Jobsworth council officials confiscated a couple’s doormat from outside their home – then told them they would have to pay to get it back.

Inspectors took the doormat from the front of their flat in Holton Road, Brighton, and left a note to say that it had been confiscated.

After contacting the council, the couple claim they were told that it had been taken “because of Grenfell”.

When they tried to reclaim the doormat, worth around £7.50, Brighton and Hove City Council staff told the couple that they would need to pay £20 to get it back.

The sum was justified as covering the “the cost of making enquiries, serving this notice and looking after the property adequately”.

The man, who The Argus is not naming, said: “It doesn’t make sense, £20 is more than the cost of the mat itself.

The Argus: The redacted letter sent to the coupleThe redacted letter sent to the couple (Image: Public)

“I wasn’t going to pay to get it back. If we had been told about it we would have put it indoors.

“After the Grenfell flats fire they said fire regulations could be very strict, but we rent privately and we never received a letter before saying it was a problem."


The notice served to the couple also said that if they did not collect the doormat within a month, it would either be sold or destroyed.

After The Argus contacted the council, the couple were told the mat would be returned to them free of charge.

The Argus: Horton Road in BrightonHorton Road in Brighton (Image: Google Street View)

A council spokesman said: “We have zero tolerance of items left within the communal areas of our purpose-built blocks of flats.

“This is in line with national fire safety regulations.

“One of our staff did knock on the man’s door to give them the opportunity to take the mat in, but unfortunately the tenants were out at work at the time.

“Our staff member was obliged to remove the mat in line with fire safety regulations.

“One of our housing managers has now spoken to the man, apologised and explained why the mat had been removed.

“We are returning the mat free of charge tomorrow morning.”