April 22, 2024

Gardens not good enough for fire ladders, so £11,000 please!

Q&A2Here is a letter from a reader, and Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation’s reply.

Any views from the Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation “panel of experts? Homepine House in Folkestone had serious issues over safety safety improvements, as can be read here

We have been told that the Fire Officer has said that we need a concrete path in our gardens as the gardens slope steeply towards the street – this is for a base for the firemen’s ladders and they could slip if placed on the garden area.

This apparently is to comply with new rules which have been brought in. The cost for this is £10,000 – £11,000.

As we pay ground rent and do not own the land the flats are built on, I do not understand why the residents have to pay this.  They signed the leases before this law was brought in.  I would have thought that the landlord should contribute at least something towards this.

We have a tremendous expenses bill at the moment: redecoration and with open garages we are experiencing drunks and drug addicts defecating and shooting up in these garages and are faced with huge costs for security guards or the choice to gate the complex off. Both of which are extremely costly.

Do you know anything about this law as it must apply to some other retirement complexes and is there any help with the costs of this?

I should appreciate your help with this matter as one feels one is fighting a huge machine.  All the answers Peverel give are extremely glib.

We have not heard of this specific element of fire safety, and imagine it could vary from site to site and with different fire authorities.

We doubt Peverel would have messed up the consultation process on this, but who knows? Is there any chance of getting a different fire safety assessment saying the gardens would be fine for fire ladders?

If so, we could involve local MP, copy in to Sir Peter Bottomley so the issue is taken seriously, and make a case that Peverel is being free with other people’s money – again.

The best course is – naturally – to exercise right to manage, appoint a manager of the residents’ choice and then manage the place in your interests and not in the interests of Peverel, or for them to spend your money to cover their backs over regulations that are almost certainly arguable.

I am afraid there is no incentive on Peverel’s part to be careful with your money and, as we know from their admission of running a price-fixing cartel with Cirrus, there can be incentives to spending it.

Some of the LKP accredited managing agents would sort a right to manage painlessly www.leaseholdknowledge.com.


  1. Michael Epstein says

    So you have been told that a Fire Officer has said you need a concrete path as your garden slopes.
    I would not want to spend £10,000- £11,000 based on being “Told what a Fire Officer said”
    In the first instance i would insist on a written report from the Fire Officer. I would further insist that the Fire Officer is fully accredited and i would insist on a further independent report to verify the conclusions.
    As i understand the Fire Brigade are very well trained in erecting ladders on slopes .
    They use a system of stakes and straps to secure ladders on slopes.
    It could be argued that having a ladder on grass that slopes can be safer in case of any fall.

  2. The Fire Officer must have a name and if he has stated this, please provide who appointed him and where is the development. I am now retired but this is not what a H&S Officer would require?
    What new rules are being mentioned?

  3. the holy mole says