We want residents to take pride in where they live and support efforts to brighten up homes and blocks.

But we have to balance the placement of items like pot plants and welcome mats in communal areas with considerations of people’s safety.

That means there are some strict rules about storing items in corridors and other communal areas in all blocks owned or managed by Barnet Homes.

Storage and fire safety

We have a legal duty to make sure that all fire escapes and fire routes are kept clear at all times.

Items such as large plant pots, bikes and baby buggies could obstruct people who need to evacuate a building quickly in the event of a fire.

By law there must be a clear width of at least 75cms in all communal corridors or walkways. If items could cause an obstruction or cause or fuel a fire, we will ask residents to remove them.

Action we will take

We will make every effort to trace the owner of goods causing obstruction or left in a communal area. We may ask neighbours if they know the whereabouts of the owner.

If we cannot trace the owner at first visit:

  • any items that present an immediate fire risk may be moved straight away.
  • we may need to contact residents with a formal notice to remove items and give them a reasonable period of time to collect them.

Before we move any goods we will take detailed records and photographs of all the items.

Where appropriate, we will store goods in a safe, dry and secure location for a limited period of time. We will inform the owner where the goods are being stored, how long they will be stored for and where they can collect them from.

There may be a charge for the collection and storage of items, and associated administration costs.

Mobility scooters

Electric mobility scooters must not be parked outside of flats or on an emergency exit route. These scooters must be stored either in the property or in a purpose built storage shed.

You must contact us before purchasing a mobility scooter.

Rubbish and recycling

You must not store rubbish or recycling in any landing, stairwell or corridor.

LPG and gas cylinders

You should only store LPG and other gas cylinders in external well ventilated, non-communal areas such as private external balconies or gardens.

LPG and gas cylinders are not permitted in building of five stories or more.

Security gates and grills

Security gates/grilles can add security and peace of mind, but they can also cause delay if you need to evacuate a property in the event of fire.

Find out more about measures you can take to improve the security of your home and what you need to do on our home security page.