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Last edited 21 Feb 2018
The term ‘common area’ refers to areas and amenities which are provided for the common use of more than one person. Where there is a tenancy in common, such as a in a residential building complex, the common areas can be used by all tenants, with no one individual possessing more control over, or right to them than another.
This is different from common land which, in English law, refers to registered land on which individuals have ‘rights in common’.
Examples of common areas include:
- Car parks and access ramps.
- Lobbies and reception areas.
- Fire escapes.
- Gutters and downpipes.
- Gardens, yards etc.
- Entrances and paths leading to entrances.
- Amenities such as kitchens, fitness facilities, store rooms, laundry rooms, etc.
- Recreational areas.
In a residential building, tenants are typically jointly responsible for the up-keep and maintenance of common areas. However, building owners may employ a building or facilities manager to maintain them. Depending on the level of up-keep, it can be advisable for tenants to arrange meetings at certain times throughout the year to discuss the maintenance of the common areas.
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