Heatwave woe for families as housing association tells tenants that garden seating is a fire risk… and even paddling pools and parasols now need special permission
- The rules forbid wooden sheds, screens, basketball nets and much more
- The Apna Ghar housing association said the furniture poses a ‘fire risk’
- The restrictions are applied to residents of properties equipped for the disabled
- Residents are worried the ban will make coping with the heat even harder
In the blazing heat of this summer, a dip in a garden paddling pool followed by a rest on a deck chair would seem harmless.
But a housing association has told tenants garden seating is a fire risk – and said even paddling pools and parasols require special permission.
And in a move which effectively makes many backyards unusable, the rules expressly forbid not only wooden sheds and screens, but also basketball nets and AstroTurf.
The restrictions are being applied by the Apna Ghar housing association to residents of properties equipped for the disabled, and will make coping with heat even harder.
An agent sent to visit householders wanted to take photographs of a paddling pool one family had in their back garden for their disabled son, as well as a parasol – and claimed they would need permission, as they could be flammable.
The Apna Ghar housing association has forbidden wooden sheds, screens and basketball nets due to fire risk. Paddling pools (pictured is a stock image) require special permission
Among those affected is the family of NHS manager Brian Leveson, 54, who lives with his civil servant wife Suzanne in a three-bed maisonette with Zack, 17, and daughter Dottie, 18, in Tottenham, north London.
Mr Leveson said: ‘An agent from the housing association last week told us that our garden parasol was flammable – and said he needed a picture of our paddling pool to check if that’s allowed.
‘Our house was getting to temperatures of above 30C, and our son has heat-related seizures. I got heat stroke as well and had to get in the bath to cool down. That’s why we bought the paddling pool.
‘But they’re telling us we can’t take simple measures in the garden without their approval. Even our two fabric deck chairs aren’t allowed either.’
Mr Leveson added: ‘Our son Zack has brain damage and is particularly at risk of seizures in the heat.
‘Apna Ghar housing association is specifically for people with disabilities, but now they’re sending threatening letters.
‘These garden rules, supposedly for fire safety, are putting lives at risk.
‘But if they think a paddling pool full of water could be flammable, does that mean my wife’s knickers on the washing line are flammable?’
The housing association letter reads: ‘It is your responsibility to have your back garden clear of all items which may cause fire safety risks.
‘This includes storage units, sheds, AstroTurf, basketball nets, BBQ units, bamboo screens, flammable garden seating and furniture etc.’
Apna Ghar manages 300 properties adapted for the disabled. It did not respond to a request for comment.