Important update on our services 29 June 2020 The latest on our services during the COVID-19 outbreak

As part of our continued communications to you during the Coronavirus outbreak, we have some important updates on our services:

Repairs

As you will be aware, during the Coronavirus outbreak, we have been working hard to deliver an Emergency Repairs Plus service to our customers.

Whilst we are not yet able to resume a full repairs service, from Monday 13th July, we are mobilising our workforce to work through the outstanding repairs, which have been reported to us during lockdown, but that did not qualify as Emergency Plus repairs.

We received over 3,000 of these calls and, as you can imagine, it will take us several weeks to work our way through.

While we catch up on these repairs, we will continue to operate our Emergency Repairs Plus service.

So, if you reported a repair to us that didn’t qualify for our Emergency Repairs Plus Service, there is no need to contact us again, as you will receive a call from us to confirm an appointment, as soon as possible after the 13th July. This will help us return to normal services as quickly as possible.

We really appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to bring our services back to normal.

Lettings

We are delighted to now be able to offer a fully remote Lettings service to customers, following the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Lettings service had previously been suspended because of COVID-19, but we have been working hard behind-the-scenes to adapt our delivery, so that this important function could resume.

Our fully remote Lettings service follows the government’s revised guidance and means that:

  • We are advertising properties in the usual places
  • We are shortlisting applicants for properties
  • Viewings can be undertaken remotely through a video walkthrough. If the applicant does not have the technology available to do this, then we will ensure that all viewings follow social distancing guidelines
  • Sign-ups will be done remotely where possible. We are using DocuSign so that applicants sign paperwork electronically. If the applicant does not have the technology to do this, then we will perform the sign-up in-person, by following social distancing guidance

We appreciate that some people may be anxious about moving at this time – we want applicants to be assured that they can move when they are ready and able to do so. If an applicant is unable to move home currently, because of the Coronavirus outbreak, i.e. they are shielding, then we’re asking them not to bid at this time, so that we don’t delay other applicants’ bids that are logged in the system.

As part of our lettings service, we will be asking applicants their state of health, level of vulnerability and their arrangement for moving (including any assistance required), before proceeding with the move.

Gas Safety Checks and Shielding


Following government advice and guidance for people who are shielding, during the last couple of months we delayed carrying out the annual Gas Safety Checks in customer’s homes who informed us they were shielding until the isolation period ends.


Despite the lockdown, as your landlord it remains our legal duty to continue to complete your annual gas service to make sure you are safe in your home.

The government has now updated its guidance for people who are shielding as part of the COVID-19 outbreak, as the disease’s levels have decreased over the last few weeks.

The changes in government guidance mean there are now extra precautions we can take to undertake your Gas Safety Check.

We are currently telephoning affected customers to inform them further. These steps include:

Planning our visit around daily walks, so customers give us access to their homes but are out of the property when we perform the checkThe customer staying in, but moving to an alternative room in the property, whilst the gas safety check is carried outIf a customer has a garden, this can be used to socially distance while the gas safety check is carried outWe can help put chairs outside customers’ homes to sit on whilst the check takes place

Remember, we perform gas safety checks to make sure homes are compliant with Health & Safety regulations but also because we really want to keep customers safe.
To find out more about the latest government information on shielding, please click here.

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