A doorbell is present on so many properties, but is it considered a necessary? Where one is installed, who is responsible for its replacement, repair or maintenance? Is this down the the landlord, or something that tenants should take care of for themselves?
Is a bell necessary?
A doorbell is not, strictly speaking, an essential. If a door knocker is fitted, then it’s even less important. Without a doorbell, visitors can knock at the door or rattle the letterbox to alter residents of their presence. The lack of a doorbell is thus unlikely to make a huge difference to a tenant’s quality of life, meaning it really comes down to a question of convenience and personal choice.
Who installed the doorbell?
If a doorbell is fitted at the property, then whose responsibility is it to fix it or replace the batteries? If the property was let with a doorbell, then strictly speaking the landlord should ensure the doorbell is in working order, as it was part of the deal when the tenant agreed to rent their home.
If the landlord supplied a doorbell following a request from the tenant, then the former must take responsibility, as landlords must when it comes to all appliances that they have installed in a rented property.
Alternatively, there may not have been a doorbell when the tenant took on the rental, and they may since have chosen to install one themselves. If this is the case, then they are responsible for the upkeep of this additional item, and should therefore take responsibility for battery changes and other repair or maintenance tasks themselves.