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

by Readers Question

11:19 AM, 16th May 2017
About 2 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

Rachel



Comments

Paul Thomas

12:23 PM, 16th March 2019
About 5 months ago

In my HMO's, I have no locks on the bedroom doors. I explain this when the tenant looks. Basically, if you can't trust the people you live with... Don't live their. I also allow the existing tenants to-pre-vet the new tenant. I select suitable candidates, by age and what sort of work they do ( non-anti social hours for the existing tenants ) and other criteria. I know all of my tenants on first name terms and if their are any issues, they are welcome to contact me.

If however, I was letting an agent just 'fill' a HMO house for me and I had no interaction I would be more inclined to fit a door lock - key code with internal thumb opener.

But it's frustrating when a tenant see what you are doing and wants it changed. I just say, choose another house.

H B

16:14 PM, 17th March 2019
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Thomas at 16/03/2019 - 12:23
If you are choosing to live in a house share with specific people, of course you cannot expect locks on doors. But if you are moving into an HMO on an individual tenancy with strangers, then a lock of sorts would be a requirement.

SimonR

11:49 AM, 20th March 2019
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rachel Simmons at 16/05/2017 - 11:58
Hi Rachel,

as the door doesn't currently have any lock the landlord isn't obliged to have one fitted. As he has agreed that you can have one fitted and then removed when you vacate then that cost would be down to you.

There is no requirements in law for a shared house to have locks fitted on individual bedroom doors

Ian Narbeth

10:38 AM, 25th March 2019
About 5 months ago

SimonR you write:
"There is no requirements in law for a shared house to have locks fitted on individual bedroom doors". That is not correct. In my area the amenity standards https://www.colchester.gov.uk/essex-hmo-amenity-standards state:

"In all circumstances other than HMOs which are occupied by a stable, cohesive group of sharers (i.e. a genuine shared house), individual letting rooms must be securely designed. This means doors to individual lettings must be fitted with a combined lock and latch, where the lock is operated from the inside of the bedroom by a thumb-turn or lever, rather than a key. For example a euro cylinder type lockset:"

Yvonne Francis

13:28 PM, 26th March 2019
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 25/03/2019 - 10:38
Ian, I don’t think you have made it very clear on ‘shared’ HMO’s. Your council clearly say, ‘stable, cohesive group of sharers’ are exempt from locks on individual rooms. This is best looked at by the type of lease. A ‘cohesive group of sharers’ in a HMO would have a joint and severally liable lease, giving all the tenants the run of the house, so no entitlement to locks on individual rooms, while others HMO’s may be let on a room by room individual lease, and therefore entitled to thumb turn locks on their individual rooms. In the original post Rachael says that her room was let on an individual lease, so she was entitled to a thumb turn lock and the landlord was quite out of order telling her she had to fit one.

I have student houses let on a joint and severally liable lease. I make it very clear I do not want locks on my bedroom doors. The only question I have been asked is insurance. Some of my tenants have been turned down for insurance of their personal possessions due to this issue. I always advise them to go to Endsleigh, as they are specialist, and know exactly the position of these types of shared houses on jointly and severally leases. They are only interested in external locks which rather confirms the matter

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