Rainham tenant’s anger over H&S rules

A RESIDENT is fuming after being told to remove the plants, carpets, net curtains and pictures from the communal area of her flat after 14 years – because of health and safety rules.

Yvonne Gallagher, of Ongar Way, Rainham received a letter from Homes In Havering on Friday (October 29), saying she has 21 days to remove the items.

She said: “I just want to keep my hallway nice because I think there is nothing better than stepping into a really nice hallway.

“It would be terrible to have to come home to a horrible cement floor.”

She has also been told that if she does not remove the items within the time period then they will be removed and she will be a fined.

But Yvonne, who has lived in the flat for more than 20 years, claims she got the carpet laid 14 years ago and hung the pictures on the wall to spruce up the area.

She said: “I have always paid my bills, but I think this is just ridiculous and I think someone has got to stand up to them or else they will just keep on telling people what to do.”

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Homes In Havering, which manages, maintains and improves Havering Council’s housing stock, have also written to tenants telling them to take extra care because of the firefighters’ Bonfire Night strike tonight (Friday) until 9am on Sunday.

Yvonne denies the items are a health and safety hazard.

She said: “The last thing I want to do is to endanger anyone’s lives and if I thought that is what I was doing then I would take them down, but the fact is that I don’t think I am causing any harm by putting up some plants and hanging a couple of pictures.”

A Homes In Havering spokesman said: “As a responsible organisation we regularly review the safety of more than 12,000 properties we manage on behalf of the London Borough of Havering.

“Earlier this year we carried out a safety survey of our properties and the survey found that safety and access for both residents and the emergency services within accommodation could be further improved by removing residents’ personal items from landings and other communal areas.

“Following the survey we have written to residents giving them seven days notice to remove items including push chairs, prams, bicycles, potted plants, framed photos and shoe racks from communal areas which could be a potential fire and safety risk in the event of an emergency.”

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