Safety ban on using balconies to air out washing

Should tenants in an apartment building be allowed to use their balconies for hanging out washing, storing large plants or bicycles?

Residents at one such apartment block were surprised to learn they were not when a letter dropped through the door advising that balconies should not be used for such activities.

The reason? Health and safety.

An enquirer, who had recently moved into the rented accommodation with large half enclosed balconies, wasn’t satisfied with this response.

They took the issue to The Health and Safety Executive’s myth busting panel which, after deliberation, also batted back such assertions.

HSE panel decision

The HSE’s panel concluded:

  • It is reasonable to assume that if a property has a balcony it is there to be used
  • It is difficult to understand why a ban on certain uses of the balconies came into fruition
  • The action amounted to a misuse of “health and safety” as an excuse for banning the use of balconies for activities which would detract from the overall appearance of the property

The HSE panel is now urging that the tenants receive a proper explanation.

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