Deadbolt Lock Installation: Who Pays?


    We recently moved into an apartment and the door to our unit only had a keyed doorknob lock (push button inside). Not being comfortable with that minimal level of protection, we had a locksmith install a deadbolt. Pursuant to our lease terms, we sought permission from the LL to install said lock. It wound up costing us a $175.00 for the service call and lock (they had to drill the hole for the lock, which “costs extra”). My question is are there any laws that dictate who is responsible for paying for the installation? Some friends have suggested that the LL is required to install a deadbolt. Thoughts? I don’t want to compromise our relationship with the LL, especially as new tenants, but I also feel like a deadbolt should be standard…

    11 Replies

    1. Beyond obnoxious is the LL’s insistence that the building is “perfectly safe” thus I shouldn’t worry about having a deadbolt despite the fact that EVERY single other apartment in the building has this “luxury.” Beyond obnoxious is not being able to find a locksmith who will install a deadbolt for less than $175.00 for something that I would do myself in 10 minutes if I didn’t have to spend the same amount of money on tools to do the job. Bizarre is the notion that a push-button doorknob lock commonly used in places like suburban sheds or garages offers sufficient protection/deterrence in NYC. And Crownlfc, under what circumstances is suggesting that someone advocate on behalf of themselves “bizarre”?

    2. Sorry, while you had my sympathy with the original post, you lost it with your subsequent post. Your description of your future actions gives the impression that you’re intending to strong arm your landlord into accepting terms. As a landlord, it would be within my rights to refuse those terms, let you take your lock, hire a restoration company to return the door to original condition and deduct that expense from your deposit. While you would gain a loose deadbolt that you can then install in your next apartment, I’d guess that you’d ultimately be much poorer on balance.

    3. “Hunt4middleclass” considering the bizarre advice you gave someone else, I’m surprised you haven’t “called REBNY or the AG’s office” yet.

      Landlords are supposed to provide a “working” lock. Anything else: Window gates, alarms, killer attack dogs – is the responsibility of the tenant, so are top locks/deadbolts. Renter’s insurance is recommended.

    4. You think that after asking the LL if you could drill a hole in his door to stall install a lock, LL says ok, then you’re going to wait until you move out and say, “pay half or I’m taking the lock with me and leave a big gaping hole for you to deal with” isn’t being a pain? What are you going to do with a dead bolt? Beyond obnoxious.

    5. If you take the lock with you, the LL has the right to deduct the cost of repairing the hole you put in the door.

    6. Those of you suggesting that upon installation, the deadbolt becomes the property of my LL are misguided. You are probably assuming that we have a standard Blumberg lease, which we do not. There is language in our lease that is similar to that contained in paragraph 7 of the Blumberg lease (“the alterations and installations shall become the property of the landlord), and as such, there is no basis to assume that this is the case. Permission prior to making any alterations is, however, required under our lease. Said permission was sought and obtained. I don’t want to be a pain so I’m not going to ask for them to go dutch on the lock, and instead, prior to move-out, give them the option to either leave the lock in if they split the cost or have it removed before we leave.

    7. The deadbolt becomes the property of the LL and you need to provide him with keys as well.

    8. Years ago when I rented my apartment on the LES, I had a similar situation – no deadbolt – so I had one installed and paid for it myself. Just be sure to take it with you when you leave the apartment because it does belong to you.

    9. If you have a standard Blumberg lease for NY, the cost of installation is your responsibility because you accepted the apartment in “as is” condition when you signed the lease. Also, any alterations made to the unit become the property of the LL. You lost your chance to have the LL pay for it by not asking for the dead bolt installation before you signed with both parties agreeing, in writing, to having the lock added.

      I don’t disagree with you that it should be standard but you signed away any right to have your LL cover the cost. If I were in your shoes, I would ask the LL to split the difference since the lock will stay with the apartment whenever you move out and the average tenant will want the added peace of mind.