale Home account or authorise Yale support to do so. We tried sending an email to [email protected] who were so helpful with the CCTV hub but they couldn't help and directed us to Yale's online support form. Yale support suggested we contact the previous owner, which we tried and failed, then they tried to contact the previous owner which also failed. Finally we had to physically send the hub to Yale to be reset. This all took several weeks. Yale simply haven't thought this process through. How many outgoing home owners are going to have the foresight to delete their Yale Home account on moving day?

So finally we got the hub back and set about the registration process in the Yale Home app again. And this time we got yet another contender for the world's worst error message:

"Registration Error: panel uptime error!"

Back to Yale support again, and it turns out that this literary masterpiece can mean that either the hub is not in registration mode (i.e. a hard reboot in the last hour) or there is a communication error with the hub. We knew that we had hard rebooted the hub in the last few minutes, so there had to be a communication error, and sure enough the problem turned out to be a faulty ethernet cable.

So finally we are up and running with both systems, but I do wonder how many people would have made it all the way, and how many would have ripped the whole lot out and chucked it all in the bin. We came close.

Here's what outgoing owners of these systems need to do:

Ideally, the outgoing owner of a house with a Yale CCTV system should unbind the CCTV hub from their Yale View app account. Login to the Yale View app, go to Account & Security, then Delete Device. Adding or deleting a hub requires a confirmation code sent to your email.

Ideally, the outgoing owner of a house with a Yale alarm system should delete their Yale Home app account. Login to the Yale Home app, go to Settings, Users, Account Management, swipe left to delete the account, and enter the account password to confirm. No email confirmation is required.

I hope this helps someone. It would be great if Yale published a document on this subject!
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Unfortunately transfers of security systems have due process and home sellers don’t understand what’s involved. We change a few systems over and it isn’t an easy process especially if it’s not been released by the home owner or installer.

That said don’t deal with Yale other than take them out
Below is the answer that Yale support have given me to move out and leave my Yale Smart Alarm in a default state for the new owners can set up and register themselves. Hope it helps others:

In order to do this, the master registered user needs to login the Yale Home App, go to settings, users, account management and swipe left on the master account to delete (when you delete the master account any sub accounts will automatically delete as well).

Once deleted, turn the hub off from the main power and the backup battery(the slider switch behind the hub under the rubber cover). The new owners will then just need to power the hub back on and register via the app. FYI, the devices will remain attached to the system.

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