Communal areas and flats
In the interests of health and safety, Derby Homes operates a clear communal area policy to avoid the risk of people being hindered by objects in communal areas when evacuating in an emergency.
The communal areas in your block such as the stairs, stairwells, landings and corridors are a means of escape to safety for you and your neighbours if there is a fire.
The stairs, stairwells, landings and corridors are also a means by which fire and rescue services fight a fire and evacuate people to safety. It is therefore really important for you to keep these communal areas clear at all times.
Everyone living in your block is responsible for keeping the communal areas clear and you are not allowed to store or use the following in any communal area:
- prams/push chairs
- play equipment
- mobility scooters
- any other personal items
We regularly inspects blocks of flats and any items found in the communal areas will be immediately removed and disposed of after we have notified you of our intention to do so.
In some blocks of flats, we employ cleaners to clean the communal areas every week or two weeks. You are still responsible for keeping the communal areas clean and tidy.
Please contact your Estate Officer if you would like to know more. They can arrange to contact the rest of the tenants in your block and, if most of them agree, we can arrange a cleaning service. There will be a small additional charge on your rent to cover the cost.
Door entry systems
There are door entry systems on blocks of flats and maisonettes so that only tenants and their visitors can enter. Please help to keep the flats safe and do not:
- let someone you do not know into the building
- let visitors into the building for your neighbour
- ask your neighbours to let visitors in for you
- wedge the door open and leave it open for any reason.
If you let strangers into the building, you will reduce the security for yourself and everyone else living in the block.
If you use a mobility scooter, please be aware that storing them or charging them up in the communal areas of flats is not permitted because of health and safety issues.
If you live in a block of flats, you must agree a suitable location for storage and charging of a scooter with us before you make a purchase. You will also be expected to produce a valid insurance certificate covering the use of the scooter.
If you wish to store and charge your mobility scooter in your own flat, we will inspect your home to ensure that you can still escape from your property quickly in an emergency.
As with other unauthorised items in communal areas, we may take action against you if you have not asked permission or store or charge your scooter in a communal area of your block.
Nuisance caused by noise is the main area of conflict between neighbours living in flats. Playing music, listening to the radio and watching television are obvious sources of noise. Other sources of noise can include:
- revving cars
- slamming doors
- shouting in the hallways and stairs, particularly at night
- talking, hanging around or playing in communal areas.
A certain amount of noise is to be expected, but neighbours should not have to suffer from serious noise nuisance. In flats and maisonettes you may have neighbours above and below you as well as on either side – it is important to show consideration for all your neighbours. This is one reason why laminate flooring is not allowed in flats.
If you have a problem with noise from your neighbours please talk to the person who is causing the noise. This is the best way of resolving problems and sometimes your neighbour may not realise their noise is bothering you.
Please speak to your Estate Officer if this does not resolve the problem. They will be able to speak to your neighbour on your behalf and take steps to stop the nuisance. It may also be that an ASB Officer is allocated to deal with this in a more formal way if this is something that you would prefer.
Sometimes problems can be solved through mediation. This is particularly useful where there appears to be a clash of lifestyles or personalities.
We can take legal action if this type of nuisance continues. In the most serious of cases we can serve a notice seeking possession advising the noisy tenant that we intend to go to court and ask for a court order to evict them from their home. Legal action is Derby Homes’ very last resort; however, we will take action to stop serious nuisance when we have to.
Derby City Council’s Environmental Services Team also has powers to deal with noise if it is shown to be a ‘statutory nuisance’. They can serve abatement notices, which mean the neighbour must stop making the noise.
If someone ignores an abatement notice and continues to cause a noise nuisance, Environmental Services can take away equipment that is being used to make that noise – for example televisions, CD players or DIY equipment. They may also prosecute the person making the noise.