General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Am I under any obligation to answer my front door?

Asked by elbanditoroso (25349points) 1 month ago

With the exception of the police ringing the bell, of course.

Am I obligated to answer the door if someone rings the bell or knocks? I can’t see how I would ne. On the other hand, it could be considered discourteous.

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25 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

If it’s me, yes. Anybody else, no.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I don’t think so, and Authorities would announce themselves.

MC2147's avatar

I doubt this. I have never heard of someone needing to open up the door. Heck, the way the world is today at times I would be pretty hesitant to answer my door when it rings. In my view I would say no. It’s your property.

Demosthenes's avatar

Where would the obligation come from? Obviously if someone has a warrant for your arrest or to search your house, that’s different, but otherwise, you are free to ignore ‘em :)

janbb's avatar

Yes, it’s discourteous but are you obligated? No.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

No. Including the back door.

JLeslie's avatar

No! I don’t think it’s discourteous or an obligation.

If it’s someone you don’t know then you have no idea if it’s safe. If it’s someone you know, but they didn’t call ahead, then if you’re not able to receive them at that moment then too bad for them.

My dad feels like he has to answer the phone if it rings. That’s ridiculous to me. I’m not even talking about screening calls, I just mean if my phone rings, or if someone knocks at my door, and I’m not able to answer, not a good time to answer, afraid to answer, or don’t want to answer, that’s my prerogative.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t have to open the door any more than I have to answer the phone, which I pay for to serve my own convenience. I used to ignore a ringing phone when I felt like it, even back before before there were answering machines, never mind electronic voice mail and cellphones.

I have also stood at a door after ringing the bell and been ignored by the occupants even though I knew they were home. (I had a lost kitten in my arms and was looking for its owner.) It was their right to decline to open up. It made me a little curious, but otherwise I didn’t care.

Darth_Algar's avatar

No. If it’s someone you know then they should call ahead and make sure you’re going to be available. If it’s a stranger then who cares if they find it discourteous or not? No one is entitled to your time.

Kardamom's avatar

No. Unless you are up for talking to, or socializing with whoever is at the door, you are under no obligation to open the door.

You can let all of your friends and relatives know that you would prefer that they call or text you first (so you can decide whether or not you are up for company on any particular day).

You can also put a polite “no soliciting” sign on your door.

If you want to buy something, you can go to a store, or shop online.

If you want to discuss religion, you can visit whatever places of worship you like, or discuss it online (at your own risk Lol).

If you want to know about your local candidates, you can find that information online.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I think it’s rude, to knock on someone’s door uninvited/unannounced.

My visitors call before they come over.

Anyone else can’t possibly be someone who I would want to talk to.

Inspired_2write's avatar

No, that is what door peepholes are for, your security and for choosing to open or not.

Incoherency_'s avatar

It’s attitudes like those expressed above that have put pesky enterprises like Fuller brush, Avon, and Amway out of business. ;-(

What could be more American than door-to-door spammers? ;-p

For old times sake: DING DONG. AVON CALLING! Now answer the fuckin’ door, or kiss crapitalism goodbye!

Darth_Algar's avatar

So I’m obligated to let salesmen in? Am I also obligated to purchase their products?

Incoherency_'s avatar


Nope, Just leave some $$$$ on your porch, and they won’t even bother you with a sales pitch or whatever the hell they’re selling!

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t see why you should be
obligated to answer the door, or for that matter why the police should qualify as an exception to the rule.

joeschmo's avatar

In Deadpool 2, a definite authority on this and all matters of etiquette, see the X Men hiding behind the door and not opening it for Deadpool though he had clearly knocked and announced himself.

flutherother's avatar

I know I’m not obliged to answer the phone or the door but I always do. Not answering the door when at home would be thought strange over here and I wouldn’t want to miss a parcel delivery.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Someone knockin on the doOor,
Somebody ringin the bell
Someone knockin on the doOor
Somebody ringin the bell
Do me a favor
An let em in

OK, no. There is no obligation to answer the door.
Get one of those doorbells you can set up to take messages. Then you can screen your door. (yes, the wording is intentional)

jca2's avatar

For me, it’s not a “must” but I feel like I should. I think about the time when my neighbor knocked on my door to tell me the interior lights were on in my car. It might be important and not everyone has my phone number or email address.

I don’t get many people knocking on my door where I live. Not a lot of politicians are coming around and we don’t get people selling things door to door, and friends are not popping in unexpectedly, so in the rare cases where someone comes knocking, it’s probably for a good reason.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@jca2 – here, it isn’t the sales people that are the problem.

It’s the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the other people trying to peddle their religion.

janbb's avatar

@elbanditoroso If I see there are proselytizers on the street, I usually don’t open my door but in most other instances, I will I guess I’m a rare bird who kind of likes it if friends drop in (not that many do.) And as @jca2 says, sometimes it is a neighbor with something important to say. I go on a case by case basis.

ucme's avatar

Any unsolicited approach to your property can be considered trespass, so not only are you not obliged, but they are legally bound to provide both their id & purpose for being there.
Nobody gets near our front gates without prior appointment, failure to comply & we release the hounds on your sorry arse.

Stache's avatar

Not at all. It’s your house. Don’t give the vampires permission to enter.

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