Decorative header image reading 'Items left in communal areas: our policy'

Please help to keep communal areas clear and safe by watching these short videos:

1. Talking you through our fire policy for communal areas:

2. Own a mobility scooter, e-bike/e-scooter, or similar battery-powered device? Please watch this video on safely storing and charging them in your home, and what you need to tell us if you own one:

Further information on keeping communal areas safe

Further information on keeping communal areas safe

We want to keep you and your neighbours safe and can only do this with your help. The Fire and Rescue Service outline that storing belongings in shared communal spaces can pose a real risk to everyone’s safety as it could stop you escaping a building and prevent the firefighters from doing their job in an emergency.

It’s important we all do what we can to prevent hazards, which is why we have a zero-tolerance approach to items left in communal areas.

Mobility scooters, e-bikes, and similar battery-operated devices:

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have recently warned that they have seen a spike in fires as a result of these battery-operated devices.

Our policy states that these devices should be stored and charged within your homes. It is advised that if they have to be charged inside, they should be placed on a hard surface, away from escape routes, in a room with a smoke alarm, and only charged when the user is awake and within the premises. Some of our buildings have a designated storage facility where we can allocate space to you to store these items safely.

As stated in the video above, if we see electric bikes or e-scooters in communal areas, they will be investigated as to relocation, support for customers required, and/or possibly removed if their owners cannot be identified. This is to keep all those living in the building safe.

Please contact us on 01204 328000 or if you have such a device so we can ensure you have the correct permissions in place to store one of these items within your home.

What you can do as a resident:

If, as part of your home, you have access to communal areas, your tenancy agreement or lease will state that you should not store items in communal areas and that we will treat any items left as a breach of your tenancy or lease.

Communal areas include stairways, lifts, landings, hallways, and any other spaces that you share with other residents. They also include service or meter cupboards in your building.

If you currently have items- including, but not limited to- prams, buggies, bicycles, plants, furniture, shoes or other household items, stored or left in these spaces, please remove them immediately.

Please also be mindful that uninvited visitors may be able to access communal areas and use or take items they find. The best way to look after your possessions is to keep them inside your home.

What we'll do:

If we find any items in communal areas, we'll serve a reminder notice on low risk items, and with higher risk items we may remove them without further notice- meaning you'll no longer have access to them.

Your building has a TORT notice displayed in communal area(s) to let you know the type of items that are commonly stored in these areas which should not be stored there. This list has some examples, but is not exhaustive:

  • buggies
  • petrol or gas-related items (e.g., motorbikes, gas cylinders, BBQs)
  • furniture, bedding, and clothing
  • paint, canisters, and tins
  • household items
  • books, paper materials, and boxes
  • mail
  • plants
  • door mats
  • bin liners and their contents
  • this is not an exhaustive list

If any TORT notices within blocks are found to be missing on inspection, we'll replace them.

Let’s work together to keep you, your family and neighbours safe. We’ll do our part by ensuring we follow our zero-tolerance approach to items found in communal areas and you can help us by making sure you do not leave items in communal areas, even if it’s just temporarily.

Download a copy of our letter on communal areas (sent in August 2023) or contact us for more information:

Screenshot of the first page of our 'Items left in communal areas: our policy' letter

If you'd like to download a copy of a letter we sent to tenants whose buildings have communal areas (sent in August 2023), tap the button below.

If you'd like any further information, please feel free contact the Building Safety Team on:

Click here to download our Items left in communal areas: our policy letter [PDF] 128KB

This letter was sent (in August 2023) to tenants whose buildings have communal areas. It covers our policy for items left in these communal areas.

Own a Mobility Scooter? Please read our Mobility Scooter Fire Safety guide

Mobility scooters thumbnail

Download or view: Mobility-Scooters-Leaflet-Web-(February-2024)-[pdf]-780KB

Download this document (PDF format) for a handy guide on safely storing and charging your mobility scooter within your property.​​​​​