What are communal areas?
Generally we refer to the communal area as the shared corridors and entranceways to your flat. It can however include any area that is shared with other residents including gardens, external walkways and outbuildings.
Why are we asking for communal areas to be kept clear of personal items?
- It is our legal obligation as your landlord to ensure that the communal areas and the buildings that they are in meet all necessary fire safety regulations
- Personal items could add fuel to a fire and increase the spread
- They could prevent residents safely evacuating by causing an obstruction or injury to a person or to the fire service
- Some items may give off toxic smoke or even explode in a fire situation adding to the risk.
What can I not store in communal areas?
Unless the communal area is a specific storage area provided for that purpose by Progress Housing Group, we would ask that no personal items are stored in any shared areas.
We appreciate that our residents want to make the area homely and may allow certain items at our discretion, however, written permission should be sought from us as per your tenancy agreement with us.
Items that will not be granted permission include, but are not restricted to:
- Prams and push chairs
- Decorative furniture such as tables and chairs
- Artificial plants and ornaments
- Mobility scooters and walking aids
- Barbeques and gardening equipment
- Shoes, trainers etc including storage racks
- Door mats – these cause a slip hazard in the event of a fire
- Childen’s toys
- Photo frames and wall art.
What will we do if we discover personal items in a communal area?
Should the item pose any immediate risk to residents as an obstruction or trip hazard then we may remove the item straight away.
In most cases however we will try our best to identify who the item belongs to so that there is an opportunity for it to be moved to somewhere more suitable.
If there is a suitable storage area for the block then we will move it rather than remove and dispose however in some cases we may have no option other than to remove and dispose of it.
We also cannot have lots of items in areas such as bins stores so this should only ever be a temporary measure and we would then dispose of it if it is still there after fair opportunity to remove it.
It is not our intention to upset residents however we cannot be held liable for any items disposed of when we make it very clear in our tenancy agreements and in other communication that it is not acceptable to store items in communal areas.
If someone is found to continue to ignore this then we will take action as a breach of the tenancy agreement as we have to ensure the safety of everyone within the shared space.
What can I do if I notice someone’s personal items in our communal area?
You can report it through to Progress Housing Group by phoning 03333 204555 and we will ask for a Neighbourhood Caretaker to visit.
If you would like more information please see our leaflet on Safety in Communal Areas.