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Prohibiting the use of a Hazardous Staircase

18th March 2019 RIAMS

The latest digest in the Housing Professionals community focuses on a Prohibition Order made in relation to a staircase in the property. After an inspection in September 2018, Nottingham City Council found the category 1 hazard of falling on stairs.

The property, a maisonette, was located on the first and second floors above a flat and the prohibited stairs were the stairs leading to the second storey, which had been converted from loft space into two rooms with a landing.

Nottingham City Council deemed that the staircase satisfied the requirements for a category 1 hazard and listed a number of deficiencies that required remedy. The original Prohibition Order stated that the staircase was prohibited from use until the remedial work had been completed.

The Order was appealed by the landlord appellant. It was argued on his behalf that when built, the stairs would have passed Building Regulations and they didn’t represent a risk. Most deficiencies had been remedied at the time of the hearing. Additionally, it was argued that there were hundreds if not thousands of properties like this in Nottingham and the Council should inspect them all if a Prohibition Order was to be imposed in this case. The appellant said a varied Prohibition Order, preventing occupation by children and the elderly, would be acceptable.

Nottingham would not seek to impose a Prohibition Order prohibiting occupation by the elderly and children. They also clarified that the intention was to prevent everyday use of the staircase, so while the rooms on the second floor could not be used as living space, they could be used for storage.

The appeal was dismissed. In confirming the Prohibition Order, the wording was amended to remove ambiguity.

To read the full digest, click here.

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