We know many of you will be worried and as your landlord we want to help as best we can in these difficult times. We need to keep both you and our staff safe, so we are changing our approach to respond to Government guidance.
Our council offices are now closed to all visitors. Our team is very busy but if your enquiry is urgent you can phone 01530 454545 or email us at email@example.com
You may find that you’re able to deal with your enquiry online. Log into or register for a My Account here. Here you can request, report, apply and pay for services online!
Repairs and Home Improvements
For the safety of our tenants and our staff during the National Lockdown which commenced on Monday 4 January 2021, we have reduced the type of repairs and improvements we would normally do. This is to minimise the number of tenants we need to have direct contact with.
We are now only undertaking essential repairs to the inside of tenant’s homes where the problem puts the household or the property at risk or affects the tenant’s welfare. Any non-essential repairs that are reported will be assessed and postponed unless that repair is assessed to pose a risk, or harm the tenant’s welfare, if it wasn’t undertaken.
Due to the pressure on staff at this time we respectfully ask tenants to avoid reporting non-essential repairs.
If any member of the tenants household are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and have been advised to ‘Shield’ we will avoid undertaking any work inside their home by looking for an alternative solution including self-help telephone advice.
We will continue to undertake outside work where we do not need to enter the tenant’s home.
We will contact tenants to arrange any home improvement work that we can carry out. As soon as the situation improves we will rearrange any work that we’d promised to do that we cannot now carry out.
We understand that tenants may be anxious about allowing our tradespersons in to their home. We will respect their decision if they wish to defer any work that has been arranged at any time. Please contact us to let us know if that’s what you want to do.
Please note, we will not be able to carry out work at any property where anyone living at that address is self-isolating for any reason. If this occurs and you have a repair to report that is not putting you or the property at risk, we ask that you wait to report that repair until the end of the isolation period.
Due to the high workload for our staff at this time, we recommend reporting any essential inside work or outside work via email.
For Emergency and Urgent repairs, please telephone.
Phone: 01530 454635
Working safely in people's homes
Reducing the possible spread of coronavirus and reducing those risks, as far as we can, to our tenants and workers has been at the forefront of our thinking. Therefore, in accordance with government guidance, when undertaking repair or improvement work, our workers may ask tenants if anyone in the household has symptoms before they visit.
You will also be asked to clear and clean the area to be repaired before they arrive. Whilst at your property, the worker may ask to use the washing facilities to wash their hands during their visit, or they will use hand sanitiser. Please maintain a two-metre distance from the worker at all times. The worker will wipe down the area repaired before they leave.
This guidance is for the tenant’s safety as well as our worker’s safety.
The government guidance is that we need to continue to undertake safety checks, specifically in relation to gas and solid fuel servicing where it is safe to do so which is why you may still be contacted by our contractor, Sure Group.
We are also continuing to undertake regular fire alarm checks at our sheltered schemes although these may be undertaken on different days depending on staff availability.
You can continue to pay your rent by all the usual methods. However, we would encourage you to look at paying your rent via our online option, the automated telephone line (01530 454 730), or by setting up a paperless direct debit. This reduces the need for you to make non urgent trips from your house.
If you would like to request an arrangement for paying your rent, please fill out this form.
We know that during this time, you may be anxious about your rent if your income has changed as a result of the measures introduced. We encourage you to contact your housing officer without delay so we can help you and talk through what options there are. You can contact them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out our online form, which will be sent directly to your housing officer who can call you back.
At this time, we will not evict anybody who falls into rent difficulties as a result of COVID 19 and their income changing.
As we don’t have an in-house money advice service, there are other sources of help you can access:
The Money Advice Service offers advice and guides to help people manage their finances. They have tools and calculators to help keep track and plan ahead and also offer support over the phone and online.
Step Change offers a free debt advice and counselling service.
Citizens Advice offers free, confidential information and advice to help people with money, legal, consumer and other problems.
The National Debt Line offers a useful online tool.
If you would like to look at what benefits you may be entitled to, you can go here.
Choice Based Lettings Update
We are only advertising social housing through our Choice Based Lettings Scheme on a limited basis. If any properties do become available and cannot be matched to someone in urgent need then they will be advertised on a Thursday as per normal.
We advise that people seeking housing check the website regularly to see if properties have become available. Please note that it may take longer than normal for bids to be processed and an offer to be made. Property viewings and tenancy start dates are also affected by the current situation.
New applications to join the Council’s Choice Based Lettings Scheme are still being taken although it is taking longer than 10 working days to process applications and review supporting evidence.
Housing Advice and Homelessness
Housing advice is being undertaken by phone only. If you have nowhere safe to stay or are worried that you may be at risk of becoming homeless you can speak to us by calling freephone 0800 9520079 during working hours. You can also email email@example.com and we will call you back.
Please also see our webpages for useful information that may help with your housing situation.
Please note that we are not able to issue food bank vouchers at this time but you can contact local food banks direct to ask for support.
For out of hours emergencies only please call 01530 454789
Supported and Sheltered Properties
We have taken the decision to stop our support officers from visiting. If you used to receive a visit, you will now be contacted by telephone instead. Our 24/7 control centre is still operating so if you have a genuine emergency, you can still press your pendant or pull the cord.
We are still able to provide a lifeline unit or other assistive technology which will link through to our control centre. This may be particularly helpful if you are vulnerable and are concerned about how to call for help in an emergency. To find out more, contact Safe and Well at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01530 454817.
Grounds maintenance has not been identified as a critical service and some of our parks team are helping to keep waste services going during this time, therefore the grass will not be cut in communal areas or at individual gardens that are on the programme.
We are reviewing government guidance regularly which may result in changes, so keep an eye on this page and our Facebook and Twitter Pages for the most up to date information. Please like and follow:
Last updated: Fri 8 January, 2021 @ 12:06