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To put a note in our communal entrance?

(49 Posts)
JammyGem Sun 04-Jun-17 13:55:02

We live in a house that's been converted into 6 flats. All the smoke alarms are connected, so if one goes off they all do.

The smoke alarm goes off every single day, usually about 4 or 5 times in a row... sometimes it's during the day, (not so much a problem), but sometimes its 1am in the morning...

Another neighbour asked us about the smoke alarms and whether they were connected as they weren't sure if theirs was dodgy as it kept going off when no one was on the kitchen. We've been here the longest and the other flats tend to be here for only 6 months/a year at a time, so I'm thinking the culprit may not realise they're all connected.

It's doing my head in having it go off every day. I can't tell which flat it is, o my that's it's one of the flats above us (which doesn't really narrow it down).

WIBU to just put a little note in our communal hallway saying something along the lines of: The smoke alarms in this building are all connected and so when one is set off they all go off. Accidents happen but please can we take more care so as not to disturb everyone? Thank you.

Or is that just passive-aggressive? I just want it to stop and I don't know who the culprits are!

Roystonv Sun 04-Jun-17 13:57:42

Is there a management company/agent/freeholder? You could ask them to advise all occupants.

FathomsDeepAndFallingFurther Sun 04-Jun-17 14:01:02

I would.

If that doesn't make a difference, ask the managing agents to write to everyone.

VimFuego101 Sun 04-Jun-17 14:01:23

I agree, I'd go via the management company rather than putting my own note up.

JammyGem Sun 04-Jun-17 14:02:40

Some of the flats are rented, but by different landlords (No agent or company) and 1 is owned, although we think it's empty... There isn't really one person or company we could go to that could contact everyone.

JammyGem Sun 04-Jun-17 14:05:24

I suppose I could go round and knock on each flat but that seems even worse than a note in my mind!

EeekWhat Sun 04-Jun-17 14:06:52

That note sounds polite and fine. It's not passive aggressive but maybe a little teeny bit pompous.

FathomsDeepAndFallingFurther Sun 04-Jun-17 14:07:08

Post a note through each door?

JammyGem Sun 04-Jun-17 14:09:43

Eekwhat It was either pompous or "WTF are you doing that sets off the smoke alarm multiple times every single fucking day? Get yourself some cookery lessons and leave the rest of us in peace!" grin

Roystonv Sun 04-Jun-17 14:13:21

Me again, if no one in charge who organises communal repairs, checking of fire system etc? Just worth thinking about for the future. Think note fine by the way.

Snap8TheCat Sun 04-Jun-17 14:16:24

Are you not all evacuating then? confused

OriginalArchitect Sun 04-Jun-17 14:21:23

Do you pay a service charge? Ground rent? Someone has responsibility for maintaining communal fire alam equipment - which is what you have given they are all linked. Have you thought maybe it isnt someone setting it off but a fault in the system? They may have different letting agents but I'm fairly sure there will be something in the lease that refers to the freeholder, especially as its a converted house.

EeekWhat Sun 04-Jun-17 14:21:25

I kind of like the WTF message 😂

JammyGem Sun 04-Jun-17 14:25:14

RoystonV To be honest with you, no one does. Our LL is really shitty, and other than the smoke detectors there isn't any fire system. No communal repairs either, we just get on with it ourselves- if we see something needs fixing we can ask the LLs but nothing gets done so inevitable someone gets fed up and does it themselves... It's really shit, hence why no one stays for more than a year, and we're moving out as well soon.

I did evacuate the first couple of times but seeing as the smoke alarm stopped beeping pretty quickly, I now wait to see if it'll stop before getting my shoes on - it always stops within 10 seconds, but usually goes off a few times again.

JammyGem Sun 04-Jun-17 14:27:48

It really is a shit building, DH lived here on his own before I moved in and at the moment we don't even have a proper contract as the LL hasn't redone one from July last year. No ground rent or fees, just the usual rent. He's a complete crook, but the rent was cheap and we've only recently been in a position to move out.

bluebeck Sun 04-Jun-17 14:29:45

I wonder if it's the empty flat and it's dust that's setting it off? Happened to a friend of mine......

mummymeister Sun 04-Jun-17 14:35:01

some smoke alarms are so sensitive that even fly spray or hairspray sets them off.

however for me the real issue is that they go off so often that no one takes them seriously and one day if there is a real fire then lives could be lost.

I would certainly put the note up but also speak to your local fire safety officer. I am not sure why the alarms would all be linked. communal ones yes but not from individual dwellings unless there are special circumstances.

Ceto Sun 04-Jun-17 14:38:01

There must be a head freeholder - you could find out through the Land Registry. I would suggest to them redoing the smoke alarm system so it isn't triggered throughout the building if one idiot burns the toast.

GardenGeek Sun 04-Jun-17 14:41:27

We had this in our flat its excruciating.

We only had two flats so we could both team up every time it happened and we quickly realised it was faulty.

You need to ring the people who supply the system and ask their help desk as I found the actual electricians didn't have a clue.

It was unfixable so we had have it turned off and have temporary ones for the last 4 months before moving out.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 04-Jun-17 14:45:13

You do have a proper contract. Your fixed term lapsed and automatically restarted as a periodic/ month to month contract. I wouldn't want another fixed term one in your shoes. You just need to give a months notice. And I'd get asap this rounds like a nightmare.

JammyGem Sun 04-Jun-17 14:52:18

We would usually have a new contract drawn up yearly, but we haven't this time. That's what I meant by proper contract.

It may well be the empty flat, but seeing as you have to press the button to make it stop I'm more inclined to think it's one of the occupied ones. I've put up a polite note saying "The smoke alarms in this building are connected. Accidents happen, but can we please take care so as not to disturb everyone? Thank you."

That ok?

Judydreamsofhorses Sun 04-Jun-17 14:53:39

I owned a flat in a building which had a similar setup in terms of rented/owner-occupier properties - I'm in Scotland so no leaseholder/managing agent. We didn't have your problem with the smoke alarms, but there were a lot of communal repairs, mainly hugely expensive ones to the roof, and it was a nightmare. Letters through doors was the route we went down, and eventually there was a sort of email mailing list that developed. I was so glad to sell up and move out, but often wonder how the woman who bought my flat is getting on.

pigsDOfly Sun 04-Jun-17 14:54:26

Sounds like the smoke alarms are the least of your worries OP. Did you're DH pay a deposit when he moved in? If he did, is he going to be able to get it back from this, clearly dodgy, LL?

Someone must own the building and under normal circumstances all the people in the flats would be paying services charges to them, for which they have a responsibility to maintain the common parts.

All sounds seriously odd.

pigsDOfly Sun 04-Jun-17 14:55:06

Meant to say. A note through each door sounds like a good idea.

innagazing Sun 04-Jun-17 14:57:17

It's common to have a shared fire alarm in flats. Your landlord will know who 'manages' the building on behalf of the freeholder. He will either have a share of the freehold, or there will be a separate freeholder. Either way, it is their responsibility to maintain the communal aspects of the building including the fire alarm system. Ask your landlord to organise getting it serviced. If he doesn't, doesn't speak to you local fire brigade as they will be very interested in alarms that aren't maintained.

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