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Living in council flats and maisonettes

Information on how to keep your shared spaces in council properties safe, as well as rules and regulations on what's expected from you as a tenant. 

Flats make great homes but, to cut down on nuisance and noise and to safeguard tenants’ health and safety, we ask that you give consideration to your neighbours when using common areas and ensure that you and your household keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement. 

Please ensure that you keep shared areas secure by using security systems properly. All blocks have door entry systems and it is the responsibility of the tenant or leaseholder to ensure doors are kept locked at all times for security. Access should never be allowed to unknown people and strangers should show identification.

On the recommendation of East Sussex Fire Brigade, no items are allowed in the communal hallways and stairwells of our flats. Communal areas are inspected regularly and items found there will be removed.

Common areas, including hallways, shared balconies, landings and window ledges, must be kept completely clear to enable a safe emergency evacuation and to reduce the spread of fire. We will remove any objects found outside of individual flats immediately. You may be charged the cost of the removal or storage of the item. All pushchairs, bicycles, mobility scooters and doormats must be stored either in your property or in other areas provided, not in communal areas.

Everyone is responsible for fire safety, so please contact us immediately if you become aware of any such obstruction.  

You must not damage or interfere with in any manner the fire and safety equipment provided in the building. It is not permitted to keep open, damage or obstruct in any way communal entrance doors, fire doors or gates within the interior or exterior of the building. Where such damage occurs, we may charge our reasonable costs for repair or replacement to you. You must not light barbecues on communal or private balconies or other covered communal areas.

You or any member of your household or any visitors must not smoke in the common areas of the building.

Smoke-free legislation was introduced in 2007 and applies to all communal areas if they are wholly or substantially enclosed. Any person smoking within these areas is committing a criminal offence and could be fined up to £200. We have a legal responsibility to ensure that these communal areas remain smoke free and ask that, if you witness anyone smoking in them, you report this to us for the housing team to investigate.

When living in flats and maisonettes, the council asks that you keep all the floors in the property substantially covered with material suitable for reducing the transmission of noise, such as carpets or rugs.

You must obtain the council’s prior written permission before you install floor tiles, laminate, wooden flooring or flooring of a similar nature and the council will only give permission to tenants living in flats and maisonettes in exceptional circumstances.

If you install any such flooring without the council’s prior written permission, the council may require you to remove it at your own expense and replace it with floor coverings as set out above.

Ensure that you do not place any discarded household or garden objects, for example, washing machines and garden waste, in the bin areas or drying areas. This will be treated as fly tipping and you could receive a fine. Securely bag all rubbish before putting it in the refuse chutes or bin areas. To avoid refuse chutes becoming blocked, please do not dispose of any bulky items via the refuse chutes.

Do not leave refuse bags/sacks or containers of recycling outside your front door or in the communal areas.

Do not hang birdfeeders, flowerpots, washing, clothes, mats or rugs or any other object from the windows and balconies. You must not hand beat mats or rugs on or from the windows of your home or from any common areas, such as landings, balconies, stairs or roof. Do not throw food, refuse or any other object from a window, landings, stairwells or balconies, including shared balconies, lobbies and staircases.

All our blocks of flats have a caretaking or cleaning service. This is provided according to the needs of individual blocks and is provided on the basis agreed after consultation with the residents. It is paid for from the service charge to the flats. As a minimum, one visit is made every 28 days. Many blocks have more visits than this.

Tenants and leaseholders share the responsibility of keeping all the public areas clean and tidy. The service provided by the caretaker or contract cleaner ensures that a reasonable standard of cleanliness is maintained at all times.