General Question

michelletanner's avatar

Is my landlord required to replace my front door?

Asked by michelletanner (4points) November 1st, 2010

I’m living on the top floor of a house in a small town. The woman we’re renting from seems to act like we’re all old friends and she frustrates the crap out of me. That aside, our front door has a giant panel of plexiglass in it that can be popped out in a second and anyone could get in. My mother actually came over and knocked on the door and it fell out. She went and yelled at our landlord and told her she needs to replace it and her response was asking if there was a law saying she had to.

So that’s why I’m here. Is there a law where I could show her concrete evidence that yes, she does have to replace it, or am I just stuck with this? I’m in Ohio, by the way.

On top of that, she never replaced the storm door or blinds, which she said she would before we moved in, and there isn’t one fire alarm in this place. It’s frustrating because we can’t afford to fix all this for her and we have a baby on the way.
Sorry this is so long! Thank you for reading.

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7 Answers

squirbel's avatar

- 5321.02 Retaliatory conduct of landlord prohibited.

- (1) The tenant has complained to an appropriate governmental agency of a violation of a building, housing, health, or safety code that is applicable to the premises, and the violation materially affects health and safety;
– (2) The tenant has complained to the landlord of any violation of section 5321.04 of the Revised Code;

5321.04 Obligations of landlord.

(A) A landlord who is a party to a rental agreement shall do all of the following:

(1) Comply with the requirements of all applicable building, housing, health, and safety codes that materially affect health and safety;

(2) Make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;

Enjoy! It is your right to have every one of those things fixed by her. You do not have to pay a dime.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Check your rental agreement, it should discuss repairs in it.

iamthemob's avatar

Here you go. Particularly note 5321.04(A)(2) @squirbel quotes above. Although “habitability” is generally a question for the courts, I can almost guaranty that having a door is a prerequisite for habitability. The landlord may also be liable for anything that is stolen from you or harm that comes to you if you don’t have a door.

You can also repair the door yourself, and it is likely you’ll be able to withhold rent for this, and the landlord cannot evict you. Unfortunately, I doubt you’ll get (if you even want it) a new lease if that happens. ;-)

MissPoovey's avatar

Yes she should fix your door.
Do not stop paying rent, not unless you have it in writing that the work comes off your rent. A verbal contract or just because she is supposed to, is not reason to stop paying and break your lease. Your lease will tell you what you can do if she refuses to make your home up to city codes. Calling the codes dept. in your city will tell you what the rules are. You can also ask them for an inspection of the premises.
Code violations, depending on severity, can do anything from shut her down to fines or jail time.

perspicacious's avatar

Yes. Read the Ohio landlord/tenant code as cited above. AT the very least, in every state, a landlord has to provide habitable rental residential space. The inability to secure your residence renders it to not be so. This is my personal opinion, not legal advice.

Kayak8's avatar

You never just stop paying rent. If you want to seek legal advice you can set it up so you are paying your rent to an escrow account (showing your good faith in paying the rent, but it isn’t going to the landlady until the problems are fixed).

Don917's avatar

I don’t live in Ohio, but just about every state has laws governing the responsibilities of both tenant and landlord. Basically the tenant is required to pay the agreed upon rent in US dollars, and not destroy or devalue the property, or make the property a public nusance. The landlord in return is required to provide a safe and livable dwelling that is up to current local saftey and building codes.
The front door you describe does not sound safe or up to code. If you put the landlord on notice that you are contemplating have the unit inspected by your local building code official she may get off her duff and fix/replace that front door.

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