- A tenant moved into a new flat and found there was no buzzer, bell or intercom
- They’ve missed important parcel deliveries, and visitors are left waiting
- However, the letting agent says the landlord is not required to give the doorbell.
- We asked three property experts what a tenant can do
I have recently moved to a new rented flat. It is an old industrial building that has been converted into four separate apartments with a mine on the ground floor.
There is an exit, the front door. It leads to our private courtyard, where there is a door with a key code to exit onto the street.
Since our front door is behind a locked gate, we were surprised to see that there was no buzzer to alert us if we had visitors or mail.
It turns out that the only way for someone to get our attention is to knock on the windows of our bedrooms, which face the street on the side of the building.
We have already lost many important parcels and had to take time out of our days to go to the sorting office to pick them up.
A renter is frustrated that their landlord won’t set the doorbell, so they consistently miss deliveries
I was surprised to hear from the rental agents that the landlord was not responsible for giving us the doorbell.
Is it true? Property does not seriously affect our quality of life.
Grace Gosden, This is Money, Answer: It’s definitely unusual that you don’t have any bellies. It’s something you’d assume any apartment would be – for rent or otherwise.
As a result, delivery drivers will have to knock on your bedroom window to alert you that they are there. This is not only inconvenient, but also a breach of privacy.
And if you’re not near the bedroom, you’re unlikely to hear the delivery driver’s knock on the window.
Of course, your neighbors above you will be missing more parcels, as drivers will be unable to alert them that way.
Unfortunately, your giving agent says that the landlord is not responsible for installing the doorbell, despite the fact that it is relatively easy and inexpensive to do so.
It will also make life easier for you and your neighbors.
To find out what your rights are in this position, This Is Money asked industry experts what you can do and whether you can install it yourself.
A spokesperson for the nonprofit advice service, Justice for Tenants, responds: There is no legal obligation for the landlord to provide a doorbell or postbox.
However, the lack of a doorbell or a means to get a post can be an indicator that the property was not converted with the correct planning permissions.
You can check the council’s online planning portal or contact its planning department for confirmation.
From a practical standpoint, the first step would be to tell your landlord in writing what inconveniences you are caused by the lack of a doorbell and post box and to request that a letterbox and doorbell be provided. .
If the homeowner isn’t willing to help, a practical solution may be a wireless doorbell attached to the gate, which you can install yourself.
Or alternatively, a notice is affixed at the gate with your phone number, to alert delivery drivers to call you so that you can provide them with a code to enter, or go out and collect the package .
No doorbell means residents are missing many important parcels
Propertymark’s Policy and Campaigns Manager Timothy Douglas responds: When it comes to flats, the freehold arrangement differs from property to property.
In most cases, rented flats in a multiple-occupancy residential building will be owned by a landlord on a leasehold basis.
Therefore, there is likely to be an additional landlord or freeholder who has overall responsibility and ownership of the fabric of the building, such as installation and maintenance of a closed gate with keypad.
To help determine responsibility in this scenario, the tenant should ask the rental agent to find out who is the ultimate owner of the building and is responsible for maintenance. It can also be obtained through the Land Registry website.
You can also ask if the freeholder has hired a managing agent to manage the building and communal areas.
Once this has been installed a request should be made for the entrance bell to the building.
If the freehold is jointly owned by the leaseholders through a portion of the freehold arrangement, then responsibility for the communal areas and the building’s structure – such as the decision to install an entry buzzer or intercom system – will be shared between the owners of the tenant. Flat with landlord.
Chun Wong, partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, responded: Unfortunately there is no legal obligation on a landlord to provide a doorbell, as it pertains to convenience, not security.
Lastly, it would have been helpful to check that the property had a doorbell before taking the lien—and if not, ask the landlord or agent to install one before signing the contract.
It is also worth checking the tenancy agreement to see if there are any relevant obligations.
The best course of action is always to try to resolve it amicably with the landlord or agent by asking if they would be willing to install one, which usually isn’t too expensive.
Alternatively ask permission to set up your own. However, you will usually need to return the property to the landlord in the same state at the end of the tenancy as you originally took it in, so make sure it can be removed without damage.