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A GRANDMOTHER who took it on herself to carpet her communal hallway is fuming after being told she has to rip it up for fire safety reasons.

Tired of waiting for Affinity Sutton to improve the conditions outside her home in Longbury Drive, Orpington, Helen Phillips decided to shell out £250 and do it herself.

But last week she claims the housing association turned up to say the new flooring needed to be removed as it was a fire hazard.

Mrs Phillips, 71, said: "Since 2002 I've been asking for something to be done to refurbish the hall. I tried and tried but all the time I got things said to me like it was the next thing on their agenda.

"The paint on the floor was flaking off, we would walk it into our homes. It was just awful, and as years went on it just got worse and worse.

"To open the door and look at that was unacceptable. In the end it really got me down so much I thought I can't live like this."

The retired legal PA says she ensured the carpet was fireproofed and that she had a certificate to say so.

Mrs Phillips also claims she was told the table top plants she put in the hallway would have to be taken away as they were "trip hazards".

She said: "I did not do all this for someone to just barge in and say 'get rid of it'.

"I am sick to death of making good Affinity Sutton's housing stock."

Head of Housing London for Affinity Sutton Sarah Paton said: "We recognise people take a pride in their communal areas and want to make them more homely. 

"However fire safety in blocks of flats is something that must be taken extremely seriously especially as the main communal area is often the only one escape route.

"That's why our aim is to keep communal areas completely clear. "