We have a duty to ensure that the means of escape from any of our residential buildings or communal areas is not obstructed and that residents/visitors can exit safely in the event of a fire.
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.
The council's responsibility
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the council (as the responsible person, being the landlord) must carry out a fire risk assessment and take reasonable steps to remove or reduce any risks that have been identified.
Residents have a responsibility to keep all communal areas clean, tidy and free of personal items, ensuring common parts are not impeded or obstructed.
No one is permitted to store personal items, such as (but not limited to) bicycles, pushchairs, electric scooters, plants, pet cages, clothes airers, footwear and children's toys, in communal areas.
The council is entitled to remove and dispose of items left in the communal areas in accordance with the provisions of Section 41 (3) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. It can be considered a breach of the tenancy/lease conditions for which we may take formal action.