We have received advice from the local fire service that goods stored, or belongings and rubbish disposed of in communal areas, can be a serious hazard in the event of a fire, as they can block escape routes, block access for emergency services and even potentially be subject to arson.
The communal areas of your blocks are owned by Housing Solutions, As such, we have a legal obligation to ensure these areas remain free of items that might cause or contribute to a fire, as well as any items which might present a trip hazard or obstruct your means of escape in the unlikely event of a fire.
Communal areas include all communal hallways and walkways, shared staircases, balconies, bin and storage areas, access paths, communal gardens and drying areas.
Hazards include but are not limited to: buggies and prams, children’s toys, play furniture, unwanted bedding/mattresses, rubbish bags, wheeled bins, door mats, mobility scooters, bicycles and motorcycles, shopping trolleys, lockers and cabinets, plant pots, washing machines, tumble dryers and other goods awaiting disposal.
Following the approval of our new Keeping Communal Areas Safe Policy, we are now writing to all residents asking them to remove any goods, belongings, rubbish and any other items placed in communal areas, as well as possible fire hazards in your garden.
Our Tenancy and Neighbourhood Officers and contractors regularly inspect the communal areas in our blocks. When they find that materials are stored or left in the communal areas, they will make an effort to identify the owner and notify the owner of the items, that the items must be removed. If the items are not removed straight away, our TNO's and contractors are responsible for ensuring these are cleared in order to keep all residents safe.
We do understand that storage space is limited, especially for customers in small flats. However for everyone’s safety, it is very important that any personal possessions are kept inside your home.