Legal issue - communal areas

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    Legal issue - communal areas

    Hi all, not sure if this is the correct section, but if any one can help;

    We live in and own a flat in an apartment block and we (all residents) have recently been told not to keep anything outside our flat doors i.e. shoes etc... due to health and safety.

    I don't have an issue with this, although the letter wording is somewhat rude, but the letter states they will remove ALL personal items found in the communal areas, they will store said items for 28 days and will return them for a fee of £50.

    Is any of this legal?

    Many thanks

    #2
    I don't actually know.

    But it sounds like it would not be legal to do that. Or at least, not to charge a fixed fee. That is akin to a fine, and you aren't allowed to issue fines. You also cannot refuse to return the property before the money is paid; I suspect you may find yourself chasing these fines and wasting your time.

    As a deterrent, perhaps it will work, but if you put it into action I believe you will be on the wrong side of the law.

    Comment


      #3
      Yes it entirely legal.

      Not only do leases prohibit such items, your rights over the common areas are normally limited to going to and fro, as well as the removal of any items which are obstructions in the event of an emergency.

      There is also the aesthetic consideration that your nice little something is another mans junk.
      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks leaseholdanswers, as mentioned I don't have an issue with getting people to remove their items and I can completely understand the health & safety aspect, emergencies etc... in this ambulance chasing/claims culture we are now in.

        I am shocked, however, that a £50 fee can be charged for the returning of a personal item. Again, I imagine this is within the letter of the law, but not, in my opinion, within a friendly neighbourly agreement!

        Thanks for your help

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
          Yes it entirely legal.
          And your authority for that is...?

          Comment


            #6
            Well the idea of that is any reasonable costs incurred can be recovered, however its more of a speeding fine, don't speed don't get fined, don't leave items out don't pay £50

            In blocks where there are on site staff under our control I long ago made it clear, "pick it up bag it and leave a note". Especially when leaving shoes outside became fashionable early in oo's having to traipse down to collect shoes soon taught the lesson.

            I'd rather have to deal with a PM being shouted at by residents, than face a greaving family who lost someone tripping over a bicycle during a fire at 3 am in a smoke filled corridor and who suffocated.
            Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
              And your authority for that is...?
              Firstly the balance of probability that the lease will restrict or not grant any right, secondly the landlords ongoing right and responsibility to manage the use of the land and discharge their obligations under the HASAWA et al, and finally the long held right to remove items on land and store them pending collection or disposal. There are very very few instances where sundry items as posted would be permitted.
              Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                Well the idea of that is any reasonable costs incurred can be recovered, however its more of a speeding fine, don't speed don't get fined, don't leave items out don't pay £50
                Many thanks for your replies, £50 seems a bit high for reasonable costs, but anyway, as you say don't leave it out, don't get fined.

                Or, as they mention, in their letter, that household waste is one of the items left outside flat doors (elderly neighbours putting a small bag of recycling outside for a couple of hours, so they don't forget to take them to the bins) we could look at this as a handy free collection and disposal scheme!!

                Understand your other points, many thanks for clarifying.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by buff View Post
                  eir letter, that household waste is one of the items left outside flat doors (elderly neighbours putting a small bag of recycling outside for a couple of hours, so they don't forget to take them to the bins)
                  Now this isn't a comment on your post but in all my years I am still baffled that people use this as justification for doing so.

                  What on earth is hard or difficult about leaving it near or by the front door inside the flat? Why do people persist on leaving it outside?
                  Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Surely this would fall under the definition of an admin fee ?, if so there are various hoops to jump through, for examle the correct admin fees - summary of rights would have to be sent to the offending LH, which many FHs forget.

                    Andy
                    Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

                    I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

                    It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

                    Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Surely you can only charge fees that are due in accordance with the law/lease? I wouldn't have thought you can say you can't have your belongings back unless you pay me £50.

                      Perhaps the LL could add it to management charges which would be a service charge.

                      Or perhaps they could go down the route of breach of lease with either damages sought or financial compensation with respect to forfeiture/remedy.
                      I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by andydd View Post
                        Surely this would fall under the definition of an admin fee ?, if so there are various hoops to jump through, for examle the correct admin fees - summary of rights would have to be sent to the offending LH, which many FHs forget.

                        Andy
                        £50 is nowt to do with a lease admin charges or service charges, hence my post.
                        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                          £50 is nowt to do with a lease admin charges or service charges, hence my post.
                          Yes, but you never explained how a LL is legally allowed to charge £50 for return of items he takes. What is the law you are referring to?
                          I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Dont need to explain and provide ammunition for more IM.. in this instance the ll has set out his requirements in time for the op to take action,any further discussion of the fee is superflous
                            Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              An interesting question has been raised - it is not the landlord that is enforcing this, but the management company who were appointed by the residents.

                              As mentioned before, I don't have an issue with the rule and from what you've said it would seem to be lawful, but should it not be the Landlord that enforces/has say on these matters, as they own the communal areas?

                              Comment

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