Wellington Mansions is a 1930’s build which had sustained nearly two decades of being left to rot before we took over its management and ownership. It’s plight was also published in the Guardian in 2008 in the article entitled ‘Managing to Overcome Rack and Ruin’.

Managing and maintaining the physical health and safety of what are known as the ‘common areas‘ is the overall responsibility of the freeholder, whatever form that freeholder takes. In turn these areas are governed by the Health and Safety Executive and the Courts because they view them in the same way as they do commercial properties. This includes abiding by a considerable amount of health and safety legislation. The common areas of our building are:

  1. The building structure;
  2. The roof;
  3. The land the building stands on;
  4. The foundations;
  5. Load-bearing walls;
  6. External electricity cupboards
  7. Garden shed
  8. Rear garden

Unlike more modern buildings, it doesn’t have interior common areas such as:

  1. Plant rooms;
  2. Lifts and lift motor rooms;
  3. Meter cupboards;
  4. Internal bin chutes.

Guidelines on Managing a Residential Building

The following broad guidelines on how to manage the building and when, 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 for the Legionella bacteria
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 Electrics – Full Inspection by a Part P registered electrician
External Decorations

Every 7 Years

Internal Decorations

Managing the physical aspects of the common areas is governed by a considerable amount of legislation that has to be abided by, just as if the building were a commercial one. Whilst it would be impossible to list them all, I have extracted some key ones which can be found here.

There is also a great deal of legislation that covers the management of the common areas and some key Acts of Paliament can be found here.



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