Clutter in communal areas

If you live in a block with shared communal areas such as landings, stairwells and walkways, you must make sure they are kept clear of personal possessions and other items.

Your responsibility to keep your block tidy

It is a condition of your tenancy or lease agreement that you don’t block shared areas, exits and entrances or leave rubbish in shared areas.
Leaving clutter in the communal areas can:
  • get in the way of emergency escape routes
  • block fire doors
  • create slipping or tripping hazards
  • pose a climbing danger for children.
It can also be unpleasant to look at for other residents living in the block.
If we find any clutter in communal areas, we will ask the resident to remove it straight away. If they don’t, we will remove any items, and may pass on the costs of doing so to the owner, before they are returned.

Things you should never keep in communal areas

Baby buggies

Buggies must not be kept in communal areas because they can:
  • get in the way and stop you and others from getting out of the block quickly in an emergency
  • block fire doors
  • give off toxic fumes and smoke if there was a fire.
You must keep your baby buggy in your home or, if you have one, your storage shed.


You must not:
  • allow your pet to roam about unsupervised
  • leave food, litter trays or other items
in communal areas.
For more details, including information on keeping a pet, read our pet guidelines.


Bikes can get in the way, or topple over and hurt someone. If you chain your bike to stair rails it can be particularly dangerous, as it can get in the way during an emergency and stop other residents from being able to hold onto the hand rail.
If you have a storage space you should use it to store your bike.
If there is somewhere suitable near your home to store your bike, we can provide a locking point to keep it secure.
If there is enough interest from other bike users in the block, we may look at the option of a shared bike facility.


You must not leave any rubbish or waste outside your door, even if it is securely sealed and bagged up. Keep all rubbish inside your home until you are ready to take it to the chute or bin area.
If you have any large or bulky items of household waste, you can apply for a bulky waste collection. You can book up to six household waste items per collection.

Things you can keep in communal areas if done with care

Flowers and plants

Flowers and plants can improve the space outside your home, but they can get in the way. Plastic pots and flowers could also be dangerous if there was a fire, particularly in an enclosed space.
However if you have a flowerpot outside your door that:
  • is stable
  • does not get in the way of people moving around in the communal area
  • is kept neatly against the wall
  • is not surrounded by water and other debris
we will not ask you to remove it.


Doormats can be a tripping hazard if they slide around, and are not flat to the floor. You can place a doormat outside your door, as long as it is rubber backed.

Help with storage

If your storage shed is insecure, needs a new lock, or needs a repair, report this to the Repairs Operation Centre on 0800 952 5555.
If there is enough interest from residents in your block, we can arrange a clear-out day to take away any unwanted and bulky waste items.
If you wish to discuss other storage options further, get in touch with your housing compliance officer.

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