Common areas of blocks of flats are owned by the freeholders so it is they who are responsible for their health and safety, maintenance and repairs. They don’t however pay for it because the leaseholders do, through the payment of service charges. Common areas cover the building structure, the roof, the land the building stands on, foundations, load bearing walls, gardens, landings, paths, gates, fences, drives, stairways, and any other outbuildings. Inside it covers the plant rooms, lift motor rooms, and meter cupboards, and anything else that are not owned by individual leaseholders.
These common areas are treated by the Health and Safety Executive and the Courts as workplace areas and as such are governed by a considerable amount of legislation.