Harmony in Every Space: Elevate Your Communal Areas. Be Compliant.

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Our ethos is to create safe and compliant living areas for your residents and visitors leaving you to concentrate on your core business - property management.
Who should manage communal areas?

There is a duty of care on Landlords or their appointed property managers (the responsible person) to ensure that communal areas are free from hazards that could endanger the safe access and egress of residents in the case if an emergency.

What constitutes a hazard?

Any storage in a communal area which is not a fixture or fitting or part of the structure of a building constitutes a hazard. These include for items stored in the internal communal areas such as prams/buggies, bicycles, shoes, doormats, picture frames, flower pots and scooters. In external communal areas, these can include, gas bottles, cardboard boxes, petrol containers and barbecue machines. Items found in the communal areas which are combustible will be removed immediately. This is not an exhaustive list.

What is a communal area?

Communal areas are internal or external areas used by residents and visitors in common with each other and do not form part of a leased or licensed flat. These include for internal areas such as landings stairwells, corridors and cupboards, and external areas.

Is a communal area part of a dwelling?

Communal areas relate to any type of property where there are shared areas. Inside a property they could be corridors, stairways, door entrances, communal rooms, lifts etc. Outside a property they could be shared gardens, pathways, parking areas, bin stores, drying areas etc.

Who governs how communal areas are managed?

In most cases your lease or rental agreement will govern how a communal area is managed, however, very recently, communal area management has been backed by statutory instruments which include for:
1. Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
2. Building Regulations 2010
3. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
4. Housing Act 2004.

What are the communal areas of the Housing Act?

A communal area is any area that is not within the confines of the resident's property. This includes stairs, stairwells, hallways, landings, common rooms, laundry rooms, boiler rooms, open areas and the entrance to the building.

Can you have a BBQ in a communal garden?

No, the fire risk to a communal building is too great to allow for BBQs to take place in communal garden/grounds spaces.

Can I put a swing in a communal garden?

Trampolines and any fixed or temporary play equipment, including slides and swings, are not permitted in communal gardens.

What is The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977?

This Act applies in the absence of any procedure set out in the lease or tenancy agreement. It sets out a statutory procedure by which the owner of the goods can be required to collect their belongings, and also gives rise to a statutory right for those items to be sold under Section 12(3).

Items left outside flats in corridors or stairwells?

Shoes, mats, bicycles or any other item as well as being unsightly to other residents can cause an obstruction or a trip hazard for other residents.

Cupboards in communal areas?

The cupboards in communal areas are for the Freeholder�s or RMC�s use and not to be used by residents for extra storage space.

Can residents should not use any communal area for extra storage?

This includes a stairwell, landing, corridor or cupboard in any of these areas. Communal areas and cupboards are not part of your flat and, in the majority of cases, there will be no right granted in your Lease to use them for storage.

Can a Landlord remove items from communal areas?

A duty is placed on Landlords and their agents to keep communal areas in a safe condition and to remove any goods in case they cause a fire risk.

Who is responsible for fire safety in flats?

The person responsible for your block � usually a landlord, managing agent or building owner must take steps to fires breaking out in the communal areas and to protect escape routes.

Why do communal areas need to be kept clear?

All shared communal areas must be kept clear of any items including rubbish, storage and personal items. This is so that there is no risk of a fire starting in the areas and so they do not create a blockage or hazard to the escape routes