Common general problems:-
Manoeuvring bikes up steps and through narrow spaces of a small house can be awkward, and therefore demanding on muscles.
Pedals and handlebars can knock into and damage walls etc.
Grime and dirt from bikes can spoil floors and walls.
If not put put away appropriately, they can block halls, corridors, doorways, and other thoroughfares (see section below on fire safety regulations).
Health and safety:
According to Bristol City Council, many landlords do not allow bikes due to the fire safety risk. Landlords may use health and safety as an excuse for not allowing bicycles in their property. They may quote The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 1. . .which says:
“Your landlord must keep the property you live in safe and free from health hazards.”
“follow fire safety regulations – e.g. by checking you have access to escape routes at all times”
“Tenants must „take good care of the property . . .“repair or pay for any damage caused by you, your family or friends”.
Regulations state there must be at least 3 feet of width for people to pass by a bicycle or other obstacle. This is important in connection with fire safety, as less than 3 feet might impede someone’s escape route.
If you don’t fulfil your responsibilities, your landlord has the right to take legal action to evict you.
The above extracts show that you need to take care when parking your bike in shared spaces, and make sure they fit in with a safe environment for all people living in, or visiting, the property.
There are lots of different solutions to cycle parking issues, which will depend on the space available, the number of bikes that need storing and the available budget. If you are renting accommodation, you will need to persuade your landlord that cycle storage is a good idea.
So your tenants want secure cycle parking? You’re not so sure?
Many landlords cite health and safety as reasons not to install cycle parking, but is this really a good reason or just an excuse? There are a number of benefits that will give landlords a real advantage if they provide tenants with decent cycle parking, not to mention wider social and environmental benefits.
Four really good reasons to consider providing cycling parking for tenants (in Bristol):
1. Get ahead of the competition: making your property bike-friendly puts you ahead of other landlords.
2. Keep your tenants longer. Tenants may stay longer because there are few properties which cater for cyclists.
3. Let ‘out of the way’ properties easily: Cyclists will consider renting further away, as they are not dependent on public transport and don’t need distances to be walkable.
4. Residents Parking Zones (RPZs) are coming: Implementation of RPZ’s in more areas of Bristol means tenants on low incomes will be even keener to cycle. Properties which are not bike-friendly are likely to become harder to let.
There are lots of different ways of providing secure cycle parking for your tenants and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
This report has been provided to LandlordZONE by Life Cycle UK based at The CREATE Centre, Smeaton Road, BRISTOL, BS1 6XN. Please contact by Phone: 0117 353 4580 www.lifecycleuk.org.uk
You can download the full PDF that accompanies this article here.