Who is responsible for paying for a lock on HMO bedroom door?

by Readers Question

11:19 AM, 16th May 2017
About 3 years ago

Who is responsible for paying for a lock on HMO bedroom door?

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Who is responsible for paying for a lock on HMO bedroom door?

I am due to move into a property sharing with 2 others (total of 3 occupants) in a HMO set up.

When viewing the property/room I observed that there is no lock on my soon to be bedroom door.
When I asked the landlord if he could fit a lock he advised that I would need to pay for it to be installed and pay him again to remove it when I leave.

Is this correct?

As a tenant renting the room on an individual basis with my own tenancy agreement, shouldn’t it be an expection that the landlord installs locks on all the room doors at no cost to the tenant.

Your advice would be much appreciated

Thank you in advance



paul robinson

14:22 PM, 16th May 2017
About 3 years ago

Well put Harlequin!

I don’t allow locks in my HMO’s which I rent on one tenancy agreement. It would spoil the Victorian bedroom doors, become like a bedsit arrangement where people don’t trust their housemates and that's not the kind of atmosphere I wish to create in my shared rentals. Everyone is fully vetted and if there was any problems i'd get it sorted.

That said in 10 year + of renting I’ve never had any reports of thief from housemates rooms. Fundamentally as I said above if the landlord was upfront about the tenant needing to pay the cost I don’t see a problem with that.

When I’m very occasionally asked this question on viewing I explain it won’t be possible and unfortuntaley if a deal breaker the tenant would be better to live somewhere else.

As Landlords we have the right (subject to legal or licence requirements) to offer fair conditions to prospective tenants and in turn they have the right to agree to these or not and not move in. In my opinion pointless debating with the landlord, just find other accommodation if a bedroom door lock is required.

Paul Green

15:40 PM, 16th May 2017
About 3 years ago

If you fit a lock and have to remove it when you vacate, your probably have to replace the door to as if you fit a Yale night latch street door kind your be left with a whole in the door we're the locksmith drilled a whole & fitted the barrel. How about a safe in the bedroom for laptop money and passport etc and a slide lock inside the door at the top, so you can lock yourself in at night , but leave door shut but not locked during the day, you'll have the safe to protect your gadgets, documents etc during the day when out. just a thought... you can locate the safe in the wardrobe and fill the wholes with wood filler, same with slide lock...

Yvonne Francis

18:50 PM, 16th May 2017
About 3 years ago

My advice is to google the problem and you will see this problem is very clear. If the house is let to a group on one shared tenancy there is no obligation for the the landlord to fit locks. If there are separate tenancies for each room then a lock is required. It also, as someone has pointed out on these posts, should be a thumb key lock which can be opened inside the room without a key which is required under the conditions of a HMO license for easy access in case of fire.

I have run two HMO's for forty years but I let to groups on one shared tenancy and make it clear that I don't allow locks on doors before they sign the lease.

If you have your own tenancy agreement for your room and could back it up with some info. from the internet I think it would be only reasonable to ask your landlord to fit one at his expense.

Rachel Simmons

19:05 PM, 16th May 2017
About 3 years ago

Thank you all for the advice.

To confirm the tenancy is a separate/individual one.

I have attempted to Google it and I have not found anything concrete to substantiate my argument re it being the landlords responsibility to pay for the lock.

if required I am willing to do it myself in accordance to the HMO guidelines or pay the landlord to do it but before doing so I wanted to be certain whether or not it should be the landlord or my responsibility.

I do no want to cause any animostiy with the landlord and I from the onset hense the need for some advice before presenting my case to the landlord on what is the expectation.

Harlequin Garden

19:09 PM, 16th May 2017
About 3 years ago

I would find somewhere else if I were you - to start off on the wrong foot with the landlord isn't great - he clearly doesn't want locks/doesn't want the expense/doesn't want a hole in the door when you leave - so just wonder what he'll want when you move out - a new door? take damages from your deposit? everything will need to be done on such an official footing it doesn't leave room for a good working relationship with the landlord - you are already at loggerheads over your rights and you haven't moved in yet. My advice would be to find somewhere that has what you are looking for and don't try to make something fit.

Rachel Simmons

19:55 PM, 16th May 2017
About 3 years ago

Thanks, I must say he does not appear to have an issue with fitting a lock, he just advised that I need to pay

I wanted to know if this to be expected of me or given it is a hmo with a individual tenancy, it should be the landlord to pay.
I wanted to ensure I got my facts right before asking him to reconsider. If I sence this will become a bigger issue then I agree, it is best to look for somewhere else.

Paul Green

20:28 PM, 16th May 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rachel Simmons" at "16/05/2017 - 19:55":

Explain in no uncertain terms, it's his duty as a HMO landlord of separatel tenancy agreements, when letting individual rooms, that it must come with a door lock, that its your private entrance and space, you have a right to feel safe and secure and that you will walk away if he can't provide one, as you don't want to damage his door, or have your safety at risk ( sleep with one eye open) or be in any Dispute about deposits at the end of term. Explain why it's important to you and his legal obligations. Maybe call the HMO department at the local council for advice too... good luck

Harlequin Garden

21:10 PM, 16th May 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Green" at "16/05/2017 - 20:28":

Hey steady on! It's as much the responsibility of a tenant to chose a place that suits them not mould it to suit, we all generally take our responsibilities seriously but there is no way I'd damage my door in one of my HMO's (other have locks) to suit one tenant - and if they have to sleep with 'one eye open' I'd also advise against an unsafe house. As for reporting the landlord ......

Yvonne Francis

10:22 AM, 17th May 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rachel Simmons" at "16/05/2017 - 19:05":

Hi Rachel
I would put the direct site I was looking at but Mark took out sites sites I've put before. Google 'locks on bed room doors illegal'. On my computer landlordblog came up which was very useful. There are loads of information if you keep trying.

I can't see why you should move or even notice these things before you take the room as others have suggested. If a tenant gave me evidence I was breaking the law I would be only happy to do my duty. When you think of it it makes sense. If you live as a group with friends then it's a bit like a family who would probably never lock their bedroom doors but if you live in a room even if you have shared facilities then you are probably amongst strangers. Even if you where good friends with the other tenants then strangers could be put into other rooms by the landlord which is of course something I can't do on a shared lease. Other landlords should encourage other landlords to abide by the law or else we face further draconian legislation which makes life even more difficult for us all.

If you don't find the site I mentioned please let me know and I shall post it. Hope you solve this amicably.

Ian Narbeth

11:13 AM, 17th May 2017
About 3 years ago

Yale night latch type locks are a really bad idea for internal doors in HMOs as it is so easy to lock yourself out. A Eurolock with a key and a thumb-turn on the inside is best.

Also bear in mind that if the Yale lock is removed and a circular hole left behind, the integrity of the fire door is destroyed. It can be restored with fire proof cement but that is a specialist job and the door will also need to be repainted. This could be expensive.

Rachel, if you detect any resistance from the landlord, I would go elsewhere. As I mentioned in my previous post, if he is this penny-pinching (and ignorant of his responsibilities) it does not bode well.

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