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Flat entrance door fire proof dilemma


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I own a leasehold 1-bed ground floor flat in a Victorian house (converted house into 2 flats) in London. The freeholder is a Plc company and they have written to me asking that I change the entrance door to my flat to make it fire-proof, including the door, hinges, intumescent strips etc. Issue I have is that I have a very small entrance to my flat and I bought this property just a year ago and they always had sliding door in place due to the small entrance available (since entrance door to upstairs has taken up all the space). So I have had builders and companies come and inspect it since and they pretty  much all said that traditional normal door can't be installed as it can't be opened fully inside or outside. I had ordered fire proof kits for sliding doors (from Hafele) but again when they tried to install it they needed weights to be added to door (to have self closing mechanism) which again means space would be restricted so I couldn't move furniture/appliance in and out of the apartment. The freeholder basically said they will enforce me to change the door to make it fire proof or else I am breaking the lease. I have told them I am happy to do the works but no company is able to do the works without completely restricting the entrance space. Does anyone know if this is legal? Can the freeholder really force me to do this? I have called the London fire brigade to get advice, but they couldn't really help (they couldn't tell me if this requirement is mandatory or not). Any advice or help would be much appreciated as I don't want to pay thousands to do this work (as it would be custom made) only to end up with tiny space to squeeze in and out of and no way to get furniture in and out of my apartment). Thanks!

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I would require further information, Does your front door open into an enclosed common area or does it open direct to fresh air, if it opens into an enclosed common area then the front door needs to be  FD30s fire door with self closer, if it opens direct to fresh air then a standard door is all that is required.

The freeholder is responsible in implementing The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and it appears his/her fire risk assessment has required the front door of your flat to be a FD30s door. It appears they are trying to get you to bring the front door up to the required standard using the lease agreement, so it all depends on what is in your lease agreement to whether or not they can, I would suggest you get the advice of a solicitor.

Is the sliding doors from Hafele a sliding pocket Fire Door System?

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Hi Tom,


Thank you for your very helpful response. Yes from looking at the lease from my non-expert eye, it looks like I am fully responsible for any works/repairs etc to my flat. Landlord can just enforce anything (i.e. maintenance etc, but I and upstairs owner would bear the cost). But the issue isn't that I don't want to do the works to make it fire safety compliant. The problem is the space issue - none of the company I spoke to and inspected the flat can do the works without making the corridor inside my flat smaller which means I can't get a 60cm wide appliance or sofa etc in and out. I ordered the Hafele sliding pocket door system and tried that last week but after starting the works the builder turned around and said that the self-closing part of the kit needs weight (to allow it to close) and they would then need to box around the weight and this would be sticking out  into my corridor inside which means again space is restricted. I am going around in circles basically with no success.

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The problem is you are trying to get a litre into a pint pot, and not knowing the layout also the appropriate construction it is extremely difficult to advise you, but a couple of suggestion are,.

1. If the construction of the wall the front door is located in is timber studding and not masonry it may be possible to rebuild that wall with the type of pocket fire door that retracts into the studding allowing the width of door you  need.

2. Depending on the layout of the lobby/flat it may be possible, not to upgrade the front door but the doors leading from the lobby.

Other from that I am afraid I cannot help.

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