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Borough obtains injunction to assess property for potential fire hazards

A council has served an injunction to gain access to a property to examine it for potential fire hazards.

The London Borough of Croydon said it thought this was the first action of its kind by a local authority, and that it acted to protect neighbours.

A leaseholder in Selhurst had denied council officers access to her flat to change the uPVC door.

Croydon was concerned that this highly combustible material could not contain a fire that could also prevent others using the escape route.

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The council remained responsible for fire precaution works as freeholder, and for ensuring blocks of flats could be safely evacuated.

Croydon County Court granted an order to give to carry out the necessary work.

This judgment would serve as a  precedent to enable the council to act against any similar non-compliance by leaseholders, the council claimed.

Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: “Whereas we always do our best to work with leaseholders, it is vital they give us access to carry out work that we are required to do by law.

“Taking this matter to court was always going to be a last resort, but unfortunately we were left with no choice.

“We believe this is the first case of its kind, and a vitally important one at that.”

Mark Smulian

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