Bikes, Prams & Other Items In Communal Hallways
Following the recent high-rise escape issues recently, we wanted to provide some advice as to why we strive to keep communal corridors and stairwells free from obstruction and hazards.
One of the biggest and most frustrating issues that effect leaseholders, residents and managing agents is the storage of push cycles, prams, shoes and other items in the communal hallways and stairwells and the potential for harm it can cause.
Firstly it goes without saying that the primary overriding concern throughout all of this is the health & safety and fire risk concerns that effect the residents, this is the main concern when we look at this issue. There are also the subsequent issues of damage to the walls and cleanliness issues.
In most of our buildings there is a bike store, where push cycles should be kept and secured. If this facility is present on your estate, it must be used and if we find bikes in the communal hallways, they will be removed to the bike store without notice.
In all of our buildings, the storage of bikes, prams and other bulky items in the communal hallways and stairwells presents a few concerns and hazards which I will go through and explain:
- Trip Hazard in Cases of Emergency – Imagine the hallways and stairwell are filling with smoke and you need to get out in a hurry, having a push cycle chained to a banister or propped up outside the flats in emergency lighting could mean the difference between life and death if you cannot get out or trip over something
- Damage To The Walls – The constant storage of push cycles, prams and other items being rested against the walls or woodwork does stain and damage the surfaces and chips the paint, which means that internal decorations will be due sooner and it will fall into disrepair sooner then desired, meaning more service charge funds will have to utilised to cover more work than may have been required.
- Behaviour Breeds Behaviour – If someone does this on the estate and is not challenged, it is likely that others will follow suit as they see it is being acceptable. This will no doubt cause more problems when the situation is then tackled.
- Cleanliness – The cleaners will be unable to complete their contractual obligations to the building if they are obstructed by bikes, prams and other items in the hallways, meaning dust and other debris could build up, turning the building’s communal areas into a dirty environment and undesirable to new tenants and owners. First impressions for searching applicants (both tenants and purchasers) is vitally important, so keeping the shared areas clean and tidy helps you sell/rent your property quickly and for the price you were hoping for.
- Legalities – The shared communal spaces are not demised to the leaseholder for the storage of their belongings, therefore there will be no rights under the head lease for this, which means that the managing agents have the descretion to declare it as a breach of the lease, which is a very serious matter. This is usually reserved for repeat offenders where informal communication has had no effect.
Here at Evolve we have a zero-tolerance policy towards storage of the aforementioned items in these areas and actively work with Directors/Freeholders to ensure it is enforced but we need your cooperation to keep your building looking it’s best.
If you’re not one of our clients and suffer with the problems above and your current agents are simply not working with you to deal with the problem, Contact Us today and we can visit and give you a plan of action to resolve this and any other concerns in your building.