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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    7

    Default Is a Bedroom Legal if it Has Two Exit Doors but No Exit to the Outside

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: West Virginia

    Here is the link to my original post:

    https://www.expertlaw.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=227986

    Long story short, my bedroom has no windows, only the main door to lead to the common area of my apartment.

    Last week I had my city inspector come in and look and rather than writing a citation for my landlord he gave them a time frame to fix it. You might be wondering how.

    Well, my bedroom is closed in, meaning it's in the center of the building plan so there is no way to build a window leading directly to the outside. So instead, my landlord is planning to install a second door in my bedroom that leads directly to the main hallway of the complex. Is this okay?

    This comes from the International Residential Code and maybe I'm not reading it right but I understood it that the room needed to have an opening directly to the outside....

    R303.1: “All habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazing area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area of such rooms. Natural ventilation shall be through windows, doors, louvers or other approved opening to the outdoor air. Such openings shall be provided with ready access or shall otherwise be readily controllable by the building occupants. The minimum openable area to the outdoors shall be 4 percent of the floor being ventilated.”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,995

    Default Re: Does a Bedroom Have to Have Direct Connection to the Outside

    Bedrooms typically need not only to have the ventilation but a secondary means of egress (either a second door or an operable window of sufficient size).

    The question is "Why are you asking?" While the landlord-tenant code (37-6-1 and following) requires them to provide a habitable space, it doesn't specify a direct regress, but you may be able to act because of the violation. What do you want?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,266

    Default Re: Does a Bedroom Have to Have Direct Connection to the Outside

    Logically, the landlord has been told to fix the problem by the inspections department. The city inspectors would normally return after the repairs are made to re-inspect. Therefore, its kind of unlikely that your landlord would do something that would not pass muster with them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,846

    Default Re: Does a Bedroom Have to Have Direct Connection to the Outside

    The OP needs to keep his posts in one thread if for no other reason than he has changed his story.

    Last week I had my city inspector come in and look and rather than writing a citation for my landlord he gave them a time frame to fix it.
    That isn't what he wrote in his previous thread.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Does a Bedroom Have to Have Direct Connection to the Outside

    I didn't change my story?

    I created a separate thread because I had a new question. Last week I had my city inspector come in and look due to the fact that from what i have been told, my bedroom is not up to code. During the time he was there he kept saying things like "we'll go back to the office and put our heads together, try to figure something out." Then also mentioned the fact that he and my landlord are friends. That simple fact is why I believe he did not write my landlord a citation but instead gave him "time to fix it". To which my landlord decided to add the door.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    23,890

    Default Re: Does a Bedroom Have to Have Direct Connection to the Outside

    Palmer: What are you trying to accomplish?

    To sue your landlord?

    To break your lease?

    To move to another room in the same complex?

    What is your goal here?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Does a Bedroom Have to Have Direct Connection to the Outside

    Sorry, I should have stated that. To break my lease is my goal. That was why I brought the inspector in in the first place.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Is a Bedroom Legal if it Has Two Exit Doors but No Exit to the Outside

    The glazing requirements may not be applicable, due to the exceptions set forth in the code.
    Quote Quoting International Residential Code, R303.1. Habitable rooms
    Habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazing area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area of such rooms. Natural ventilation shall be through windows, skylights, doors, louvers or other approved openings to the outdoor air. Such openings shall be provided with ready access or shall otherwise be readily controllable by the building occupants. The openable area to the outdoors shall be not less than 4 percent of the floor area being ventilated.

    Exceptions:

    1. The glazed areas need not be openable where the opening is not required by Section R310 and a whole-house mechanical ventilation system is installed in accordance with Section M1507.

    2. The glazed areas need not be installed in rooms where Exception 1 is satisfied and artificial light is provided that is capable of producing an average illumination of 6 footcandles (65 lux) over the area of the room at a height of 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor level.

    3. Use of sunroom and patio covers, as defined in Section R202, shall be permitted for natural ventilation if in excess of 40 percent of the exterior sunroom walls are open, or are enclosed only by insect screening.
    The rule you are looking for in relation to the new door would appear to be R310.1, which requires that a bedroom contain at least one operable emergency escape and rescue opening, and that such opening(s) open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens into a public way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,846

    Default Re: Does a Bedroom Have to Have Direct Connection to the Outside

    Quote Quoting palmer71
    View Post
    I didn't change my story?

    I created a separate thread because I had a new question. Last week I had my city inspector come in and look due to the fact that from what i have been told, my bedroom is not up to code. During the time he was there he kept saying things like "we'll go back to the office and put our heads together, try to figure something out." Then also mentioned the fact that he and my landlord are friends. That simple fact is why I believe he did not write my landlord a citation but instead gave him "time to fix it". To which my landlord decided to add the door.
    But in the other thread you mentioned NOTHING about the inspector giving the landlord time to fix it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Does a Bedroom Have to Have Direct Connection to the Outside

    When I posted the last thread I didn't know he was going to give him time to fix it. I just learned on Monday morning.

    Mr. KnowItAll - The only exception of the three that fit is #2 in the sense that there is a light in my bedroom the lights up the whole area. There is no whole-house ventilation system though. There's an ac unit in the living room but I don't think that's what it means, correct?

    Then also, a public way is defined in websters as "any passageway (as an alley, road, highway, boulevard, turnpike) or part thereof (as a bridge) open as of right to the public and designed for travel by vehicle, on foot, or in a manner limited by statute (as by excluding pedestrians or commercial vehicles) — compare private way." Does that include a hallway?

    I appreciate your answers.

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