I rented a 4 bedroom house in Portland, and was promised doors shortly after move in. The place was listed as a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, but there are no doors on two of the bedrooms or the second bathroom. The doors are pocket doors, and the rack is present, but there are gaps in the wall where the missing doors should be. There are other issues with repair that I am working out with him, but wanted to know about this particular issue.
Employment / Labor Attorney
Generally speaking, a landlord must maintain a rental unit in a safe condition and in good repair. The Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act does not specifically reference interior doors. One could argue that an interior door is necessary to maintain an interior wall in good repair if an opening in the wall was designed to have a door. One could also argue that interior doors are necessary for fire safety purposes. If you live within the city limits, you can file a complaint with the Housing Inspector, Bureau of Development Services, City of Portland.
Michael Ross is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation.
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Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
I think the short answer is probably no, a landlord who doesn't provide interior doors isn't breaking any law. That said, if it was part of the deal you bargained for, you might have a contract remedy--although it would be better if you had it in writing. Of course, the tenant's ultimate remedy when they landlord isn't living up to expectations or reason is to give the proper notice and to move.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
Even if doors are required by a local housing code, nothing in Oregon's landlord-tenant laws say that these types of interior doors are necessary, and I think it's a stretch to say that the lack of doors creates a habitability problem.
That aside, if you can prove that the doors were part of the agreement and that your landlord is now refusing to supply them, you have a breach of contract claim and you can potentially withhold rent until your landlord complies. Do NOT do this without consulting with a lawyer first.
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