May 28, 2022

Housing association threatens elderly residents with £120 fine for hanging Christmas wreaths

December 23, 2021, 05:47 | Updated: January 4, 2022, 12:28

Elderly residents face a £120 fine for hanging Christmas wreaths on their doors.

Photo: Aliyah


Elderly residents have denounced a housing association for ‘acting like the Gestapo’ after they were forced to remove Christmas decorations from their properties.

Residents of Joseph Conrad House in Canterbury have been threatened with £120 fines for putting up Christmas wreaths on their doors because bosses say they pose a fire risk.

Hyde Housing asked all residents to clear window sills, remove Christmas trees from hallways and remove festive wreaths in a “heavy” letter.

But the move was heavily criticized by the local MP and residents who were ‘upset’ at the lack of ‘Christmas goodwill’ from Hyde Housing.

Defending the decision, Hyde’s resident services manager said the door wreaths are ‘highly combustible’ and ‘pose a risk to everyone’s safety’.

David Hunter said: “The safety of our residents and our buildings is our top priority. We are sorry that we do not allow our residents of Joseph Conrad House to put up Christmas decorations in the common areas.

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“This is a continuation of our rules regarding the storage of items in common areas that could pose a fire hazard or a risk to anyone trying to evacuate the building in the event of a fire.

“We know many residents were eager to make things festive after a difficult year, but we need to make sure everyone is safe and following the latest fire safety regulations.” Unfortunately, that includes wreaths. door, as some may be highly combustible. .

“While we cannot allow Christmas decorations in most common areas, we are still placing decorations in designated safe areas, including the living room of the Joseph Conrad House.

“The £120 was an estimated amount it would cost if we were to remove any of the items which pose a risk to everyone’s safety. We have written to residents asking them to remove the items themselves and to thus avoiding costs.

Rosie Duffield, Labor MP for Canterbury, also sided with locals, taking to Twitter to say: ‘It seems completely ‘bah humbug’ Hyde Housing!

“I had a wreath on my front door in an apartment building for a few Christmases and I assure you it was never spontaneously burned. Please allow residents to celebrate Christmas in these dark times.”

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While residents are banned from decorating common areas of Joseph Conrad House, Hyde’s housing manager said decorations have been placed in “designated safe areas”, including the living room.

Audrey Williamson, Housing Manager for Hyde, added: “We are sorry but we cannot allow our residents of Joseph Conrad House to put up Christmas decorations in the communal areas of their building, due to safety regulations. fire.

“We know many residents were eager to make things festive after a tough year, but we need to make sure everyone is safe and following the latest fire safety regulations.

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“Unfortunately this includes door wreaths as some can be highly combustible.

“While we cannot allow Christmas decorations in most common areas, we are still placing decorations in designated safe areas, including the living room of the Joseph Conrad House.

“The £120 was an estimated amount if Hyde were required to remove any of the items that posed a risk to everyone’s safety.”