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would you go against the landlord?

978 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  aeneva
This is a kinda for the future issue at least as of now. We are currently renting a house that we love its in a great neighborhood plenty of room without loosig that cozy feeling yard ect. The front door just has a knob lock no dead bolt thats not a huge issue but its the type where you can ALWAYS open/turn the knob from inside the house but if its locked well you've locked your self out. DD is old enough to get this and doesn't run off and hoenstly we almost exclusilvly use the garrage anyways. However this will likely not be the same with another child. I may begin watching a friends little girl a few afternoons a week she is 3 whiel of course she will be in my sight ect I feel this door is a safety issue. Our lease though says no adding deadbolts. Would you add something like a chain ect and just not even say anything or totally comply to the LL rules. WOuld you try to work it out with them? BTW the LL has been very good to us I have really no idea why this rule is inplace.

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Originally Posted by octobermom View Post
WOuld you try to work it out with them? BTW the LL has been very good to us I have really no idea why this rule is inplace.
yes of course you should always try to work something out, rather than break the rules! just tell the LL your concerns, and ask if they might possibly consider an exemption to the rule because you fear a problem could arise with the kids.

just a guess here, but the phrase against installing deadbolts is probably a "standard language" in the lease form they used, and not a specific rule aimed at you in particular. i would think that all it would take (provided you work this out with them and they are willing) is for them to literally cross out that phrase in the contract and both parties initial it.

by all means, have a friendly chat with them. i'll bet they are more than happy to make an exception, and they might even foot the bill for the lock change.
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And I'm sure if you're willing to pay for it it'll make it more appealing. I would think a house with a deadbolt would be more appealing to future rentals.
The rule is probably in place so that tenants (not you specifically, lol) don't ruin their investment by drilling into a door and jamb while not knowing wth they are doing, and also so if they need to get into your apartment for a legitimate reason, they can.

As a former landlord, there is nothing more irritating than trying to get into somebody's apartment because there is a huge water leak coming from it, only to find out they put an aftermarket lock on it. Also, people have done that in an effort to avoid being evicted.

If you talk to them and offer to give them a key to any lock that you can lock from the outside, I'm sure they will understand. Offer to have a professional locksmith install it or to pay for the landlord or maintenance person to do it themselves.

Good luck!
We had a similar issue. We spoke to the LL and resolved it no problem. We assured them we would have the lock properly installed and then provided them with the key to the new lock. We also put a chain on the back door also no problem since it would only be in place whilst we were home. The big concern was indeed if they needed to gain entry they would be able to with out haaving to break down the door. Speak to your LL if they are reasonable you should have no problem resolving the issue.
I might start the conversation by telling your LL that your child opened the door and walked outside. As a LL, this is information that I would absolutely hate to hear, and I would be doing something about it muy pronto.

(I am a LL, BTW, and I never mind hearing from my tenants about things that need to be fixed/adapted for family safety reasons!)
Ahh some good points I never considered things like them needing access in an emergancy ect. I think we will try arranging for a professional to come out and provide them with a key. I'll also call and work it out with them first.

I believe in our state doors are required to have deadbolts? I mean seriously, a regular door is not enough to keep any burglar out. I would think making it clear that you are afraid for your child, as well as your property might get the LL moving and have him install it themselves, so they can have a copy of the key.
if the ll refuses you could always install a pin alarm on it--so at least you know someone got it open, and those just stick on.

Originally Posted by lanamommyphd07 View Post
if the ll refuses you could always install a pin alarm on it--so at least you know someone got it open, and those just stick on.
Oh true we had one of these on an old apartment door.

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We had these same knobs on our last house we were renting. I replaced the knobs/locks and kept the old ones in our closet (put them back in when we moved out, took the ones we had bought with us, lol). We also attached alarms to both the front and back door, so when the magnets were no longer "touching" - the alarm would go off. Cheap and easy.
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Check your state and local laws. Where we live rental homes and apartments must have non-keyed deadbolts so that the tenant can lock it when they are home (but can't be locked from the outside). I'm not sure about keyed deadbolt locks.

If I were you, I'd tell the landlord that your child can open the door the way it is and you are concerned she'll wonder out when you aren't looking. Request that they have a locksmith come by and install and deadbolt for extra safety and ask if you can also install a chain lock (kids can still open deadbolts).
If your only concern is kids getting out, I'd install something like a chain or one of those bars that slide across -- easier, cheaper, and doesn't impede the landlord's access from outside.
I'm sure that if you told them of the safety issue, they would work something out for you - even if the issue of saftey itself doesn't sway them, the fact that you told them of the problem could be a potential liability should your childlren get out and hurt themselves.
Our son (age 4) has been able to unlock our deadbolt forever. For keeping children secured within the apartment, you definitely want something like a chain lock, a "landlord lock" (the hinge-looking things that only attach to the door jamb), or a barrel bolt up high... like six feet off the ground.

The rule is almost certainly in place to make tenants clearly responsible for damages resulting from drilling into the door jamb. If you discuss the issue with the landlord, you should be able to get permission easily (but get it in writing, so they can't charge against your deposit for it when you move out... this is even more important if it's a management company, and you might not be dealing with the same person in the future that you are now).
I am a landlord myself and I would not only call and talk with the landlord, but if they refuse then I would send a letter simply stating your safety concerns. I say this because if something were to happen and you decided to sue the landlord it would be your word against theirs as to whether you told them and if you send a letter (keep a copy for yoursefl) and send it with a tracking number for receipt then you have proof you sent it.

That being said I don't see why a landlord would have an issue adding a lock for you. Our lease does state that there are to be no locks added to any door (inside or outside) and the reason is access to the apartment in an emergency. If the tenant wants a lock added we will gladly do it though if they ask.
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