Management of your block

Content owner : home.ownership@knh.org.uk Last updated : 05/03/11

Living in a flat

When you live in a flat it is important to bear in mind that what you do affects your neighbours. So please remember:

  • not to make too much noise, especially at night or early in the morning;
  • to keep shared areas clean and tidy;
  • to be a good neighbour. Remember, under your lease agreement you have a duty not to cause a nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours. You are also responsible for making sure that your family and visitors to your home do not annoy your neighbours.

Health and safety

In October 2006, a new Fire Safety Regulation Order came into force that affects all tenants and leaseholders who have internal communal areas such as staircases, hallways and landings.

The order requires KNH to regularly inspect these communal areas to identify and address any hazards or risks.

To comply with these fire safety regulations and in accordance with the terms of your lease we do not allow any items, including carpets, mats, furniture, or electrical items to be stored in communal areas

We are responsible for maintaining the shared areas in your block, but everyone living in the block has a duty to keep them clean and use them properly.


  • If there is a window cleaning service in operation in your block, we will clean the windows in the shared areas.
  • If there is a cleaning service in operation in your block, we will clean indoor and outdoor shared areas.
  • If you have shared grounds and drying areas in your block, we will maintain these.

You pay a share of the cost of maintaining shared areas so if you see someone causing damage to or misusing stairways, landings, parking areas, drying areas, rubbish chutes, security doors and other shared facilities, tell your housing officer at once. If you can get evidence of who caused the damage we can charge them for it and take the appropriate action so that none of the cost will fall on you in your service charges.

If a repair needs doing to one of the shared areas in your block, please report this as set out in the ‘Care and Repair of your Home’ leaflet, which you can download or get from your local housing office.



Nuisance and harassment

Under your lease agreement you have a duty not to cause a nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours. You are also responsible for making sure that your family, visitors, lodgers and sub-tenants do not annoy your neighbours. You have a right to the quiet enjoyment of your flat, and your neighbours have the same right.

It is up to you and your neighbours to get on together, but if you don't, KNH have set policies and procedures to help deal with neighbour nuisance and harassment problems.



Pets

If you have a pet, you must make sure that it is kept under control and does not cause any nuisance or annoys or frightens anyone.

If you want to keep a cat or dog in a flat that does not have its own direct, separate entrance to the outside, you will need our permission, in writing. You cannot keep more than two animals at your home without our written permission. You must also not keep a lot of birds if they are likely to cause any nuisance to your neighbours.



Gardens

If you have purchased a garden with your flat, you are responsible for keeping it tidy. You should not allow rubbish to build up as it may cause a health hazard. If there are shared communal gardens around your block, we will maintain them. You can confirm whether you have purchased land by contacting the Home Ownership team.


Communal gardens

The majority of KNH flats have communal gardens. Communal gardens do not always look shared – over the years they may have been fenced off and may appear to be an individual’s garden. Checking your lease is the easiest way to find out which land is communal (unmarked) and which has been bought (outlined in red). Please contact the Home Ownership team if you are unsure about whether you have leased any land.


The council does not have the power to sell a parcel of communal land to a leaseholder or permit it to be used by one particular tenant or leaseholder as a private garden. We cannot give permission for it to developed, even if other neighbours have no objections. This is because the law states communal land must remain just that. Tenants and residents could take legal action against the Council for an injunction to remove the permission or for damages to reflect their loss of use of the garden.


Car parking

Some flats have their own driveway to park on, but most blocks have shared parking areas, where parking is first come - first served. No one has their own parking space unless it is a personal designated disabled user space.


  • Do not cause an obstruction, you could prevent emergency vehicles from getting through.
  • Do not park on the footpath; it is against the law.
  • Do not park in your garden unless you have a hard standing and a dropped-kerb

Sensible use of shared parking areas helps you and your neighbours - tell the local housing officer if someone is causing a nuisance in your parking area.


Insurance

Your service charge includes an amount for insuring the building, including the outer walls, the roof, shared areas and underground services. It does not include wear and tear.

This means that the council's insurance covers damage to the structure of the building caused by fire, flood and so on. It does not cover the inside walls and fixtures and fittings in your flat or your personal belongings.

To cover these you need to arrange your own insurance. You also need to arrange for insurance cover for the contents of your flat (such as furniture and personal belongings).

If you do not have home contents insurance you are taking a big risk:

  • If there was a fire, a flood or a break in, in your home, could you afford to replace your furniture, clothing and belongings?
  • If your bath overflowed and flooded out your downstairs neighbour, you would be responsible for the damage. Could you afford to pay if your neighbour took you to court?

Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing has negotiated a contents insurance scheme with Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. If you would like details of the scheme, please contact the Homeownership team.