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Author Topic: Leaseholder Maisonettes. Whose Responsible For Reinstating Alternative Escape?  (Read 337 times)
Tadees
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« on: May 19, 2017, 04:21:15 PM »

3 storey block consisting of a mixture of flats & maisonettes.  Block consists of LA tenants and leaseholders and the communal areas are managed by the council.   

The entrance to each maisonette is from outside, i.e. the only communal area shared by the maisonettes is on the 2nd floor, where their alternative escape door opens on to the corridor on which the flats also open on to.  From this corridor, there is 2 direction escape to protected staircases.

Some maisonettes have had their escape from the 2nd floor bricked up by the local authority prior to the RRO.  Some leaseholders currently occupy these maisonettes.  Whose duty is it to reinstate the 2nd floor escape door to the corridor and does the answer change because the bricking up of the alternative escape door took place prior to the RRO?
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Tom Sutton
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2017, 11:51:36 AM »

It is the person or persons defined as the Responsible Person under the RR(FS)O who has the duty to carry out the significant findings of the FRA. If reinstating the escape doors, is one of the significant findings then that is the RP duty to do it, how and how to recoup the costs is up to the RP. Some will try to get the tenants to do the work or pay, others will increase the service charge it could depend on the tenants agreements.

I think a bigger problem would be, a bricked up fire exit from the flat, does it form part of the common area, because the flat or maisonette is exempt from the RR(FS)O?
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All my responses only apply to England and Wales and they are an overview of the subject, hopefully it will point you in the right direction and always treat with caution.
Bruce89
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 02:50:20 PM »

Not exempt from art. 31 however.
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Tom Sutton
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 09:17:42 AM »

Assuming the maisonette is exempt from the RR(FS)O the next port of call could be the Building Regulations but if the bricking up was more than 2 years ago, the a statute of limitations apply and building control cannot do anything.

I believe we are then left with the department of the local council that enforces the Housing Act and they could apply the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. They maybe able to have the bricked up fire exit reinstated and establish who is responsible.
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All my responses only apply to England and Wales and they are an overview of the subject, hopefully it will point you in the right direction and always treat with caution.
Tadees
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 12:32:19 PM »

Assuming the maisonette is exempt from the RR(FS)O the next port of call could be the Building Regulations but if the bricking up was more than 2 years ago, the a statute of limitations apply and building control cannot do anything.

I believe we are then left with the department of the local council that enforces the Housing Act and they could apply the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. They maybe able to have the bricked up fire exit reinstated and establish who is responsible.

The escape is only for the residents of each individual maisonette.  So the fact that it is bricked up ironically means that the communal escape route is protected better than if it has several doors opening on to it.  The bricking up was more than 2 years ago.  The communal areas are managed by the council but some of the maisonettes which have had their 2nd floor exit bricked up are currently leaseholders (not council tenants)
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Tom Sutton
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 01:07:27 PM »

The Housing Act can apply the HHSRS to all housing, no matter who the resident is and I am sure they will be able to identify who is responsible. I think the RR(FS)O and the Building Regulations have no jurisdiction in this case with the exception of RR(FS)O article 31 (for Bruce).  
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 01:11:03 PM by Tom Sutton » Logged

All my responses only apply to England and Wales and they are an overview of the subject, hopefully it will point you in the right direction and always treat with caution.
Tadees
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 03:44:46 PM »

Thanks Tom. 

The bit I am trying to work out is under the HHSRS, whose responsibility is it to reinstate the doors?  If it is the council that bricked the doors up, I assume it will be their responsibility for reinstating them for leaseholder maisonettes as it is their block and it is them the bricked up the doors.  The potential confusion arises if a previous council tenant or the existing leaseholder bricked up the exit for security purposes?
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colin todd
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Civilianize enforcement -you know it makes sense.


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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 03:53:25 PM »

Might depend on what the purchase conditions of the lease said.  Probably a civil matter as to who pays, but the enforcement would be the housing authority.

You sure that there not smoke alarms in every room?
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