ELDERLY residents say their landlord’s decision to take away all decor from communal areas is “so unbelievably ridiculous” that it is “almost laughable”.

Ravensbourne Court tennants in Warren Way, Woodingdean, received a letter demanding all paintings and pictures on display in corridors and communal areas must be taken down by January 27.

The order from Moat Housing, which owns the building, has shocked the residents, most of whom are aged between 80 and 90 years old.

Michael Mallerman, 81, said: “This is not a bloody prison.

“Their demand is so unbelievably ridiculous, it’s almost laughable. It is such a waste of theirs and our time.

“Their excuse is health and safety and that the pictures are inappropriate.

“Well, the last time I checked, these pictures didn’t blow up in flames by themselves. And I have nudes in my bedroom, but none in the communal areas, it’s just landscapes and animals so they are all perfectly appropriate”

Dr Alan Bennet, 60, said Moat Housing has been very “vague” about why they want to remove the decor.

He said: “There has been no explanation as to why they want to remove our belongings.

“It was also a very aggressive letter which I thought was completely unnecessary.

“It begins with “under section 12” which I thought was a bit harsh and threatening.

“I have had some very elderly people come to my door terrified and confused about what it all means.”

The letter says if the residents do not remove their items by the said date then they “intend to sell or dispose of all or any items left on the premises.”

Resident Hazel Allum, 64, said: “It’s important to have pictures on the walls because it helps some of the very elderly people remember what floor they are on. Some of the residents here do get a bit confused.”

A spokesman for Moat said: “We take the health and safety of our customers very seriously and regularly review the fire safety of our buildings. Following an inspection, we requested the removal of combustible and excessive private items from hallways and communal areas.

“The estate manager at Ravensbourne Court is working closely with residents to ensure that communal areas are compliant with fire regulations and we regret any upset caused.”