COVID-19 IMPACT ON SERVICES - Please read
Temporary Service Changes
Due to the latest Government guidance all staff will remain working from home for the foreseeable future and the office remains closed. This is being kept under constant review inline with the guidance that is being issued from the Scottish Government and we will update you through this website and SMS text messaging as soon as this is likely to change. In the meantime please continue to contact us on either the main office phone number 01786 841101 or the direct dial/mobile number of your Housing Officer. You can also send an email to our enquiries email address - firstname.lastname@example.org - or directly to your Housing Officer. For Housing Officer contact details please see page. We thank you for your continued cooperation.
During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are taking the necessary steps and precautions to minimise the risk to our tenants and staff. The wellbeing of our tenants and staff is of paramount importance to us, which is why we are following Government advice and have made some changes to the services we offer. Please take the time to read over how these changes may affect you. We must all work together in order to try to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and protect our family, friends and the most vulnerable within our communities.
Please read our COVID-19 Safety Measures.
Self-isolation & Social Distancing
It goes without saying that you should all now be following the principles of social distancing within your communities. Please let us know if you have symptoms of Coronavirus or a member of your family has and you are currently in self-isolation. The information you share with us will be treated with the utmost confidence and only shared with a third party if emergency works are required within your home. We are grateful to all of our tenants and staff for their patience, support and understanding at this uniquely challenging time.
1. Paying your rent during the COVID-19 crisis:
We have updated our guidance on paying your rent and financial difficulties during the outbreak. You can read more here.
Please also see our frequently asked questions.
You can get free income related financial advice and support from the following agencies:
2. Allocations, Voids and Letting
We would encourage all new applicants to visit our website where you will find a copy of our application form available to download (here). This should then be e-mailed back to email@example.com to be processed more quickly. We are starting to allocate and let properties again. In order to do this and keep everyone safe, we need to follow certain procedures which will involve online communication. If this will be difficult for you, please contact us and we will help you.
3. Home visits and face-to-face appointments cancelled
We appreciate many of our tenants prefer to meet face-to-face with our staff. However, in the interest of protecting staff, tenants and the wider public, we will not be carrying out home visits or face-to-face appointments until further notice. We know this is a very worrying time which is causing deep anxiety and concern. We are here to help you where we can.
If you need to contact us urgently, please visit the Staff Team area of our website where you will find contact information for all members of staff. If you already had a home visit or appointment scheduled with a member of staff we will be in touch with you to discuss this and offer an alternative option. Where we are identifying that tenants' means of paying have been affected, we are offering a follow up call from our Income Maximisation Officer, Kevin McGhee, who is able to give specialist advice about benefits and other money advice.
4. Stock Condition Survey
Every 5 years we carry out a stock condition survey to gather data relating to your home. The information collected is really important as it is used to identify and programme future replacement and improvement works and lets us know if our properties continue to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) and will meet the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) when it is introduced at the end of 2020.
We have appointed a specialist firm of Building Surveyors, Brown + Wallace, to inspect approximately 123 homes as part of a Stock Condition Survey between 5 October 2020 and 6 November 2020. They will be writing to these households shortly to make arrangements for their visits. If your home is identified for a survey then we would appreciate your cooperation by giving the Brown + Wallace team access (they will have identity badges) and be wearing gloves and masks in line with Scottish Government guidelines.
The survey itself is a visual inspection of the inside and outside of your home; it takes around approximately 30 minutes. Our surveyor may need access to all rooms, the loft and outside areas. The surveyor will make notes, ask you for your views and take photographs. Any shared communal areas will also be surveyed.
The surveyor collects information on the condition of your home such as the age and condition of the major elements , he will specifically consider the:-
· Outside – roofs, walls, windows and doors, fences, paths etc.
· Inside – kitchens, bathrooms, heating system, electrical wiring, insulation etc.
· The common and external parts of a block of flats such as corridors, lifts, fire alarms, communal lighting, door entry systems and pathways.
The surveyor will not collect information regarding any outstanding repairs to your home. But if there are any safety related repairs outstanding, they may pass details on to the Asset Management Team to action.
Once the Surveyor has completed their surveys, a survey report will be sent to us along with the data collected to inform our 30 year Life Cycle Costings. The Surveyor doesn’t provide individual reports for each house so we are not able to share this with you. Whilst the Surveyor will provide us with recommended re-inspection dates for elements of your home, based on recommended lifecycles, these dates are used to support financial planning only and are not a confirmed year of re-inspection or replacement dates. It helps us decide how much we need to spend on repairs and replacements to keep your home at the highest possible standard.
However if your home has been identified as requiring planned replacements such as kitchens, bathrooms, boilers or windows, we will agree a provisional year when this will be done and contact you nearer the time.
5. Investment works and Reactive repairs
In her latest briefing the First Minister made specific reference to the continued practice of allowing access to Tradespeople to undertake works within homes. With this in mind, our planned maintenance works such as new kitchens, Fire Safety and Electrical Upgrades will all still continue as scheduled, as will our reactive repairs service. Please let us know asap if you are in quarantine, isolating etc so that any planned visits can be rearranged.
In keeping with Government Guidelines external services such as Landscaping, window cleaning, external painting, render cleaning, pressure washing etc are all designated as key works and can be progressed, if carried out by a sole operator who implements social distancing and has availability of PPE etc. This obviously is dependent on our contractors having the staff to undertake the works and we will assess whether works can be undertaken on a scheme by scheme basis.
6. Emergency repairs
Please contact us on 01786 841 101 during normal working hours to report an emergency repair. Our out of hours emergency contact numbers remain the same:
• Gas repairs call Saltire on 0845 606 1555
• All other emergency repairs please call the McDougall Group on 0800 975 1234.
When you report an emergency repair, we will need to ask you some screening questions to protect both you and our contractors before visits can be confirmed. Our Contractors will also ask you a series of questions before they enter your home.
We will advise tenants as soon as possible if there are any further changes to the repairs service. In the meantime, please consider whether your repair is an emergency before requesting a visit.
Right to Repair
Due to current government restrictions for coronavirus we have suspended the Right to Repair element of our reactive repairs service. This is in line with guidance from the Scottish Government. We will review the service on an ongoing basis and keep you informed of any changes as and when it is appropriate to do so.
WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER