Communal areas


Keep it clear, keep it safe

We’re committed to doing everything we can to keep residents and the buildings you live in safe and we are sure that doing what you can is equally important to you. Whilst the vast majority of residents comply with what’s set out in their tenancy or lease agreements, there're some who continue to store items in communal areas and this compromises everyone’s safety.

That’s why on 1 November 2020 we introduced a clearer, more consistent way of dealing with items that are found in communal areas.

Our new approach means that if we see any items left in communal spaces, we'll take action to remove them either within 24 hours or seven days, depending on the type of item.

Your questions answered

  • Why have you introduced this?

Maintaining residents’ safety is our top priority and introducing this new more robust approach will help us to reduce the risk of fire and work alongside our residents to make our buildings safer.

Storing items in communal areas:

- increases the risk of fire

- hinders access for the emergency service

- can prevent the swift escape from the building in the event of a major incident.

  • What communal areas are affected?

All internal or external areas that are shared, including (but not limited to) corridors, hallways, stairwells, lobbies, walkways, riser cupboards and under stairs.

  • What sort of items are you referring to?

All items are covered which means no items can be left in communal areas, including bikes, pushchairs, furniture, external door mats, plants, footwear, scooters or rubbish.

  • What will happen if I don’t remove items from outside my flat / communal areas?

If we see items being stored in the internal or external communal areas during our estate inspections, we'll ask the owner to remove them (if we can identify who they are).

We'll remove and dispose of any items considered combustible or high risk immediately. We'll remove and store all other non-combustible items off-site for a period of 21 days.

  • Where will you store them and for how long?

We'll arrange for items to be stored off-site for 21 days. If we're able to identify the owner, we'll provide details of where their belongings are so that they can arrange to collect them.

  • What happens if I don’t collect them?

We'll take all reasonable steps to trace the owner. If we're unable to trace the owner or the items are not collected (after 21 days), we'll arrange the disposal or sale of the items.

  • Will there be any charge?

We'll always try and determine who the item owner is, so that we can work with them to collect the items and pay any associated costs.

If we aren’t able to identify the owner, however, we may recharge the costs associated with the removal, storage and disposal of items as part of the service charges.

  • I live in a block without a lift – if I can’t leave my bike/buggy/pram in the entrance, how am I expected to carry it upstairs?

We understand that our residents have different needs and requirements. If you have any queries about the policy, please contact us via ask@onehousing.co.uk. Your property manager will be able to work with you to discuss your options and/or explore potential scheme improvements which could include, where possible, alternative storage facilities.

  • I don’t have space inside my flat to store my bike/buggy/pram. Where else can I store it?

As above

  • Why am I not allowed decorative items like door mats or plants?

We know how important your home and surroundings are and we’re keen to work with you if you think improvements or enhancements are needed to your immediate, or the wider, environment.

More Information