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Managing Risk in Flats where there are Communal Areas

FIRE RISK ASSESSMENTS OF COMMON AREAS

In 2005 new legislation was introduced (the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire)) that requires every block of flats to undergo a fire safety risk assessment. This applies to common parts, not to the inside of any flats and is an obligation on the landlord / managing agent.

Fire Officers are able to enter any block of flats to inspect, ask to see the risk assessment and issue enforcement notices to improve fire safety should the need arise.

The common issues that can arise are the lack of fire detection for certain buildings, the lack of protected corridors, insufficient emergency lighting and poor signage and instruction for residents. A Fire Risk Assessment is there to address these issues and guide / help the landlord or managing agent to be able to fulfil their statutory duties. This risk assessment should then be reviewed annually.
Prices start from £80 + VAT per building.

GENERAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF COMMON AREAS

All blocks of flats must have a risk assessment carried out of the health and safety of any common areas. It is a requirement under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. You may argue common areas are not “at work” but if any cleaner, gardener, managing agent or repair contractors enters them, then a risk assessment must be made. The courts and the Health and Safety Executive / Local Authority do consider common parts of blocks of flats as included in health and safety regulations. Areas such as gardens, grounds, plant rooms, meter cupboards and lift motor rooms would all need to be included in an assessment. If there are no employees of the landlord working at the block there is no requirement to record the risk assessment but it would be foolish not to do so. If there were to be an accident and you had no proof of a risk assessment being carried out, you are much more likely to be prosecuted and/or sued for negligence. The risk assessment should be reviewed at least annually.
Prices from £75 + VAT per building.