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Hi can someone advise us we are 3   studio flats that have back doors onto a flat roof area that lead to a metal staircase down to ground level. Our freeholder has boarded the staircase up because of trespassers. And now say we have no right to set foot on the roof, a couple of years ago we were issued a key each to the back door that had a fire exit sign on, the sign has been removed. Our lease stats” the right for the lessees for the purpose only of getting to and leaving the premises to use the common landinyand stairways entrance halls footpaths forecourts and any common road way and access area comprises in the building.” We have contacted the fire risk assessment company  they told us a rear fire exit was not required. 

do we have grounds to contest the FH over this  our right of way over this roof?  

thanks

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Hi

 

You say the 3 studio flats backdoor leads over a flat roof to a set of stairs to ground level. Exactly what is below/underneath the 3 studio flats?

 

I know you say you have backdoor keys and access to this area.

How long have the 3 studio flats had access to this flat roof leading to stairs to ground floor level area for?

 

The 3 studio flats had access to this flat roof area leading to stairs to ground floor level.

Did the flat roof have any barrier protection in place?

 

Have a wee chat with your local Fire Service to see if they do a free home fire safety inspection (most do now) and see what they say. (check there website as well)

 

 


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Thanks

 

There is a hardware shop below the flat roof.

 

As far as we know the access has been used since the extension was build mid 70s

 

The only barrier is a rail type, poles set into concrete blocks that make a pathway to the stairs down to the back Mews.

 

Thanks again.

 

 

 

Quote

 

 

 

 

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Invite the fire brigade roind to inspect the supposed fire exit and see what they say. you need to speal to the  council building regs peopel as well and get advice on whther it is a necessity to ahve a fire escape.

other than that, the roof isnt yours so you cant lay out deckchiars etc and may not be strong enough to support any load so it may all come to nothing.

Fire escapes are just that though, not a common entrance so you need to adjust your expectations

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We are not looking to use the roof for any recreational use, our expectations are we would only  like it as a means of exit/ entrance as needed. . The freeholder has blocked the stairs with OSB board and also boarded up the back door. We hope our lease confirms this use. 

Thanks

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as said, if it is a fire escape then you cant use it as a common entrance. The freeholder can terminate the lease if you misuse safety equipment and you dont have a nice landlord so make sure of your fcats before you decide to takeaction

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On 28/03/2019 at 10:00, ericsbrother said:

as said, if it is a fire escape then you cant use it as a common entrance. The freeholder can terminate the lease if you misuse safety equipment and you dont have a nice landlord so make sure of your fcats before you decide to takeaction

It’s now not an exit of any description as it been blocked off as described above. We now have no means of escape over that part of the building, although we have doors leading onto it. We ultimately would like to know If the wording in our lease allows us access to escape this way. 

Thanks for your kind help and advice. 

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You started off this thread with the statement about your "right of way" over the roof where there is as yet no evidence one exists. Common parts of the building are as stated, stair, corridors and so forth. Your LL has made it clear there is a problem of trespass via the roof but you need to determine whether the door is considered a fire escape and so shopuld be unblocked. Fire escapes are not entrances and give no right of way. You need to differentiate this in your mind as well as in practice. I woudl say there is no RIGHT of way and never was but it does appear as though there is a method of leaving the bulding in an emergency that is better than jumping out of the window. check with the council planning dept about any clause or regulation that would apply and ask the fire brigade officer responsible for checking things for their opinion.

I used to work in a building that had a fire escape over the roof of the building next door. they would have been mightily pissed off if that was claimed to be an entrance or used as one. You have the right to enter your next door neighbour's property to maintain yours, ie fix the guttering, replaint a wall etc but you still have to ask to arrange a suitable time and only if the neighbour isnt forthcoming do you invoke your rights.

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