Communal Living - Lincolnshire Housing Partnership

Communal Living

Many of you live in homes where there are some extra facilities and responsibilities that come with having shared communal areas.

What is a common area:

  • Lobbies
  • Corridors
  • Staircases
  • Landings
  • Plant rooms
  • Laundry areas
  • Escape routes
  • Service cupboards (including cleaners and service cupboards)
  • Communal lounges
  • Communal rooms
  • Communal gardens and pathways

It is important to be aware that common areas are shared spaces for everyone to use and enjoy equally. Please respect that these rooms are shared (and paid for) by everyone; they shouldn’t be used as a storage area for your personal items or unfairly.

Fire Safety

Common areas are designed to provide you a safe route to and from your home.

It is a responsibility of all to ensure that common areas are clear of personal items which can cause fire safety hazards.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Housing Act 2004 requires LHP to manage the fire risk in common areas of your homes. We must endeavour to ensure common areas are kept free of obstructions, trip hazards and combustible material.

It is important that you support us to help keep you safe:

  • Nothing must block fire escape routes.
    • This includes bicycles, buggies and prams. These must be stored within your own flat or in designated common areas where provided.
  • Personal items should not be stored in communal areas as these can cause obstructions in the event of the escape from a fire, but also may increase flammability and provide ignition sources.
  • Personal items can also cause trip hazards
  • You must not smoke or vape in common areas, nor allow your visitors to do so.

You may have noticed the TORT notices that are displayed in all of our common areas. These notices stated that if any items that may cause a fire hazard, either by providing an initiation source, trip hazard or obstruction to escape, are identified by a member of LHP staff during the course of their duties, these items will be removed.

We will always try to approach you first so that you can relocate these personal items within your own home. If we cannot identify the person who owns the items, or if the items are not moved within a reasonable time period, we will remove the item and store it for a reasonable amount of time to enable your collection.

Maintenance & Cleaning

We keep shared entrances, halls, stairways, lifts, passageways, rubbish chutes and any other shared areas clean, tidy, in reasonable repair and fit for use by you, other occupiers and visitors to your home.

Your Neighbourhood Officer will visit your building on a cyclical basis to ensure any communal repairs are reported.

In return, we expect you to keep them free from obstruction and rubbish. Please do not store or place any item in communal areas. We reserve the right to immediately remove any item that may cause a hazard or obstruction or fire hazard.

See our Cleaning page for more details.

Door entry system

Door entry systems aim to secure the building and prevent unauthorised visitors gaining entry to them. Please do not allow anyone into the building unless they are visiting you or members of your household. You are responsible for the behaviour of anyone you allow into the building. Do not let anyone follow you in through the entry door unless you are certain that they have a valid reason for entering the block or you recognise them as being a tenant.

When you move into a flat you may receive a key fob which allows you entry into the shared communal block. These should only be held by residents and should not be given to visitors


It is illegal to smoke in the enclosed communal areas of a building, such as balconies, stairwells, community rooms, landings and entrances.

You can smoke or vape in external communal areas providing this is done in a conscientious manner and does not cause nuisance or annoyance to other residents.

Grounds Maintenance

See our Grounds Maintenance page for more information.

How we keep our Communal Areas Safe & Well Maintained

  • Fire risk management is an ongoing process and all frontline colleagues, including Neighbourhood Officers, Wardens, Repairs Team members and any other colleague who may attend your building, has a responsibility to report any fire safety concerns.
  • The Neighbourhood Officers and Wardens will also complete formal Common Area Inspections which are completed weekly for buildings where there is an Automatic Fire detection system, and monthly for all other buildings with common areas. During these visits the Officer will identify and report any required communal area repairs.
  • The Neighbourhood Officer will also inspect the quality of the cleaning completed in your building, as well as the grounds maintenance, including grass cutting, weeding and hedge trimming.
  • Our Compliance Team also complete formal, cyclical Fire Risk Assessments.