Do I have to install a bedroom door at my cost?

19 Replies

I leased a 4-bed, 2-bath to renters. At the time, the fourth bedroom had no door hung in the door frame. It has a closet, and two means of egress (another door at the back of the room opens to the garage).

Now, after a month of living in the space without mentioning the door, they want a door hung and they want me to pay for it. 

When we replied that they could hang the door at their cost and just make sure the home is returned to it's original condition at move-out, they got really insistent and declared to my secretary that they're "not having this argument" with her. 

I just want to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong if I refuse.

Seems like they accepted the property in that condition. However without a door, it is not a bedroom either, so you misrepresented the property. A doorn is what $100? Just hang a door.

Probably not legally required, but check with housing code in your area. A bedroom must at least have a window. As far as a door being missing, it's probably not breaking laws. I think it just needs to be accessible from the main house. However, doors aren't expensive. You should just invest in a door, ~$50-150. Beyond making the property habitable as expected and legally required, you should at least attempt to make the property somewhat desirable if you want good returns and lower vacancy rate.

Door slabs are cheap, install costs an hour or two for someone competent, with that said, I would tell them to pound sand for the attitude. You rented it the way it was, if you don't like it then feel free to leave when the lease is up. People who act like this don't stop at the first demand, once you give in they will keep demanding you replace/upgrade at their desire

Originally posted by @Max T. :

Why no door in the first place?

The previous owners found having a door there was a problem due to the way the rooms were situated in the hallway. They removed the door years ago and told us when we purchased that it might be best to leave it off anyway.

We've had tenants in this place previously, and one of the tenants actually said they preferred it without.

Jess 

This is one of those, there is "right" and "right thing to do" things.  Your argument in court would be , I rented it last time this way, and they knew it going in there would be no door.  Their argument is that they rented a 4/2 but the missing door makes it a 3/2 so you false advertised (or they say you said you put one on.). 

Not knowing your jurisdiction, the courts are generally going to look a protecting the tenants because you are the big bad landowner...  Welcome to the "new age".

So look at it differently.  

Are these generally good tenants?  Pay on time? Clean? And are they the type of tenant you would like to keep for a long term?  - Then put up a door - no conditions about putting the property back in the original condition.  

Or are the type of tenants you want gone ASAP?  They will trash the place when they vacate so why give them another door to mess up?   You never know, they may need it for a legit reason (baby).  

So there is being "right" and "doing the right thing".  I would put up the door to keep the peace.  They are not expensive and you never know - you might be keeping a long term tenant for a couple hundred dollars.  

Just my thought is all

Steve

PS.  Plus it give you a good reason to bump the rent up when renewal comes around due to increased "expenses". 

Usually interior doors swing into the room. What other doors did it interfere with? I would install a door if they requested it because it's a reasonable request and an expectation in most situations. ie, they're not asking you to change the countertops to granite, they just want a door on a room that would typically have a door on it. I'd figure out a way to make it happen.
Originally posted by @John Teachout :
Usually interior doors swing into the room. What other doors did it interfere with? I would install a door if they requested it because it's a reasonable request and an expectation in most situations. ie, they're not asking you to change the countertops to granite, they just want a door on a room that would typically have a door on it. I'd figure out a way to make it happen.

Yeah I think this one swung out and hit something, not so much interfering with doors. The other doors in that same hallway swing inward. I don't remember her exact issue, to be honest. I looked at it at the time the sellers mentioned it, but it's been quite a while since then and I didn't mention in my notes, unfortunately. Sorry I can't be more precise.

I'm a little worried they'll hate it after it's installed because of the issues the owners mentioned, but frankly that's a bridge I'll have to cross when I come to it. 

Not sure how to mark a topic as resolved on this site. For reference to anyone else coming into this thread, I've already scheduled the door installation, but thanks for input!

Originally posted by @Caleb Heimsoth :

@Bryan Devitt I just love that phrase, “pound sand”. I’d hang the door, but I would not give in to any future requests

The full phase is "pound sand down a rathole." You really need to pack a large amount of wet sand into a rathole in order to keep rats from digging it out easily. It's not an easy job. But nowadays, most people go with coarse steel wool to block up ratholes. You still really have to stuff the hole well with the steel wool to keep the rat from digging it out.

As a property manager, we want to make our tenants happy. That's not an outrageous request. Owners that constantly want to nickle and dime over stuff create headaches when there is no need. Yes, they took the property in that condition. Do you think they were able to notice multiple things wrong when they viewed your apartment for the ten minutes they were there? There are reasonable requests and ridiculous requests and more people need to understand the difference. It can result in having a tenant for years instead of turnover in 11 months. 

They rented without a door and you said that to them. I am assuming no promise to put in a door was made on rental.   If this is one of those rooms that could be a bedroom or something else you could just put in a bifold if swing is a problem. Problem is if they put in a door then they may do a bad job so you are probably better off doing it. 

@Steven Warner

How did this quickly get to court arguments? They could stop paying rent and get evicted. “We wanted a door so we stopped paying rent” isn’t going to go well for them.

If they ask, I will install a door, because it is a reasonable requirement and expectation in most cases. They don't ask you to change the countertop into granite, they just want to be in a room door that usually has a door. I think this requirement is reasonable.

OH, give them a door!  Redo the doorway so it swings into the room.  

THEN paint the door glow in the dark orange on one side and glow in the dark green on the other side:)  

Ok, just kidding on the last part!

@Jess Berdei hang the door are you kidding ??  Its total $250 bux.... This should have  been done PRIOR to them moving in.How can you rent a property withOUT a BR door ? 

Good luck