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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I own a leasehold sheltered housing retirement flat that is

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I own a leasehold sheltered housing retirement flat that is managed on behalf of the freeholder by The Retirement Leasehold Housing Association (RLHA).
After a recent Fire Inspection RLHA are proposing to replace about 30-40 Parker Knoll Chairs in the Communal Rooms.
As the high quality serviceable chairs were purchased by the residents shortly before the complex of 42 flats were opened in 1989, the chairs are probably exempt from the current fire regulations requiring them to be fire resistant (not fire proof).
I therefore think that RLHA should determine whether the chairs were manufactured before 1988 and are therefore exempt from the current fire regulations.
That would relieve the the residents from needless heavy expense and only require replacement when the chairs become unserviceable.
Do you agree and if so could you Email your reply and my question [email protected]?.

Thank you for your question. I am a solicitor and will assist you with your query.

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended) do not apply to any furniture made before 1950, so yes, the RLHA should first determine whether the chairs were indeed made before 1950 as if they did, they would not fall within the scope of the above Regulations.

We are not allowed to email out, but you may copy and paste your question and my answer for your use.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Sir,


Thank you for your answer to my question about furniture.


Do you mean furniture made before 1988 NOT 1950.?.


1950 would be of no use to me as the Flats mentioned were opened in 1989 and would not be buying new Parker Knoll chairs made before 1950!


Yours aye


Edwin Rice-Barnham 01892 527697/07747 563708




urs aye

Hello edwin,

Yes, I am afraid I meant 1950 so it would appear that the chairs may need replacement.

Sorry if this is not what you wish to hear but I can only advise you truthfully.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have found the relevant legislation on the internet: The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988. I do not wish to wade through all of it at 82 years of age and cannot quickly see a realistic answer to my question so asked Just Answer to do that.


I contend that as the chairs do not have the label showing compliance with the 1988 Act, that they must have been manufactured before, but near to the date, of the Act (November 1988?).


As Parker Knoll is and was a reputable firm, it is likely that they were aware of the forthcoming regulation and made chairs to suit it. In any case they would have been in conformity with previous regulations as to fire retardation and conformed to the law at that time.It is noted that no such chairs are fireproof but must be fire retardable.


will you please therefore, agree with me that the chairs purchased by or for the residents were exempt from the 1988 Act.


An early reply would be appreciated.

Dear Edwin,

Please see Regulation 4 of these Regulations

It expressly states that the Regulations do not apply to goods made before 1 January 1950.

Hope this clarifies
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Sir,


I thought in my introduction to the question about replacing serviceable chairs that the Act did not apply to them.If the only chairs that were exempt had to be manufactured before 1950, then chairs produced in, say, 1987 without the label required by the 1988 Act could have been scrapped after a fire inspection in, say, 1989.


That is obviously a nonsense. So, I believe The Furniture Manager of Hoopers Ltd was right in saying any furniture manufactured before the 1988 Act was implemented is exempt from the Act. Please Comment...

Regulation 4 of the 1988 Regulations states as follows:

Exclusion of goods made before 1950 and of supply of materials for re-upholstery of furniture made before that date and of goods for export.

The requirements of these Regulations do not apply–
(a)in relation to the supply of any goods manufactured before 1 January 1950;..."

This means that the requirements of the 1988 Regulations apply to goods manufactured after 1st January 1950.

I am afraid it is there in black and white, however silly it may be.