Posted by JL on April 06, 2001 at 15:54:00:
In Reply to: The door has no lock. That is the problem. posted by Worried on April 06, 2001 at 13:29:23:
: The owner says that putting any kind of lock/latch or anything on that door is illegal. I thought I put that in my first message. I spoke to the owner about putting a latch on and he said, No, that is illegal. I cant just take it upon myself to drill a hole in a metal door and install a latch myself. He would know right away who did it.
look at your lease. i am sure there will be some mention that the landlord must provide a safe and habitable living siutation for tenants. having that door open is a clear violation to that term of the lease and therefore you (as well as the other tenants) have a case to withhold rent. i've never done it myself but friends of mine have put rent in escrow until things like this are remedied. if putting a lock on the door (sorry i read 'latch' and thought 'lock') is 'illegal' as the owner says, that's not good enough to just leave it like that. he has to find a way to keep his tenants safe as well as obey the Code laws. he's making it sound like he has a choice, protect the tenants or break the code law about the door latch. it doesn't work that way and it shouldn't have to be the tenant's problem either.
sometimes lazy landlords can be worked around (ie putting a lock on yourself). but if you think that will cause trouble, explain it to him and tell him (in writing) that if the situation isn't fixed, the next month's rent will be put into escrow until he holds up his end of the bargain. you can worry about actually doing the escrow thing later :)
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