Paying for Fire Safety Improvements
Q: In the absence of relevant
provisions in the lease, does the management board have any legal authority to
compel leaseholders to accept (and pay for) fire safety improvements in the
apartments, for example, intumescent seals and self-closing hinges being added
to front doors? Another example is the installation of heat detectors just
inside apartment front doors connected to a communal detection system. Both of
these are improvements resulting from a professional fire risk assessment
earlier this. We are still collecting quotes for the work, so we haven’t asked
leaseholders for their agreement on any proposals.
My concern is that a leaseholder refusing to accept safety improvements is effectively endangering other residents. Our lease does not cover this specifically, though there is a clause about complying with “any statute byelaw order or regulation “.
FPRA Chairman Bob Smytherman replies:
A: With regards to fire safety improvements to front doors of flats if these improvements have been requested by your local Fire Service as part of a review of a Fire Risk Assessment, then in my view most leases would require individual leaseholders to carry out these improvements to meet the legislative requirements and failure to do so would be in breach of lease, (subject to your own lease).
With regards to the communal fire alarm, if this is to pay for from the service charge and will cost each flat £250 or more than a Section 20 consultation with all Leaseholders should be carried out.
[Submitted September 2018]