Chair lift in common area causing hazard

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    Chair lift in common area causing hazard

    Hi, we live on the second floor of a building and the flat below us (first floor) has a chair lift installed for access (the occupier is elderly and cannot climb stairs). The problem is that owing to the presence of this chair lift, around a third of the area of the staircase is reduced. We have a three year old child who has nearly tripped on the narrower space left over to use the staircase. Are we in a position to raise a health and safety issue on this?

    We have a leasehold plus share of freehold ownership.

    #2
    I think you will look uncharitable if you bring this up.

    If the neighbour is that old, maybe he will die or go into a home in a year or so. Is it worth making yourself look bad in the eyes of your neighbours for maybe a little inconvenience?
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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      #3
      Does the seat and footrest on the stairlift not fold?

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        #4
        The problem is more that the entire chair lift setup takes up around one third of the stair space towards the wall. This is a problem particularly where the staircase turns since it only leaves the narrow end to use for climbing up and down. Our three year old has tripped a few times and almost fallen down the stairs.

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          #5
          Was the chairlift there when you bought the flat?
          To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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            #6
            Was freeholder permission given?

            This installation means you require a new Fire Risk Assessment, as the real danger is if the worst were to happen!

            I have sympathy for the elderly person, but if their stairlift is compromising you and your child's escape then really they should move.

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              #7
              Expanding on what Andy has said

              You refer to the freehold being held jointly with the other lessees.

              I would commission a fIre and safety report to confirm whether the installation compromises safety. Assuming it does then I would collective write to the elderly lessee asking them for their comments pointing out that it's continued existence would compromise the buildings insurance and expose the owners of the freehold to damages and prosecution in the event of a fire .

              If rhat lessee disagrees with the report then it will be for them to demonstrate that the risks posed is not there and this view would need to be supported by a professional opinion for value.From what you have said it seems impossible for it to be argued that it isn't

              You would then have to regrettably advise that the installation would have to be removed within say four weeks and if not then it would be removed and charged to her under the terms of her kease, otherwise she will be in breach of her lease. I am assuming for certain that the actions of installing the lift is a breach of the lease, but check first.

              It seems very harsh but you have no choice in the matter

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                #8
                Yes it was there when we bought but obviously we didn't realise that it would create this issue since we saw the flat only a couple of times and without our child. Would that be an obstacle to us taking any action?

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                  #9
                  Thank you very much. This is very helpful.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by centrallondon View Post
                    Yes it was there when we bought but obviously we didn't realise that it would create this issue since we saw the flat only a couple of times and without our child. Would that be an obstacle to us taking any action?
                    Depends on whether permission was given by the FH (or in this case the company to which you have shares), whether any fire/H&S assessment was done and what the lease says, normally leases give you free access over common parts. The fact it was already there and you clearly would of seen it before you purchased may have some relevance too.
                    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.

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                      #11
                      I was assuming this was installed whilst you were living there.

                      I think it could possibly be very difficult to get this removed.

                      As andydd says.

                      Firstly find out whether freeholder approval was given.It may even have been installed by the freeholder.

                      Secondly find out if there is a current Fire Risk Assessment and whether it has any bearing. It might not if you are in a purpose built flat and a 'stay put' fire policy is in effect.

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                        #12
                        How about if you take the 3 year old up & down on the chair lift? I bet he/she would love that.
                        To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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                          #13
                          Only if there is some sort of super-fast setting on it
                          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


                            #14
                            Haven't you seen the crisp ad. Those things zip along......

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