A SHELTERED housing tenant in Hereford has been banned from keeping a doormat outside his front porch due to recently introduced fire safety regulations.

Herefordshire Housing officers have written to Terry Butler, 46, of Bryngwyn Court, ordering him to remove all his belongings from communal areas and stairwells.

The letter says his chairs, hanging plant pots, clocks and doormat must go or he will be charged for the removal costs.

Mr Butler, who suffers from mental health problems, says he has been living at the property for 12 years and has never before been told to remove his possessions.

“They’ve told me I need to remove it all because of fire regulations but they are not affecting access to the property,” he said.

“I’ve had the chairs and the clocks there for five years and the lanterns for about three.

“It’s just crazy. The chairs aren’t blocking anybody’s access.

“They’ve even told me I can’t have the doormat on the outside of my flat. So that would mean wiping my shoes in doors and bringing the mess in.”

Mr Butler says he has not been given a time limit by which he needs to remove his belongings.

“I can understand there being a restriction on communal areas but my chairs and plant pots are not hurting anybody where they are,” he said.

A spokesman for Herefordshire Housing said they have recently introduced new fire safety regulations for all of their tenants.

She said: “The safety of our tenants and their visitors is our highest priority and we pride ourselves on maintaining the very highest standards of fire health and safety.

“With this in mind, we have been reminding our tenants of their responsibility to keep communal areas and stairwells clear from personal possessions.

“This maintains a clear escape route, keeps them clear of combustible materials and allows emergency services to gain access without hazards being in the way.”