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Housing Association Communal areas


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I have been a tenant in a block of four purpose-built flats run by Guinness Northern Counties Housing Assoc.

I have just received a note (shoved through my door) from them demanding that we remove all articles from our communal areas as they constitute a fire risk. This would make sense if it referred to  bulky items like bikes or prams - but this insists we immediately remove living plants and DOORMATS as well as pictures. In fact the few things that make our soulless entrance look ma little bit welcoming.

Further If we do not remove them within a week they will be "collected and disposed of"  this is apparently the edict of "an independent assessor" .

How a plant or a small print on the wall can create a fire hazard is a mystery to me but how my rubber-backed doormat fixed down with double sided tape can constitute a tripping or fire risk is a real poser.The only one it might trip is me!

Yes this seems trivial but to me this smacks of fascism. This is my home, do they have a right to enforce rules which serve no purpose yet at the same time create maximum insult and annoyance to a decent long term( 30 years) tenant.?

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All escape routes should be a sterile area but the word reasonable is used constantly in the legislation and the two major concerns are tripping hazards and fire spread, Does a door rubber backed doormat  stuck to the floor, a potted living plant on a window sill or fixed shelf, but not a Jardiniere, or a small number of pictures, framed and covered with glass, pose a trip hazard or could result in fire spread, I would think unlikely it seems like an over cautious fire risk assessor.

It could be the FR assessor found a number of genuine problems which needs addressing under the legislation but the landlord is dealing with it using a blanket solution which is not necessarily the right thing to do. You should contact the landlord and voice your concerns and see if they will adopt a more reasonable managed approach.

Check out 44. Housekeeping in  Fire safety in purpose-built blocks of flats.


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Guest Valerie

Thanks for your reply. I entirely agree that certain objects could  constitute a tripping hazard and are best removed -but the sheer pettiness of the housing association's edict here is breath taking .There is literally nothing in our communal area  which could cause any type of tripping or fire risk.

However Guinness Northern Counties will  brook no opposition.  I have sent them a joke edict suggesting that all tenants wear a high vis non flammable orange jumpsuit AT ALL TIMES because housing association tenants have been scientifically proved to have a 0.0001 per cent chance of spontaneous combustion. Let's see if they take the hint.  

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