Tenant wants storm door replaced immediately

9 Replies

Hi all.  I am a relatively new landlord and have a question.  The storm door is jammed on one of my rentals and will not open at all.  The tenant wants this replaced immediately (I also know that they wanted a new storm door as it was old).  The tenant took the screen out and needs to use a credit card to unlock the front door, since the storm door frame is in the way of the front door keyhole.  Since he was making it such an urgent issue, I mentioned that I will come tonight and remove the screen door entirely to solve the problem and fix/replace in the next few days.  He wants a new storm door immediately and was not okay with that.  My question is:  does a storm door need to be replaced if it was there when the tenant moved in?  If so, how long do you have to replace it?  Thanks in advance!

Most of that will be state specific. In the state of Texas I only have to immediately fix something that is a health issue.  Storm doors are NOT a health and safety issue if not present. I would do the same as you. Fix the immediate issue (not being able to get in) and then I would remove the storm door entirely and not put one back on. The are unnecessary for us anyway but in Jersey you may need them.

In North Carolina you're only required to have structure, plumbing and heating. The renter can not refuse to pay their rent as punitive damages unless ruled by courts. I would remove the storm door to prevent any further damage, or make sure no one gets harmed. Or that could be a law suit.

I would NOT remove the storm  door permanently, as during the next storm, water may seep in under the door, and who wants water damage.   I would repair/replace it at YOUR earliest  convenience.

Don’t let the tenant start dictating you..
If you decide to repair or replace that’s fine but don’t let the tenant push you to do something you don’t want. Tenants need to be trained, consider this first lesson.
Follow your state Laws and make the best decision..
When the tenant start making demand that something needs to be replaced you need to stop it there, your answer should be “I will make the final decision when I inspect the issue” If tenants feels it got replace because they demanded it, they will continue making demands..

I would remove the storm door immediately so the tenant has access. I would notify the tenant that the storm door will be replaced when my schedule allows and not sooner. If I know what date that will be, I will tell the tenant so they can plan accordingly.

As @Raul R. said, I would not let the tenant tell me what to do.

Would you be replacing the storm door yourself (this would generally mean replacing the frame and the door)?

If not,  it's Easter Sunday.   Good luck getting anyone to come out today to do this.

Remove the door to allow the tenant access into their front door.

Replace the entire unit on your schedule.

It is unlikely that not having a storm door for a few days will impact the health or safety of your tenant.


@Steven Cherry By all means remove it because its a life safety issue now. If the house catches on fire and someone gets hurt or worse they will come after you. Since it seems like you removed it last night anyway you should be ok. 

I would find out why it isnt opening. Maybe it is something simple like the latch or it just needs adjusting. 

Fix the problem/remove the storm door and replace if you want it replaced when it fits into your schedule. Storm doors are not necessary but nice to have in the summer to allow in fresh air. In the winter they are more of a pain in the butt.

Whether the tenant is OK or not with your plans is irrelevant. It may be wise on your part to stall the replacement of the door or not replace it at all as a tool to train your tenant. Tenants must be trained to understand that they are not in a position to make personal demands.

I would absolutely remove the storm door as it's preventing your tenant from exiting or entering the property.  However, replacing it is entirely upon your discretion.  

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