Is it standard for a single-room tenant to have a lockable (from outside) door?

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    Is it standard for a single-room tenant to have a lockable (from outside) door?

    Hi everyone,

    I just got a new job in London and am looking to rent a room via Spareroom (RIP savings). I'm completely new to this setup and wanted to ask this (possibly silly?) question since the only discussion I can find on the topic is forums with single-room tenants complaining about not having a lockable room (albeit from 2014 or earlier).

    Many thanks for your responses!

    #2
    See s12 of HHSRS -
    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-professionals
    - which includes...
    12 ENTRY BY INTRUDERS

    This hazard is concerned with keeping a dwelling secure against unauthorised entry
    and maintaining its safety.

    Health effects

    These include mental harm/stress/anguish (emotional impact after burglary affects
    more than 75 per cent of victims). The worry and fear of being burgled tends to be
    caused by knowing people who have been burgled and by publicity about crimes
    (assessed as Class IV harm). Injuries where the victim is attacked by the burglar
    (aggravated burglary).

    Causes

    ... etc etc etc etc ....

    • Doors and windows – poorly constructed/fitted/in disrepair/inadequate locks;

    ...etc etc etc etc ...

    What about flats and HMOs?

    Concierge, caretaker systems and entry-phone controls have been found to reduce
    crime/fear of crime.

    Assessment should look at whole building security as well as that between
    individual residents of the same building.
    -but I doubt you can force a change: Next time, check there is a lock before you sign any agreement. Sorry
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
      See s12 of HHSRS -
      https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-professionals
      - which includes...

      -but I doubt you can force a change: Next time, check there is a lock before you sign any agreement. Sorry
      Thank you for your response! I haven't even seen let alone signed anything yet (apparently flat searching 1 month in advance is very early by London standards...) - just wanted to get an idea of the 'norm' before I go in with unrealistic expectations.

      Comment


        #4
        If this is a tenancy, I would say the lack of a lock on the individual door is a category 1 breach of HHSRS (housing health and safety rating system).

        The question would be:

        - is this actually an individual tenancy?

        - is any claim that it is not a tenancy legally valid?

        Being a lodger is not being a tenant.

        Being a sharer is not an individual tenant (the whole group of sharers is the tenant.

        The shadier sort of landlord, who are particularly prevalent in this sort of, HMO, accommodation, may attempt to claim that they are only giving a licence, and may use the lack of lock on the door to support that. A licence gives you much fewer rights than a tenancy, but just because a legal agreement says it is a licence, doesn't make it one, and just because there is no lock on your door, doesn't mean the other residents can enter at any time, without your permission, so doesn't mean you don't have exclusive access. If you are paying rent direct to the landlord, and the landlord doesn't live in the property, you almost certainly have a tenancy, and and therefore are fully subject to HHSRS.

        Comment


          #5
          leaseholder64,

          Thank you for your input! I wasn't aware of a difference between a tenancy and a license, but will be sure to familiarise myself with these terms.

          Comment


            #6
            I wouldn't expect to see locks on the bedroom doors in a shared flat where all tenants are on one joint and several tenancy agreement. This arrangement can happen remarkably often even when not all the tenants know each other previously in the London young professionals market, so even though you are looking for a single room let you might well find that this situation presents itself to you: for example, if there's a three-bedroom flat shared by a pre-formed group of three friends who were at university together, and one of them moves out, the remaining two will often use Spareroom to replace the third tenant -- and this new stranger will go on a new joint and several AST with them. Obviously there are risks to sharing liability with someone you don't know previously, but it does happen a lot and usually without major problem.

            However if the tenants are on individual room-by-room tenancy agreements (i.e. it's the landlord who's advertising on Spareroom, not the flatmates), then I would expect to see individual bedroom door locks -- but as those posting above have suggested it would be hard to enforce without a full HHSRS inspection and enforcement notice.

            Comment


              #7
              JamesHopeful,

              Thank you for your response! I am exclusively looking for single room agreements - signing something that makes me liable for someone else's rent is a definite deal-breaker here.

              Comment


                #8
                I completely understand where you're coming from, but if you are looking in the London young professionals market on Spareroom in the 20-somethings age bracket you will find a lot of existing flatshares looking to replace someone. These would tend to be friendlier than a room-by-room let HMO (the existing flatmates will often 'interview' new tenants looking for someone they think they could potentially become friends with), if that makes a difference to you. Obviously I don't deny that joint and several liability with people who were previously strangers is a downside -- there has to be an element of sniff test and crossed fingers on that one -- but I haven't know that be a major issue aside from the occasional squabble as to who was responsible for deposit damage.

                Comment

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