Q: Who is responsible for the maintenance of the smoke alarms in each flat? We fully accept responsibility for the smoke alarms in the communal areas. Each flat has an individual meter box on the outside wall, the management company paints the outside of the boxes, but when broken who should stand the cost of repair?
FPRA Chairman Bob Smytherman replies:
I respond from a practical point of view, not a legal one.
The first question about smoke alarms in flats is a straight forward one. Smoke Alarms in flats are the sole responsibility of the flat owner unless they are connected to a communal alarm system.
The individual meter box outside in the communal areas is more complicated, but my view would be that if the damage is caused by being located in the communal areas rather than damage caused by the flat owner, then repairs to the box would be a matter for the company If, however, the repairs are of a nature that can be reasonably required as a result of something exclusively caused by the flat owner, then I would suggest the responsibility would lie with them.
If you require a more specific legal response please send us more detail about the damage caused and our legal adviser can review your lease for you.
[Submitted July 2017]