Unobstructed building entrance on health and safety grounds

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    Unobstructed building entrance on health and safety grounds

    I live in a flat, that is the result of two combined terraced houses, and my building has 14 flats. The road right is front of the terraces is a private road that is also being used for parking, and cars park diagonally, including on the sidewalk side of the building. Sometimes, the cars are parked so close to the building entrance that it is difficult to enter or exit the building. Do I have any legal grounds to insist that the are outside of the building entrance remains unobstructed?

    Thanks,

    TL

    #2
    Ignoring the Fire Exit Keep Clear notice on the door would be a criminal offence.

    What does the lease say about your right of way over the private road. You may well have a civil case for interference with that.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      The entrance of the building does not have an Exit Keep Clear notice on the door or nearby, and in truth i have not seen many building entrances with it. Is it a requirement to have such a notice?

      As for the lease, I found the following clause: "No bicycle perambulator boxes or other articles of any description or any obstruction shall be placed or permitted or suffered in the entrance hall staircases or passages of the said building". I am not sure if these references are for the inside of the building, or if they apply on the outside.

      Comment


        #4
        Generally people don't put such notices on primary entrance doors, because no-one in their right mind (unless a car owner wanting to park close to home :-( ) would obstruct them. I suspect you could still get prosecuted though. If the door is not obviously a final exit on an escape route, it would be advisable to add such a sign, even though obstructing any door is likely to be anti-social.

        Regarding the private road, there should be a statement saying something like the right to pass and re-pass on foot only, at all times, for anyone authorised by the lessee, for all purposes in connection with the use of the flat. In an ideal world, where landlords thought about the contents of rental agreements, that should be repeated in the rental agreement. Without it you have a flat that you cannot legally access. With it, you have the right to take legal action against anyone that prevents you from exercising that right.

        Comment


          #5
          ok thanks. I looked into my lease, and it does contain a similar clause: "the full right and liberty for the Lessee and all persons authorised by him (in common with the Lessor and its tenants of other parts of the said building and all persons authorised by them) at all times by day and by night for the purpose only of ingress to and egress from the demised premises to pass and repass from the public highway to the demised premises by way of the service road and the ground floor entrance door and hall and the stairs and landings of the said building leading to the demised premises and the right to use the lifts in the said building and the adjoining buildings of the Lessor for similar ingress and egress"

          "service road" is the private road in front of the building. The question what is considered enough space to pass through.

          Comment


            #6
            There is no restriction on being on foot only, so it appears to me that you could use the full width of the road, although, unless you hve severe mobility issues, it might be difficult to get any compensation for not being able to get a taxi to the front door. However, fire escape routes generally required at least 75cm, and I note that one council, where they allow pavement parking, uses a figure of 1.5m. My feeling is that, for foot access, you should be allowed the full width of the entrance door as your corridor, plus enough turning circle for a stretcher..

            If there are similar clauses in the other users of the road, they are trespassing by parking there, but only the owner of the road can take action against them for that.

            Comment


              #7
              I do not have any mobility issues, and I do not think in this particular case the lease is the answer. The question is whether fire safety regulations require that a residential block's main entrance remain unobstructed so that there is easy escape from the building in the event of a fire. The "service road" and pavement are private and belong to each terraced house (see photos below), and cars can park there because they have a permit from the building. The council has no say in what the building does with its parking on its own land. I would rather not have any cars parked outside the main entrance (e.g. see parked gray car in photo), as there is plenty of space elsewhere for parking without blocking the main entrance. Do I have any reasonable ground to argue that based on fire safety regulations the space outside the entrance must be unobstructed?

              Comment


                #8
                I'd ensure the freeholder(**) gets fire service round to advise on all safety matters.

                I guess a leaseholder could invite them round just for himself...... (hint...)

                ** Freeholder may be a separate corporate body for which each leaseholder has an equal share.
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  If the obstruction of the escape route is not illegal, then the Freeholder wont care if the fire service pays a visit. The question is: Is the freeholder in this case required to leave an unobstructed route from the main entrance of the building?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The manager of the communal areas is required to maintain an adequate means of escape to a place of safety. The manager might not be the freeholder.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Parking on Pavements is banned in London under the Highway code rule 244 and may well end up being banned in the rest of the country soon.

                      Also Regulation 103 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 states that:

                      “No person in charge of a motor vehicle …shall cause or permit the vehicle to stand on a road so as to cause unnecessary obstruction of the road.”

                      According RNIB guide to parking on Pavements

                      https://tinyurl.com/ycoh4okm

                      "This includes vehicles parked on footpaths. Contravention of this regulation is a criminal offence and the police can require removal of the vehicle."

                      Comment


                        #12
                        This is a private road and presumably not a public highway. Whilst I rather suspect the vehicle is trespassing, that is for the owner of the road to deal with. The council will have no jurisdiction.

                        (In practice, I find that councils are not interested in enforcing pavement parking restrictions (and it is, unfortunately, perfectly legal to overhang the pavement, as long as all you wheels are on private land, not that that is relevant here.)

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