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Communal Keys - Earn £50

Partners needs access to communal areas for various reasons such as electrical safety tests, communal area risk assessments and fire safety checks. Gaining access to the communal areas for these important inspections is vital for everyone’s safety.

We consulted residents at Partners Open Residents Forum about a range of options for improving access. It was suggested that first we ask residents whether they have a spare communal front door key which we can have. Any keys we are able to collect will save time and money, and mean that inspections can easily be carried out when they are due.

We will give you a £50 ‘Love to shop voucher’ for a working copy of your communal front door key.

We will keep your key in a secure key cupboard at Partners office. Keys are strictly controlled with a signing in and out process.

Make an appointment with us to deliver your £50 voucher and collect your spare communal front door key on [email protected] or 0800 587 3595. Please note that we only need one key per building, so we may not need your spare key if your neighbour has already contacted us.

Frequently Asked Questions: Communal Area Key Requests

1. How will the keys be stored / indexed?

  • Communal door keys will be stored securely in a locked key safe at Partners office.  
  • All keys will be recorded on a spreadsheet and tagged with a property code relating to the relevant address. Actual addresses will not be held with the keys.
  • Partners Asset Management Team will have sole access to the key safe and access passwords will be maintained within this team.
  • An inventory of keys will be carried out every 6 months by the Asset Management Team.

2. How will they be used, in what circumstances, and who will use them?

Keys will be held in a locked key cabinet located in Partners office.  Access to all the keys will be strictly controlled and the digital code for the cabinet lock is known by only four members of staff.

Keys will be needed for some or all the following reasons: 

  • Electrical safety tests
  • Asbestos checks
  • Communal repairs. Most repairs are reported by residents and we will liaise with them for access.  However, Partners staff may identify some repairs and we will need the key to complete these.
  • Housing Officer inspections when required to arrange the removal of any possessions stored in the internal communal areas
  • Regular health and safety inspections to ensure that the internal communal areas are clear and safe.  These will be carried out by our Property Inspector.
  • There will also a number of improvement and maintenance programmes which will be delivered in the future.  Islington Council will be installing a fire detection system and emergency lighting in the internal communal areas within the next two years.  They will also hold a copy of the communal door key but will notify residents when they intend to carry out the works 

3. Why is access not enough, why do Partners need to hold copies of keys?

All the advice received from health and safety and fire safety experts states that Partners must hold a copy of the communal door key in order to fulfil the statutory health and safety obligations particularly in relation to the management of fire safety in the internal communal areas.  As the duty holder, Partners must have control of the internal communal areas in order to manage health and safety risks effectively and it is not sufficient to rely on residents to provide access.   

4. Will Partners announce their intention to visit? How will residents know when Partners are coming? 

Due to the nature of some of the inspections it is not always appropriate for visits to be announced. If residents knew we were visiting, they could remove items from the communal areas and return them after the inspection.

Repairs are normally booked by residents who would then provide access.

Partners staff should always identify themselves and carry an ID badge. If a resident has any concerns about a member of staff they should contact Partners on 0800 587 3595

5. Will Partners tell residents when they’ve carried out an inspection?

Currently we don’t have a process in place for notifying residents that we have carried out a communal area risk assessment.

Increasingly assessments will take place without residents needing to provide access.

Partners will consider the best way of sharing this information with residents will share any decisions made via Partners Gazette. If residents have any thoughts on how this could be done please contact us on [email protected] or 0800 587 3595. 

6. What happens if Partners lose a key? 

Keys are held securely with a controlled signing in and out process. 

Key fobs do not include the address of the property they belong to, so should one be lost it wouldn’t present a security risk.

If residents are concerned about security we can provide advice on how to improve the security of the front door to their homes such as fitting additional locks, bolts, hinge bolds or a London bar. The MET police also have good security advice on their website: www.met.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/control-access-doors

In the unlikely event that a key is lost we will inform residents and would consider changing the locks.  

7. Is it a legal requirement to provide keys? 

It is not a legal requirement for us to securely hold a copy of a communal key.

Residents’ safety is important to us and it is essential for us to hold a copy of your key so that we can complete our health and safety inspections when they are due, rather than being reliant on residents providing access. We have processes and measures in place to ensure that keys are held securely, and their use is tightly controlled.