Breadcrumb

COVID-19: guidance for council tenants about what we’re doing

COVID-19: guidance for council tenants

Changes to our services, what we’re doing to look after council tenants and the employees that carry out our services, guidance for tenants living in flats or sheltered housing

Changes to services from January 2021

We're continually monitoring and adapting our services to ensure that we follow government guidance.

We've made some changes to our services due to the latest Covid-19 lockdown. These changes will help protect everyone and make sure your home remains a safe place to live.

It may mean that some services will be provided differently during this time, to ensure we keep you, and our employees, safe.

The changes may also mean that some things take longer, so we ask for your patience if we are unable to keep to our usual timescales

Home visits

Services will be delivered by phone call, email or letter where possible. When this is not possible, home visits will still be carried out and priority will be given where issues relate to health, safety or welfare. 

If you're expecting a home visit, we'll contact you before the visit, where possible, to let you know what to expect.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must tell us before we visit or when we arrive so that we can rearrange the appointment. If it's safe to do so, you should allow us access to your home for safety checks, repairs and maintenance. 

Things that may be different when we visit:

  • Staff will assess any risks before visiting, and may not be able to carry out visits or repairs if they are unable to do so safely.
  • Depending on why we are visiting we may ask if we can talk to you at the front door or via the intercom, rather than coming into the property.
  • We would ask that you stay at least 2 metres away from staff, or depending on the situation, we may ask you to open windows or wait in another room.
  • In some situations staff may need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

Our services

Clear COVID procedures 

We have put in place clear procedures for our teams to enable them to work safely and provide services during the pandemic.

Repairs, maintenance and home improvements

Due to the impact of Covid-19 on the availability of staff, contractors and materials, we will only carry out essential repairs as follows: 

  • Total or partial loss of electric power
  • Unsafe power socket, light socket or electrical fitting
  • Loss of water supply 
  • Total or partial loss of gas supply
  • Blocked flue to open fire or boiler
  • No heating or hot water(until 1 May)
  • Blocked or leaking foul drain, soil stack or toilet
  • Toilet not flushing (if there is only one toilet in property)
  • Leak from a water pipe, tank or cistern
  • Insecure external window, door or lock
  • Urgent structural and roof repairs or replacements 

Emergency repairs

We'll still carry out emergency repairs. These include: 

  • where there's an immediate threat to life 
  • repairs that are likely to cause collapse or extensive damage to buildings
  • where a property is insecure or cannot be accessed and there are older people,  vulnerable people or children under 10 present

Planned Maintenance and Improvements

We will be reviewing any maintenance and improvements already underway, and in some cases we may not be able to complete the work if we are not able to do so safely.

Some planned work may be paused or take longer if it is not safe to continue.  We will review our programmes and continue work where we can safely do so, and prioritise work that impacts tenant welfare such as heating improvements.

If we were due to carry out works in your home, and we are able to continue with it, we will follow all current Covid-19 guidelines and contact you to make any new arrangements. 

Continue safety checks

Our teams will continue to make appointments for essential safety checks in your home. These are extremely important and help to keep your home safe.

Rent paying 

If you’re having problems paying your rent call us on 0117 922 2200 and we'll do all we can to help. Our phone lines are open 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

HomeChoice

Our HomeChoice lettings service will continue with safety procedures in place.

Caretaking and cleaning

Our caretaking and cleaning services continue with a particular focus on high-touch areas such as handrails and door handles

Home adaptions

We continue to support home adaptions, but there is likely to be a delay with installing some home adaptations due to the level of work coming into the team.

Tenants living in blocks of flats or sheltered housing schemes

You should take extra care when using shared facilities:

  • Only use communal laundry facilities during your allocated wash times, also:
    • don’t take other members of your household with you, unless they can’t be left alone.
    • when using laundry facilities, we recommend you limit your time in the facility.
  • Only use the lifts with members of your own household.
  • Don’t use community rooms.
  • Don’t gather in groups or meet neighbours on landings, lobbies or stairwells and maintain social distancing at all times.
  • Remember ‘Hands, face, space’ 

If you have access to a communal garden, follow social distancing guidelines.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

General COVID-19 guidance

For more general COVID-19 advice and guidance visit Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to know.