Privacy Violation?

mack3August 7, 2012

Hi,

I just moved into a nice, historic apartment in Lafayette, IN. My biggest concern is the lack of privacy in my bedroom. This is an old home with two units, an upstairs and downstairs. I (and 2 room mates) occupy the lower level. My bedroom has a large double door that is bolted to the walls and separates my apartment from the entry way to the 2nd apartment. Unfortunately, this eliminates ALL sound privacy. Furthermore, by bolting the door shut, now there is a significant gap between the two doors, which I feel is a huge invasion of privacy! Could this be a code violation? Either way, how should I go about proposing to my landlord that my bedroom should not be exposed to the other unit?

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mike_kaiser_gw

You didn't notice this gap when you first viewed apartment?

Certainly you are entitled to privacy. A gap could be easily rectified by any number of methods. Soundproofing is another issue. Doors generally aren't going to be as quiet as walls.

Talk to your landlord and politely explain your concerns.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:58PM
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mack3

The gap was created once we moved in by maintenance who where trying to fix the fact that it wasn't locked. There solution was to bolt the sides for the door to the walls. As a result, a gap between the two doors formed.

I hope the landlord would be responsible for providing a "closed" bedroom. If I have to throw up some insulation for the sound privacy and put a plastic sheet over it I will. But I can't think of any simple solutions about the actual gap.

I will contact the landlord to discuss it. I was hoping to have a yes or no about possible code violations. I can only imagine my landlords first response..."Well its a historic home so we can't do any modifications." Which is not true.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 4:24PM
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camlan

You have a valid complaint with the gap. Until they fix it, light will leak into your room from the hallway. Air conditioning and heat will leak out of your room into the hallway, raising your utility bills. To say nothing of the fact that someone in the hallway could look into your room.

The sound problem--well, every apartment has at least one door, and doors do tend to let in more noise than walls. I think this is something that you should fix yourself.

I'd complain to thee landlord about the gap. Just tell the landlord that the solution maintanance came up with doesn't work--there's a gap in what should be a "wall." They need to come back and fix it--either by moving the doors together before bolting them or some other way.

Once they've got the gap fixed, you can do your own soundproofing. What I'd do is research soundproofing materials and find something that you can fit into the doorframe. Then you can cover the entire doorway with thick, heavy curtains, which will help block the sound even more. You can use the curtains to make that space attractive, and no one will know about the soundproofing.

Now, if your neighbors are very loud in the hallway, you can ask them nicely to be considerate and keep the noise down in the hall during "quiet hours." You can also ask the landlord if carpeting the hall is an option--it will muffle footsteps and also help a little with voices and other noise.

What did the previous tenants do? Did they simply live with a door that couldn't be locked opening into a public space? Sounds odd to me.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 5:40PM
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