Communal areas and facilities

Communal areas and facilities

Repairs

We’ll keep all communal areas such as staircases, roofs, hallways and facilities such as lifts, lights and door entry systems in good repair.

If you notice any hazards such as cracked pathways  or raised drains on our land please report this to us.

Report a repair now

You can report and track repairs to communal areas in your account.

Key fobs for secure entry doors

We will replace faulty fobs free of charge; however there will be a charge for lost, damaged or additional fobs.

If you need a replacement or additional key fob please contact us.

Gardening, trees and pests

We’ll cut the grass and hedges and maintain the gardens in communal areas.

If you notice a problem with how a communal area is being maintained please report it to us.

Trees and leaves

We are responsible for trees and pathways in communal areas such as blocks of flats or retirement living schemes. We prune and cut back as necessary but if you notice a problem, please report it to us.

We don’t normally collect and dispose of fallen leaves in communal areas, but we will at our retirement and flexicare complexes.

Gardening

During the growing season (April to October) our contractors will:

  • Cut the grass roughly every 3 weeks
  • Cut hedges at the beginning of the growing season and again at the end
  • Trim and tidy shrubs and flower beds once a month or less if not needed

If any gardening hasn’t been done, please contact us and let us know.

Pests

If you become aware of any infestation in a communal or shared area please contact us as soon as possible.

If the infestation is in your home or garden you are responsible for removing it or having it removed.

Your garden

If your home has a private garden, you can find out more about your responsibilities and ours on our responsibilities page.

Communal bins

Bins are collected and then emptied by your local council.

You can visit their website to find out what coloured bins to use for different types of rubbish and waste.

When the wrong bins are used

Sometimes bins are not used correctly (such as when plastic is put in the food and garden waste bins). If this happens repeatedly your local council may decide to remove the bins. Normally they will give a number of warnings over several weeks and actions may include the following, but as mentioned please contact your local council for more information:

  • The bins might not be emptied and a sticker put on the bin(s) containing the wrong items
  • A letter may be sent to everyone in the block
  • The bins may be emptied but only on the next scheduled waste collection day
  • You may be charged for this service

What if it’s not me?

The correct use of bins is the shared responsibility of everyone who lives in the block.

We would urge you to talk with the other residents in your block and resolve the situation as soon as you can.

Parking problems

We are only able to assist with vehicle and parking enquiries on land which belongs to us. For all other enquiries you should contact your local council.

 

Problem

Answer

There are not enough parking spaces in the street We expect that neighbours are considerate to one another when parking however most parking is on a first come first served basis.
Someone is parking in your allocated parking space Please contact us and we will help where we can. This is only where you have been allocated a designated parking space with your property.
Someone is blocking your car or garage We are unable to deal with this. You should contact 101 for advice.
Someone has parked too close to you We are unable to deal with this but recommend you politely discuss this with your neighbour.
Someone in the street has more than two cars and is taking all the parking spaces We are unable to regulate the number of cars in each property and expect that neighbours are considerate to one another when parking.
A vehicle has no MOT, tax, insurance and is parked on the road Please fill in the GOV report an untaxed vehicle form to report this
Someone has damaged your vehicle with theirs This needs to be reported to your insurance company and the Police if necessary.
Cars are parked on the grass verges Please contact us and provide the details of the vehicle and exact location so that we can investigate. We will work with other agencies such as the Police to deal with this.

Also please see the paving and driveways section on the repair responsibilities page.

If you would like more information or to report the problem please contact us.

Abandoned vehicles

If you see an abandoned vehicle in your neighbourhood, please contact us. We keep an eye on abandoned cars on our land and we work with the police to have them removed if they are:

  • Not properly taxed or insured
  • Causing a public nuisance or danger

If the vehicle is not on our land (such as on a public road), we may refer you to your local council.

Safety and storage

Communal areas including corridors and staircases are fire evacuation routes, so we don’t allow residents to keep any household or garden items in them. Even small items can potentially be a fire or trip hazard.

This includes:

  • Pushchairs and trolleys
  • Mobility scooters
  • Bikes, scooters and children’s toys
  • Rubbish (even temporarily)
  • Pictures with glass fronts
  • Furniture including rugs
  • Plant pots

Removing items from communal areas

If you have any large items to dispose of, please contact your local council who usually offer a removal service.

If we find an item in a communal area, we’ll put a sticker on it to ask that it’s removed by a set date. If it’s not removed by then, we’ll take the item away. If we can identify the owner we’ll charge the removal cost to them. If we can’t, we’ll split the cost between everyone in the block.

Doors

The more oxygen a fire gets, the hotter and faster it burns. That’s why all doors in communal areas must be kept closed and not propped open.

All doors in communal areas including your front door must be fire rated. Please contact us first if you want to change your front door.

Storage

Some blocks of flats have storage cupboards that you can use for keeping most items but not flammable liquids or gases.

If you need storage space, we have secure garages that can be rented for as little as £49.27 per month.

Access to locked utility cupboards

If you’re having broadband, Sky or another package connected, the engineer may need to get into these cupboards.

Please contact us and we’ll arrange for someone to open the cupboard for them. Please give us 3 days notice.

Abandoned items and rubbish

Most of our residents take pride in their homes and their communities so it can be extremely frustrating to find rubbish (big or small) dumped in communal areas or somewhere else on your estate.

If you notice that someone has dumped unwanted items, please contact us and let us know. If you can take photos and email them to us at customer.service@settlegroup.org.uk that’s even better.

If you know who has dumped it please tell us. Any information you give us will be kept strictly confidential. Wherever possible when we find out who is responsible, we’ll charge them for the costs of removing it.

Cleaning

We usually clean communal areas every two weeks. You’ll find the cleaning schedule displayed on the noticeboard.

What’s cleaned?

We will:

  • Mop, sweep and hoover the floors
  • Clean stair rails, bannisters and window sills
  • Remove cobwebs and clean dusty or dirty skirting boards
  • Clean and sweep the bin stores
  • Clean the outside of the windows twice a year, but more often if they need it.

Some of these won’t need cleaning every time, but if any cleaning hasn’t been done please contact us and let us know.

Personal items

For fire safety reasons don’t leave or store any personal items in shared areas.

Graffiti

You can report graffiti to the police, and they’ll investigate, but they don’t remove it.

If the graffiti’s on public land, report it to your local council and they’ll remove it.

If it’s on our land contact us and we’ll remove it. This can take up to four weeks; however if it’s offensive, we’ll remove it as a matter of urgency.

Fire evacuation procedures

At least every three years, a detailed inspection is carried out at each of our blocks of flats by a qualified fire risk assessor. Part of this is to confirm what kind of fire evacuation procedure should be followed in the event of a fire and we’ve listed these below.

If you have any questions about the fire evacuation procedure or fire safety generally for your building, please contact us.

Letchworth

Hitchin

Other locations

Ashwell

Bedford

Biggleswade

Bricket Wood

Codicote

Cotton End

Great Denham

Houghton Regis

Ickleford

Knebworth

Leagrave

London Colney

Lower Stondon

Luton

Marsden Moretaine

Offley

Potters Bar

Potton

Purwell

St Albans

Stevenage

Weston

Whitwell

Repair responsibilities

Problems with neighbours