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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10459
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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My husband and I own a leasehold flat in Hastings. The detached

Resolved Question:

My husband and I own a leasehold flat in Hastings. The detached house is converted into three flats. Ground floor (us) and lst floor are leasehold and the top floor is occupied by a sitting tenant. There is a new management company who state that we need a fire alarm on the outside of the building and the two leasehold flat are to pay for this. Surely the Landlord should pay for this? Would smoke alarms in the main entrance hall and in the flat not be sufficient?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

I am Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

It's a legal requirement for all blocks of flats (including houses converted into
two or more flats) to have a fire risk assessment of the communal areas only.

But this must include the front doors of individual flats. The responsibility

to arrange the assessment lies with the landlord.

However, in a similar way as you probably pay to the Management Company a proportion of the block Buildings Insurance, and possibly service charge on a regular basis or whenever communal repairs are required, the cost involved in implementing any necessary fire safety measures is the ultimate responsibility of the Leaseholders, under the terms of their Lease.

This is because 99 out of 100 Leases will stipulate that you will reimburse the Landlord for any costs incurred by them in maintaining the communal areas and the property as a whole. Your Lease will also no doubt state that you will comply with all legislation, and if the fire risk assessment has recommended fire alarms, you would be caught unde this.

If you have any doubts, I suggest that you ask the Management Company for evidence that you are under a duty to pay your proportion (as I have not seen your Lease to confirm), but I would be most surprised if you ar enot responsible, I am afraid to say.

Sorry this is not the answer you were looking for, but hope I have set out the legal position.

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for response. The new block management company are stating that they need £600 for a fire alarm. Will appropriate wall mounted battery operated smoke/carbon monoxide detectors not suffice?

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Elma,

Thanks for your reply.

As I have not of course seen the fire risk assessment for the property, and therefore can't comment 100%, relying on each Leaseholder to keep battery operated smoke alarms would not be seen as sufficient. What if your neighbour forgot to change their battery at some point in the future, and this led to the whole building being burnt down?

I hope this assists, and am sorry it is probably not what you wanted to hear, although safety has to come first in these situations.

Kind Regards

Al

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