Council forcing new front doors onto leaseholders of ex-council flats

by Readers Question

10:44 AM, 5th June 2017
About A year ago

Council forcing new front doors onto leaseholders of ex-council flats

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Council forcing new front doors onto leaseholders of ex-council flats

We are the leaseholders of an ex-council flat in a block of 12, roughly 50-60 years old, and the council is the freeholder.

Their fire risk assessors claim that the front doors of the flats (open onto the communal stairwell) do not comply with current fire safety regulations, and so they want to force all leaseholders to replace those front doors.

We had a HMO inspection just last year in that property, and although the council inspector wanted a new firewall to separate the kitchen, she didn’t even mention the door.

They will of course be spending tax-payers’ money to replace all the front doors on all the council-owned flats in the block.

There are countless similar blocks in the area, and someone will be making a fortune on all the new doors at £695.50 each (have you seen the new TV series White Gold?!)

Although it is possible that the doors are not up to current standards, my understanding is that this is not the same as not complying with current regulations.

I cannot imagine that current regulations require wholesale replacement of front doors in order to bring them up to current standards. That would be a horrendous expense all across the country.

Have I got this wrong, or is the council just a bit too gung-ho in spending our money?

Richard



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:56 AM, 5th June 2017
About A year ago

This is getting to be a more common request by councils with registered HMOs as they are setting the minimum licence requirements.

Also see >> https://www.property118.com/council-want-proof-front-door-complies-fd30s-fire-regs/93632/

https://www.property118.com/building-regs-fire-doors-passed-now-need-new-ones/74860/

Richard Peeters

11:39 AM, 5th June 2017
About A year ago

Thanks Neil, but I don't think this is related to its being a HMO at all.

They are replacing ALL the front doors of the building, even those with council's own tenants including elderly singles and couples, and family lets.

David Atkins

13:15 PM, 5th June 2017
About A year ago

Fire regulations shouldn't apply retrospectively, unfortunately as the fire risk assessor has assessed the doors as a fire risk there will be little that you can do other than lodge a complaint with the local authority and request details on what will meet the risk assessment. Birmingham City Council have been doing this for some time; instructing private landlords to fit FD30 doors whilst being non-compliant with their own housing stock. Get the spec and fit your own door is my only advice.

andrew farley

13:22 PM, 5th June 2017
About A year ago

Might be worth checking the lease as its an external door and the freeholder may be responsible for repair or replacement.

Pippa Watson

13:26 PM, 5th June 2017
About A year ago

We have had HMO licence requirements here in Glasgow since the mid 90's and all front doors have to comply with fire regulations intumescent strip, openable without a key from the inside. We have listed buildings within conservation areas, the doors can all be adjusted to comply and replacement was not necessary.

Giles Peaker

23:31 PM, 9th June 2017
About A year ago

This is potentially something that can be challenged. See this Tribunal case

https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2017/01/perception-of-doors/

(Disclosure, my team acted for the leaseholders in the case).

Richard Peeters

17:42 PM, 14th June 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by "Giles Peaker" at "09/06/2017 - 23:31":

Many thanks Giles, that's a great case study and I will make good use of it! Regards, Richard


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