Here is a question to the blog clinic from John whose daughter is a tenant.
My daughter is renting a property in Oxford with 3 friends. The landlord has rented the property out with no latching lock on the front door, so unless the door is locked with a key either after entry off exit, the door remains unlocked.
The letting agent says that the landlord has refused to do anything about it, so I commissioned a locksmith to install a latching front door lock.
Am I likely to lose my deposit?
There is no law, so far as I am aware, regarding this and so it will be up to what the parties agree to.
I know many years ago when I was living on my own I changed the lock on my door from a latching one to a mortice lock which had to be turned on entry or exit, as I was so terrified of locking myself out of my flat by mistake!
However with a student let with several students this is less likely to happen and having a door with a Yale or similar lock which you can pull to and lock may be better as it will prevent the property being left open by mistake.
It would have been better to ask the landlords permission before changing the lock though. As it is, if he wants the lock changed back he can charge you for the cost of this, and deduct it from the deposit. However this is unlikely to use up the whole of the deposit!
If the landlord does do this, make sure you ask for a receipt for the work done to make sure he is actually changing the lock and not just charging for something which is never done.