Jump to content

Shared front door, corridor and hallway for 3 flat edwardian conversion

Guest lucy harris

Recommended Posts

Guest lucy harris


I own and live in the ground floor flat in an Edwardian conversion on a long lease (200 years plus) there are 2 flats upstairs. I have a fire door as my flat door. The shared hallway and stairs will need to be used for the upstairs flats to go to the street past my flat. The mid floor landing and the ground floor has coat pegs on the wall and neatly stored shoe racks which don't obstruct the access. One flat says it does. Lease doesn't say anything beyond keeping it tidy and in good condition which it is. We now have the RTM from December so assuming the buildings insurance will detail keeping a hallway clear but as things are neatly stored away and there is access assuming this is fine. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obstruction is not the only issue - the stair should be free from combustibles and ignition sources. Two approaches exist:

  • Zero tolerance: Nothing is permitted. Easy to manage, guarantees safety & compliance. Not very homely
  • Managed use:This approach allows strictly defined use of common parts and limits the items allowed, to control fire load and ease of ignition. It includes
    strict conditions on where such items can be kept. For example, a ‘managed use’ policy might permit residents to:
    • place pot plants and door mats outside their front doors
    • have framed pictures and notice boards on walls
    • store bicycles, prams and mobility scooters in places that are out of the way and not
    likely to cause obstruction.

 This approach also has advantages and disadvantages. The benefits include:

• by making the common areas ‘homely’, it fosters a sense of pride and value in the block, which can impact positively on anti-social behaviour
• it benefits older and disabled people in particular, by allowing them to store mobility aids at the point of access
• it allows the specific risk factors in the building to be taken into account.

 The disadvantages include:

• it is more difficult to adopt as it requires a clearly defined policy with a list of ‘dos and don’ts’ 

• there is more scope for misunderstanding, requiring more education of, and communication with, residents
• while it might be possible to minimise accidental fires with an appropriate ‘managed use’ policy, deliberate ignition may still be a significant concern 

• by allowing valuables to be left on view, it can encourage crime and subsequently increase the risk of deliberate ignition
• it is more difficult for landlords to ‘police’, and for enforcing authorities and fire risk assessors to audit
• it is likely to require more frequent inspections by landlords/TMC's
• failure to adopt the policy effectively could result in liability for landlords/TMC's should a situation occur that places residents at risk of serious injury or death in the event of fire.


When adopting a ‘managed use’ policy:
• carry out a specific risk assessment taking into account the particular circumstances in the building
• consider whether residents are disposed towards keeping ‘rules’, and avoid ‘managed use’ where this is not the case
• ensure that there are clearly defined ‘do’s and don’ts’ that residents can easily follow 

• only apply it where there is a suitable standard of fire protection – particular care should be taken when applying it to situations such as single stairway buildings and ‘dead end’ corridors
• limit it to buildings in which the main elements of structure are made of concrete, brick and other non-combustible materials

• take notice of instances of anti-social behaviour and avoid ‘managed use’ where there is particular concern regarding the potential for deliberate ignition
• generally only apply it to buildings which have effective security, eg access control
• never allow storage of combustible material – where appropriate, make arrangements for residents to have communal facilities for storage
• never allow items to be left awaiting disposal, not even in chute rooms – even short term presence poses a risk
• only allow basic furniture and not upholstered seating
• never allow motorcycles, mowers and other gardening equipment containing petrol and other fuels
• never allow charging of mobility scooters, batteries or other electrical equipment in common parts – consider providing dedicated rooms for charging, suitably fire
separated from the rest of the block
• if storage cabinets are appropriate, only permit lockable metal cabinets to be used and never timber or plastic sheds or lockers
• never allow residents to store hazardous chemicals, gas containers or flammable liquids in storage cabinets or dedicated storerooms and cupboards
• only allow scooters, bicycles, prams and so forth, if there are suitable areas, that will not pose an obstruction, where they can be kept.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...