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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
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I live in social housing in a block with other flats with communal

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I live in social housing in a block with other flats with communal areas and gardens. This is owned by manchester and district housing association in Manchester. I have lived there fore 1 year 3 months. My flat is at the front of the building and opposite is the communal gardens not overlooking any other residents. There is a pathway and all around the block and their are gardens shrubs and bushes also around the block. I have been informed by the housing association that a number of tenants are complaining because I have put plant pots outside they class as the communal areas. The plant pots are directly under my window where there is a gravel stone before layered grass. They said there are several complainants but I don't believe this because most of the people I have spoken to are delighted that I am making an effort as in the summer the flowers are blooming and pretty. I have receiveed several letters stating if I don't move the plant pots they will take them away and dispose of them and charge me for this. They gquoted in a recent letter the associations obligations under the occupiers liability ACT 1957. and 1984 and the regulatory reform (fire safety ) order 2005 si no: 1541 to ensure that communal areas remain free of risks and hazzards. I am also informed by other tenants that its likely that it has been one person in the block who has complained and she is on the tenants committee. As soon as she moved in she is complaining about everything and the rights of other tenants seem to be ignored. Its all chidlish but out of principle I want to be able to sort this out and ensure I know my rights. Can you help if it makes sens. Would it be if they take my pots it is a criminal offence and its theft. If so how do I proceed? Please advise for the sake of myself and other tenants

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

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So let me get this right: the pot plants are outside the building, near a grassy area and not blocking a fore exit or route?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The plant pots are directly under my window on grey stone next to a grass patch then a pathway, then shrubs and trees. The housing are saying it identified as a communal area within the communal gardens. its not a pathway, it doesn't block anything is not an health and safety issue. The reason there asking to move them is because someone complained upstairs. Apparently the wording they are using is that they are "unsightly" due to bad weather there not looking there best, XXXXX XXXXX the spring and summer they bloom and look beautiful. I signed a piece of paperr saying I wont put anything in the communal gardens. Its under my window not bothering anyone else or safety issue. It is there land however. But other properties owned by them have pots in the communal areas? the housing deny this but i have seen it. One person has large tressel with it there just inconsistent. There trying to use health and safety act ( I think) or whatver the other act is quoted earlier. I think there being unreasonable. I have countercomplained but nothing seems to be done about it? There trying to threaten me with dispoal of pots and I will be charged.

Thanks for the additional information.

I need to clarify: are these big ornamental pots that somebody could trip over or are they very small ones?

Also in case of a fire would people naturally run across the area where the pots are?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They can't trip over them there against the wall under my window and nowhere near a pathway. you would only have a problem if you walked directly under my window passing my window which you would hope nobody would do as there is already a pathway that is circular round the building. I wouldn't like it people walked pass my window regularly. there is no health & safety issue. They're not saying it is there saying there unsightly but using the health & safety act to cover there backs! but I would struggle to understand they are a health and safety issue


It sounds to me like the housing association is being very unreasonable.

Of course you have to remove objects which are a trip of fire hazard. You cannot do anything that might compromise health and safety.

You also have to comply with your obligations under the tenancy agreement.

But looking at this situation objectively it does appear the housing association is behaving like a 'jobs worth'.

I think you should tell the housing association again that your pots are not a hazard and you are exercising your right to enjoy your property.

Legalities aside as a matter of common sense you are allowed to enjoy your flat and surrounding areas without interference from other people so long as you are not causing a nuisance.

If the housing association refuses to budge you have to decide whether you wish to fight this as a matter of principle or just give up

I can't make the decision for you but it seems to me that so long as you are not doing anything wrong you should be allowed to carry on enjoying your flat as you see fit.


Sorry that should read 'trip OR fire hazard'.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the information. Can I just check the legality side. Is it illegal for the housing to take my personal property even if they have warned me. Would it be a criminal offence. I guess out of principle I shall not be defeated! I don't like the idea of one tenant having the monoploy otherwise what will be next. The housing are very unreasonable in this current climate they should be worried about other matters crimes; arrears; anti social behaviour I can't even believe I am writing about it.

Its unlikely to be theft because they would not be acting dishonestly.

But it could amount to wrongful interference with your personal property for which you can seek compensation.

For what's its worth I think you have a valid point in your last paragraph.
Alice H, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience: Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
Alice H and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

sorry one more question do i need to go to a specialist solicitor i.e. property law or any solicitor who if i need to can deal with this




Do you really want to spend at least £100 per hour on this issue?!

If you do the Law Society will give you details of Property Law solicitors in your area - the Law Society number is 0207 242 1222.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

if its that much no. I will just have to hope the HA come to there senses or write to the ombudsman


thanks again,


OK, all the best!