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SamF

Legal requirement for FRA document in block of 6 flats?

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Hi,

I'm in the process of purchasing a flat that is one in a block of 6 purpose built, all of which are leasehold flats. The building is around 10 years old. We've been waiting for weeks for a fire safety certificate (FRA?) for the communal areas of the building, only to be told today that the management company are saying they don't have one and haven't yet set a date to complete one. What are the legalities around this? Should there be a recorded FRA in place already?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Sam

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The answer is yes, since 2006 the common areas of blocks of flats have been subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 but the FRA need not be a recorded this will depend on how many employees the management company employs. The above order require the management company, working on behalf of the owner, to be subject to articles 9 to 22 which include conducting a fire risk assessment, which is designed to establish the level of fire safety, in the common areas, for relevant persons. (residents)

The FRA is an assessment/survey checking the fire safety of the common areas and identifying items that do not meet the required standards and producing an action list detailing items that need to be addressed for the common areas to meet the required standards. 

The enforcing authority is the local Fire and Rescue Service who can conduct an audit of all premises falling within the above order and prosecute if considered necessary.

Check http://www.firesafe.org.uk/uk-fire-rescue-services-details/ and guidance http://www.cieh.org/policy/fire_safety_existing_housing.html  http://www.firesafe.org.uk/regulatory-reform-fire-safety-order-2005/  Fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats

 

Edited by Tom Sutton

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Thank you very much Tom! 

At what point does the management company have to start recording the FRA? If not recorded, how frequently should they be completed? 

Many thanks again for your advice

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As soon as practicable after the assessment is made or reviewed, the responsible person must record the information where, he/she employs five or more employees,  a licence under an enactment is in force in relation to the premises or an alterations notice requiring this is in force in relation to the premises.

Any such assessment must be reviewed by the responsible person regularly so as to keep it up to date and particularly if, there is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid or there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates including when the premises, special, technical and organisational measures, or organisation of the work undergo significant changes, extensions, or conversions, and where changes to an assessment are required as a result of any such review, the responsible person must make them. 

Straight from the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005  article 9.

 

Edited by Tom Sutton

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Guest TimLlo

We live in a three story block of flats and we are selling at the moment the flats all have fire/smoke detectors and the communal areas have smoke/fire detectors and a automatic opening roof window which opens up when alarm is triggered
These flats are three years old the solicitors are say we need a risk assessment certificate but all information I see is that we don't need one please can you confirm whether we need one or not
Regards Tim

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There is no such a thing as a risk assessment certificate the Responsible Person or persons (owners/freeholders) has to conduct a fire risk assessment (FRA) and if he/she employs 5 more people it has to be recorded. If this document is available then this is most probably what they are talking about. You could contact the owner/freeholders who are the Responsible Persons to see if the FRA has been recorded.

 Check out  The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, article 9 (6)

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12 hours ago, Guest TimLlo said:

Hi Tim,

There is no risk assessment certificate, I can only assume that the solicitors are referring to the fire risk assessment, which dependant on a number of factors, may not need to have been recorded.

It would be worth your while contacting the owner of the flats, and requesting a copy of the fire risk assessment if it has been recorded.

 

Matt

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Guest PSH

Hello. Please can you tell me if a block of 6 flats needs to have emergency lighting in the public areas. Our management company are saying that the fire risk assessment states we need them. Could the person who did the assessment be over cautious? For a small block of 2 flats on each floor it seems over the top. Please can you help?

Thank you.

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The fire risk assessor could be over cautious but without knowing the full details and a intimate knowledge of the premises it is impossible to say. Check out the guidance for the building if it is a purpose built block then Fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats if it is a converted house then http://privatehousinginformation.co.uk/site/files/LACORS RRO guide 08.pdf.

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The height of the premises is such that benchmark guidance would require them, the risk assessor is following the correct guidance for compliance with the law and not over reacting. The links Tom has posted will confirm this.

The fitting is a lower priority than fire door or compartmentation issues which should be addressed first

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Guest Geordie

Could you please tell me of any official regulation relating to wallpaper on communal walls in a block of two storey flats.

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There is no regulation per se, but the wall linings in general (be they paper, paint, wood or something else) do have flammability requirements based on the fact they are escape routes, certain wallpapers would not meet these.

They should be to BS Class 0 or Euro class B-s3,d2

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Guest nick

Hi, Can I ask if there is a requirement for certificate of compliance for the passive fire compartmentation (buy the installer) in a new build block of 59 retirement flats. 

 

Many thanks 

 

Nick

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As I understand the installer of any passive fire compartmentation has to prove to the building control officer, his work meets the required standards which may include documentation. On completion of the contract, the BCO has to provide a completion certificate which says, the building is compliant with the building regulations, there should also be a fire safety strategy plan which should be provided as well.

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Guest Guest  Liz

Hi Tom ,we moved into a new build 14 months ago 1 of 16 flats in a block (timber framed), we are now selling & i have just found out from our solicitor that our buyers solicitor is asking for FRA certificate which our management company haven't got & they are saying they we're never issued with one ,when taking over the management of the building , is this normal or illegal considering we hav already had 2 gas leaks in the block & gassafe were called in .

 Many thanks 

     Liz

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Guest JoeH

We live in a purpose built block of leasehold falts. (2 on the ground floor and 2 on the 1st).

The building is about 25 - 30 yers old, and was obviously passed by the local council Building Control department at  the time, which included any Fire Safety isues.

Now the Management company have had a Fire Risk Assessment carried out in the common area, i.e our one staircase, and is demanding that we the 2 occupiers of the upstairs flats pay to have intumescant sttrips applied to our doors, plus fire proof letter boxes and a fire proof cabinet constructed around an electrical junction board up near the ceilng.

Are we correct in thinking that it is the Freeholders responsibility to ensure the integrity and safety of the common areas, and that they should pay for this work ?

There has been no changes whatsoever to the stairway sine it was constructed, other than emulsion put on the walls and some HD carpet fitted to the concrete staircase.

Thank you for any assistance and/or advice.

 

 

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This is not a fire safety matter it is more a solicitors matter, it would depend on your tenants agreement. I assume you pay a service charge for all upkeep of the common areas maybe it is included in the terms and conditions of that document, as I have said you should contact your solicitor.  

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