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Communal areas

Communal areas

A communal area is a space such as a lobby, a landing, a stairwell or a corridor that can be used by more than one household living in a building.

A communal room is a room that has facilities for the use of all the residents of a building, such as a shared lounge or kitchen, a bin chute room or a laundry.


Leaving items in communal areas or rooms can create fire risks - especially if they’re large or flammable, and if they’re blocking fire escape routes. Communal areas are not extensions of individuals’ homes.

We make sure that communal areas under our control are kept clear of items that create an unacceptable fire risk or cause an obstruction. Any furniture and soft furnishings, electrical and heating appliances, plants, pictures, noticeboards or any other fixture, fitting or decoration (including Christmas trees and decorations) in any communal room, lobby, stair or corridor will be provided and maintained by us, in consultation with residents.

Where we provide such items, we will ensure that they are safe to use, comply with any necessary fire safety or other relevant legislation and, in the case of
electrical or gas appliances, are regularly serviced and tested.

You may make use of facilities provided in communal areas by us for a specific purpose. For example, you may keep books on a bookshelf in a communal lounge and crockery in a cupboard in a communal kitchen, or dry clothes on airing lines in a communal laundry.

You may keep a door mat immediately outside the front entrance to your flat, provided that it is an actual door mat (not an off-cut from a carpet or a rug), and is not so large or placed in a position so as to cause a tripping hazard.

Some of our independent living schemes have been designed with noticeboards or alcoves where residents may place a picture or personal item to help them to find their way around the building. Residents living within these buildings may use this feature for this specific purpose only, provided that pictures or items placed for this purpose are not offensive and do not create additional fire or safety risks.

You must not:  

  • Use electricity from a supply that’s not in your own home
  • store or use dangerous, flammable or explosive liquids, gases or tools in any communal area
  • store motorcycles or mini-motorcycles in communal areas, or do anything that causes a health and/or safety risk to yourself or others
  • dry clothes on radiators in communal areas.

If you do any of the above, we may write to you, and/or take legal proceedings. If you are a leaseholder, the same applies.