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Bedroom door requirements?

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Bedroom door requirements?

Postby thepipesthepipes » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:03 pm

Hi all,

My apartment has three bedrooms, but mine is separated from the living room by thin bifold (closet) doors, which greatly affects my privacy. To clarify, my room is a separate room, it just has a wide entryway, which is sealed off with these bifold doors. I've been here a year, and I just asked my landlord if it would be possible to replace the two thin doors with one solid pre-hung door (i.e. your standard bedroom door). This was his response:

"The house is registered with the building department with plans as I have rented to you. Changing the bifold door to a single door will change the graphic and occupancy factor in the apartment. What you are asking is much more complex and costly than you think. It involves an architect, maybe new codes, sprinkler through the apartment, etc."

Is he telling the truth? Should I press this matter further?
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Re: Bedroom door requirements?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:26 pm

Your LL appears to be lying. It might be useful for you to dig up the original plans for the building on file with the Dept. of Buildings. You might find that the door as it exists now was never legally installed. Of course that might mean that your bedroom is illegal as well. But even if you find such documents, you don't have to use them.

You don't say but I'm assuming you aren't the only tenant in the unit. Are you on the lease or just a roommate?

Back to his response, while installing a bedroom door could involve a change in the wall and a need to file plans with DOB if it's a complex job, assuming it's not a load-bearing wall in many cases minor work like that is often done without a DOB filing.

I've never heard of a thing called the "graphic factor." Sounds like BS.

As for a change in the Certificate of Ocucpancy, if the use remains that of a residential unit, then no change in the CofO is required. Also BS.

From what you're describing, you aren't asking for a change in the layout of the unit, just a different kind of door. If you already have fire escapes, then as long as there is no change in the layout, then there's no need for sprinklers. I'm pretty sure that goes for formerly industrial buildings or high-rises where you might see sprinklers.

Again, the LL is not being truthful.

However, it seems the LL has no obligation to change the door. He doesn't have to give you a reason.
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Re: Bedroom door requirements?

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:20 pm

I wonder if the OP's bedroom isn't a legal bedroom (i.e. doesn't have sufficient size, ventilation, etc.), and the LL is worried that, if they put in a "real" door, they wouldn't be able to market the apartment as an X bedroom, but only as an X-1 bedroom.

Could also be that the apartment is grandfathered, and the LL is concerned that, if they start making changes, they'll lose the grandfathering.

That said, as TenantNet noted, the LL doesn't need to change the door if he doesn't want to...
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Re: Bedroom door requirements?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:23 pm

What law allows residential units to be grandfathered? And how ... use, occupancy, size?

But that's not the question. A grandfathering - if something like that exists - would not prevent change, it simply would not force change.
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