The freeholder owns the exterior (and interior) common areas of a block of flats, and through the payments of the service charges from the leaseholders is required to keep them repaired and safe.  To that end they need to comply with wide-ranging health and safety legislation, not just to ensure the safety of those who live on the premises but also to those who who visit or who are employed to carry out various works.

This is because both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which enforces most health and safety matters and the Courts view these areas as workplaces, just as they do commercial properties.

The following broad guidelines have been sourced from the Federation of Private Residents’ Associations (FPRA). Not all will apply, (depending on the type of the building) and it is the terms of the lease that should be the definitive guide.


Asbestos Review Report
Buildings Insurance (a condition of purchasing a flat)
Emergency Lighting
Garden Review
H&S Audit/Update
PAT Testing
Porter/Staff Reviews
Roof Inspection
Tree Inspection
Water Risk Assessment
Window Cleaning

Every 6 Months

Inspect/Clear Gutters
Jet Wash Paths

Every 3 Years

Health & Safety – Major Review
Buildings Insurance – Alternative Quotations

Every 5 Years

Communal ElectricsFull Inspection
External Decorations

Every 7 Years

Internal Decorations

Plant and Equipment

Thorough examination of passenger lifts (and perhaps boilers) are regulatory requirements but (depending on the property) may extend to include equipment such as all lifts – passenger, goods and disabled – steam boilers, pressure vessels, refuse hoists, gantry access equipment and window cleaning equipment.

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