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problems with access

SID_BTNSID_BTN Posts: 2Member
edited September 2016 in Housing and independent living
This discussion was created from comments split from: access.
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  • SID_BTNSID_BTN Posts: 2Member
    Hi Debbie
    I am having similar concerns and problems with the Managing Agent (Estates Company) in charge of the management and caretaker of the building of flats , i have just moved in, in Rottingdean, Brighton.

    The Building is rather old, built in 1938 (I am told). I am not allowed to use a common part charging point or park the my Scooter in the hallway or Hall Entrance despite their really good large sizes. 
    I have been forced to leave my scooter outside, at the back of the building , obviously (unsafe) and unprotected from humidity or rain (if and when it rains). I was told I could not charge my scooter indoor s and advised to get a lead cable extension to charge it from my flat. I live on the 3rd floor  (...???).

    I tried to reason with them, explaining that I rely on my scooter for my mobility and for my independence, and that I would appreciate if alternatives are made, so I can store my scooter indoor (there are different areas with plenty of space available and not in use) , I received no response.

    So I decided to go for their advice and bought a 15 ms, electrical cable & plug extension and started charging it whenever needed, with the Electric Cable, hanging on, and  from my third floor flat. (...). since I was left with no choice. Either that or I was to be immobilised in my flat. 

    I finally got their attention , and had a visit to talk about the issue. I was offered to store the scooter, not in one of these indoor and safe areas ( I was hoping for...) but on the side of the building , underneath the Exit and Safety Stairs, where the scooter will be still quite in damp and exposed. 

    They are also suggesting that I set up an electrical cable supply , direct from my Kitchen (which overlooks the Exit Stairs), all the way down, where I would be allowed to set up a charging point there ., for my scooter (direct from my flat of course...) , but at a cost to me of around £400 , for these cable and charging point to be done by a professional electrician , recommended and approved by them (Building Management Agent).

    I promised I will look into it , and seek advice on the issue. I have been searching for assistance and advice on the matter on internet, and got to see your info and advice on this website. Could you please advice.....

    The scooter is no longer working. It is completely damaged because too exposed to the damp and humidity outside these past 4/5 weeks. These caused the electrics and fuses to cause serious burns and damage to the motor (electric....of course). I have to replace the burned motor (over £200 ...It may cost me , i am told...since the insurance did not accept the fact that I left it outdoors...) and/or get a new scooter.....(!!!)  

    Regards

    Sid
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Posts: 947Member Pioneering
    Hello Sid,

    Thanks for your question. I'm really sorry for the delay in replying to your post and I'm sorry to hear that your mobility scooter is no longer working due to the damp and humidity from storing it outside.

    This is a very difficult situation to advise on and I'm afraid that there really is no way that you will be able to store and charge your scooter in the communal areas of the building. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states very clearly that escape routes must be kept clear. Mobility Scooters are a fire hazard because 1. They can cause an obstruction and block a fire escape route. 2. The scooter and battery can be highly flammable particularly when charging.

    Do you rent the flat you live in or do you own it?

    If you're renting the property and your tenancy agreement states that you cannot store anything in the common parts of the buildings and it probably does, there's not much you can do about it. You will be in breach of your tenancy agreement if you go against the landlord and could be served with a notice seeking possession.

    If you own the property, there probably isn't going to be much difference either. You may own your flat but the lease will be owned by the freeholder and they can say what is and isn't allowed. The Fire regulations will override everything so I don't expect that there will be any legal way in which you can resolve this or force the management company into backing down. It seems from your post that they have tried to provide some solutions but they're not obligated to allow any of the suggestions they advised you about and they could withdraw their offer of allowing you store the scooter under the outside stairs.

    Is there a way in which you could waterproof this storage area or could you purchase a rain cover for the scooter to try and protect it from the elements? Would they allow you to erect a shed or some other kind of storage facility in the outside area? Are there some garages or lock ups in the area which you could rent? 

    I know that this doesn't help with your current situation and that you're now faced with the financial burden of repairing or replacing your mobility scooter. They don't come cheap and if your insurance is not going to cover the cost you'll need to look at ways of financing the repair or replacement of the scooter.

    Applying to charity for a grant could be the way forward and there is a grants database on the www.turn2us.org.uk website. You can search through the database to find the funding you need and you may need to apply to more than one charity to find the full amount you need.

    I'm really sorry that I can't give you a more positive answer but health and safety is always going to be priority and the management company/freeholder/landlord has a legal duty to ensure the safety of all residents in the building.

    Some years ago I witnessed first hand a mobility scooter going up in flames, it was very quick, the smoke was thick and toxic. Luckily no-one was hurt but it could have been so different.

    Good luck and best wishes

    Debbie
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