Leeds: Fury as doormats branded health and safety hazards

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Furious flat tenants have been told to ditch their doormats because they are a health and safety hazard.

Residents living in high-rise flats have received letters from Leeds East North East Homes – Leeds City Council’s arm’s length housing management organisation – stating that doormats should be removed from outside their flats because they are potential fire risks.

Tenants at Brecon Court, in Gipton, have branded the decision as “downright ridiculous”.

The news comes after the YEP revealed last year that housing bosses from West North West Homes were forced to perform a u-turn on banning doormats in communal areas in flats across the west of the city.

Tenant Michael Dean said that 90 per cent of residents living in Brecon Court were pensioners who like to have door mats outside their properties.

He said: “They have said that the doormats were a health and safety risk.

“Residents are very house proud and always like to have a doormat.”

He claims residents who decide not to remove their mats will be issued with a legal letter from Leeds City Council.

Michael, who has contacted his local councillors and MP, added: “Everyone is up in arms about it. I think it is just stupid.

“I’ve written a leaflet and sent them to tenants in the flats.

“It’s virtually saying that this is health and safety gone mad.”

The YEP revealed last year residents in flats across west Leeds were handed letters banning them from having doormats and plant pots in communal areas but housing chiefs were forced to make a u-turn.

A spokesperson on behalf of East North East Homes Leeds added:“The safety of our residents is our primary concern.

“Fire safety assessments have been taking place for some time. Rather than having a blanket policy of removing all items, we’re discussing with residents where and how relevant items can be moved so they no longer pose a potential obstruction in case of an emergency.

“This approach means that items no longer cause a hazard and surroundings still look appealing. West Yorkshire Fire Service have been closely involved in the development of our approach.”

The spokesperson added: “Unfortunately, in a very small number of cases where items could impede evacuation in case of a fire, residents have not discussed this with us or have refused to move the items.

“In these cases we have the legal powers to remove the items to ensure the safety of all our tenants.”

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