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Council Swiftly Removes Tenants’ Items And Door Mats In Communal Areas Of Its Flats

Published on: 17 Jun, 2017
Updated on: 20 Jun, 2017

Items in communal areas of council flats in Guildford that pose a fire risk were removed this week by council staff following the fatal blaze in London.

The Ardmore House flats, Manor Road, Stoughton.

Door mats were among items removed and some residents of Guildford Borough Council-owned flats were quick to comment on social media.

On the Guildford Past & Present Facebook page some of the comments included: “I’m abroad. If I get home and my door mat and pot of fake flowers is gone there’ll be hell to pay. Things cost money. Taking them without permission or warning is stealing.”

“I live in a first floor flat, not a tower block. If they take stuff from our open staircase it’s completely unnecessary and an over reaction. I can understand it in Mount Court but not if there’s only two floors.”

“Yep, no notice. He just knocked on doors but of course everyone was at work. I took them all in and put up a notice.”

“When people are running for their lives, they don’t want to be tripping over door mats or flower pots. Health and safety gone sensible!”

“Guildford borough council can’t do right for wrong! At least they are reacting to something that could potentially cause harm. I know for a fact Guildford Borough Council were always up to date with communal living area fire precaution checks, fire extinguishers/fire doors signage and more. People have to take a bit of responsibility and common sense on board themselves and for others that aren’t able.”

“A fireman in a heavy fire proof suit, wearing heavy breathing apparatus a face mask and trying to navigate through thick black smoke would have no idea the mat is there and could easily trip. You will normally find any block has the same rules and as the building belongs to the council they can remove it if they want, without warning.”

Under the tenancy terms of occupying a Guildford council flat, it is understood that items must not be left in communal areas. The Guildford Dragon NEWS emailed staff at the council’s communications team for clarification on Wednesday, but has not received a reply.

However, a council statement has been published elsewhere on local media Get Surrey.  It includes: “In response to the tragic incident in West London on Tuesday night, residents have been reminded that leaving items in the communal areas is strictly prohibited. Previously a sticker would be placed on the item and residents were given seven days notice to remove, or we would remove the item. Our estate officers immediately inspected our blocks for fire hazards, and removed anything that is in the communal areas. Some mats were removed on the day of inspection, however due to the large number of mats in the communal areas, the estates officers immediately wrote to the remaining residents giving them 24 hours to remove, or that we would return and remove them.”

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Responses to Council Swiftly Removes Tenants’ Items And Door Mats In Communal Areas Of Its Flats

  1. Colin Checkley Reply

    June 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Too much, too late. Unfortunately for the poor residents in London.

    Why is it always after the horse has bolted, that the council takes notice!

    I work at the Royal Surrey County Hospital as a health and safety rep along side my full-time job. It is natural for me to do a risk assessment as I am walking around.

    Health and safety is everybody’s responsibility – even more so council officials!

    As I say, it takes a tragedy to happen before anyone does anything.

  2. Brian Holt Reply

    June 17, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    I was a member of the tenants’ group for Guildford Borough Council housing for years and would like to explain:

    All communal areas is council property and its responsibility also includes communal gardens.

    In the conditions of the tenancy booklet: “Common parts” and communal areas” means any stairways, hallways, passages, passageways, landings, lifts, gardens, patios, footpaths, driveways or parking areas belonging to the council which the tenant is entitled to use (in common with other persons) but which do not form part of the premises.

    Also, the tenant must not himself do, or allow any member of the tenant’s household or visitor to the premises to obstruct or allow or cause any obstruction of any communal area with any item even for a short period of time and if the tenant fails to comply with this requirement the council shall be entitled to remove the item causing the obstruction and the tenant shall pay to the council the cost of such removal and storage of the item until it is collected by the tenant.

    I hope this helps Tenant’s to understand what is not allowed, and although its your home it is still Council property.

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