Communal areas & lifts

These are shared areas of a block of flats, or an estate, which tenants, residents and their visitors can use.

They include, stairs and lifts, landings and corridors, bin stores, entrance areas, drying areas, shed areas, shared gardens, grassed areas and courtyards.

You can help us maintain communal areas and keep them safe by:

  • Reporting any damage to us
  • Not leaving belongings (e.g. children’s toys), rubbish or litter there
  • Making sure you, your family, pets or visitors, do no damage to these areas.

Reporting repairs or problems in communal areas

We are responsible for maintaining shared gardens (in sheltered schemes), many grassed areas, trees, shrub beds and for weed treatments to hard surfaces in the areas around our housing. If you have any enquiries please ask your housing office.

Some work to communal areas is done under our planned maintenance programme.


We are committed to ensuring that the lifts in our blocks of flats are kept working and safe. You can help us by reporting any problems with, or damage to, a lift.

Report an issue with a lift

If a lift breaks down or is damaged, an engineer will attend as quickly as possible and within 4 hours. However, extensive or complex repairs may take longer than 4 hours to complete.

Using the lift safely and sensibly

  • Call the lift by pressing the landing button once. It will not go any faster if you keep pressing the button
  • Once the lift has arrived, give the people in it room to get out
  • Each lift has door-edge protection units for added safety; if the infra-red is broken (e.g. someone stands between them) the lift doors will not close
  • Make sure that the lift is not overcrowded. It is quicker to wait 5 minutes than get trapped in an overloaded lift
  • Children must be supervised at all times and kept away from the lift doors. Do not let them play around the lift, or tamper with the lift or its landing call buttons
  • If you, or your family or visitors (including any children), damage or vandalise a lift you will be breaking the conditions of your tenancy. This will put your home at risk. We will also charge you for putting right any damage. The matter may also be dealt with by the police, for example as criminal damage.

If you get stuck in a lift

If you are in a lift that gets stuck, do not panic.

  • Do not try and force the door open
  • Press the button for another floor to see if the lift will go there to open the door
  • Press the yellow alarm button continually until the voice synthesizer tells you the call has been connected
  • Tell the operator your location (e.g. which block and, if known, which floor), which lift car you are in (if known), how many people are in the lift car are there any exceptional circumstances (e.g. is anyone ill or disabled).
The operator will advise you on what action is being taken. They can dial back in to the lift car at any time. If any circumstances change, press the alarm button again and tell the operator.
Please note: The operator is there is help you, to arrange your release as soon as possible, and will be contacting people to do this. Please do not shout at or abuse them.
If, afterwards, you would like to discuss the incident please contact your warden or housing office who will ask the appropriate people to contact you.

If you need to use the lift for removals or deliveries

Please let your warden know when so there won’t be several removals or deliveries trying to use the lift at once.

When ordering furniture please bear in mind the size of, and access to, the lift you will need to use to get it up to your flat.