Here is a question to the blog clinic from Eve (not her real name) who is a tenant
I rent a room in a shared house, own tenancy, does my room have to have a door on it? I currently just have a blanket.
Well, that’s one I’ve not heard before – although I suspect that in the sort of tenancies Ben sees, it is not uncommon.
There are two things that occur to me here.
First – I wonder if it can be a tenancy at all if there is no door. In the seminal case of Street v. Mountford in 1985, it was held that an essential element of a tenancy was ‘exclusive occupation’ of a property, even if that was just a room.
But can you have exclusive occupation if you have no door? If the blanket is just a temporary measure after a break-in, maybe. Possibly not if it is permanent.
Second – You may have a remedy under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This sets out 29 ‘hazards’ one of which is ‘entry by intruders. If you don’t have a door, just a blanket, then there is not a lot to keep intruders out.
So probably your best bet is to speak to an officer at the Council and get them to come out and carry out an inspection. If they consider that the property has a ‘category 1’ hazard, which sounds likely to me in your case, they will then require the landlord to remedy this.
Or in your case, fit a door.
There is more information on the HHSRS and how it works in the government guide here.