Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for tenants and leaseholders
How are you protecting staff and tenants from coronavirus?
Since the Government's announced its Roadmap out of lockdown, we have been looking at how we will move gradually towards resuming all normal services. Most of our officers (except Supported Housing Officers) are continuing to work from home, so will not be doing routine home visits or face-to-face meetings with tenants. We are currently not visiting you as part of your Introductory or Flexible tenancies. Your Housing Officer will contact you to discuss this over the phone. We have continued to carry out priority health and safety checks, such as fire alarm testing and flushing of water systems to avoid legionella risk.
If we are due to visit you, please get in touch with us if anyone in your home is in a high-risk category and currently self-isolating or has any symptoms (high temperature and/or cough).
If you need to contact your Income, Tenancy, or Sustainment Officer, please do not visit the Forum or our other offices. Instead, please contact us by email, text message or a phone call. This will protect you and our staff from unnecessary risk of infection and ensures that we comply with Government advice.
Please also remember to keep communal areas and landings clear of all items. This is to reduce the risk to you and your neighbours. We are still carrying out inspections and issuing charge notices when we remove items.
Our cleaners are prioritising cleaning of communal areas of sheltered schemes and temporary accommodation, but will also continue to clean communal areas in flats. They will be focusing on cleaning any touchpoints and especially entry/exits to the building with antibacterial spray or wipes. Please follow Government advice to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds or more.
What if my income changes and I’m worried about paying my rent?
We understand that this is a difficult and worrying time for many people, especially those facing a loss of income. Find out more on our coronavirus (COVID-19) rent advice page.
Can I still contact my Housing Officer if I have a question about my tenancy?
Yes, your Housing Officers are still here to help. Most of them are working remotely but they can pick up emails and take phone calls to their usual extension numbers. If you do not know the name of your Housing Officer you can call 01442 228000 and ask for ‘housing’. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and your enquiry will be allocated to the appropriate person.
Although our Housing Officers are not carrying out home visits at the moment, they will still be able to deal with changes to your tenancy, including tenancy terminations and alterations you wish to make, such as adding a partner or requesting permission to make home improvements or have a pet.
As part of this process, they may ask you to email details or send photos, as they are unable to visit you in person.
Can I still report nuisance behaviour?
Yes, our dedicated team of Anti-Social Behaviour Officers, alongside our Housing Officers, are still working and will be able to assist you with your complaint. Find out more information and report anti-social behaviour.
If you wish to make a general enquiry about anti-social behaviour, please email email@example.com.
I’m supported by a Sustainment Officer, will they still visit me?
Your Sustainment Officer will be at the end of a phone or email and will continue to support you in all areas they can. They may visit you in exceptional circumstances, so we ask you to consider the social-distancing guidelines and help our staff to do this, too. Your Sustainment Officer will continue to check in with you more regularly, but please don’t hesitate to contact them by phone or email if you need something in the meantime.
I live in supported housing - is there anything else I need to know?
If you live in one of our sheltered schemes, or a flat or bungalow where you pay the supporting people charge, you can find out more on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for tenants of supported housing page.
What if I want to apply for a mutual exchange?
In line with Government guidelines, we have resumed a very limited mutual exchange service. Whilst restrictions remain in place, only those tenants who have a recognised housing need may apply for mutual exchange. Find out more on our Mutual Exchange page.
What about repairs and maintenance?
We are now operating a routine repairs service where possible, as well as carrying out all emergency repairs and annual gas safety checks and boiler servicing.
Information for residents of Council-owned blocks of flats
We have now resumed the usual frequency of Neighbourhood Support Officer visits to our blocks of flats.
Our Clear Landings Policy enforcement resumed on 1 October 2020 and residents will receive a charge notice if our officers remove items from communal areas.
As always, we're asking residents to take responsibility for keeping communal areas clear and to report any issues to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I help?
- Contact us by email or telephone rather than asking for a home visit.
- Keep an eye on any updates from the Government, stick to the social-distancing guidelines and wash your hands regularly.
- Look for updates on our website and social media.
- Take up the offer of a free COVID-19 vaccination when eligible. Find out more on the NHS website.
- Everyone can now get a regular COVID-19 test, even if they have no symptoms.
There are a number of local organisations who have been coordinating support to those most affected throughout the pandemic. If you are able to, we encourage any donations to the Dacorum Food Bank. Additionally, Community Action Dacorum have been coordinating volunteers. You can contact them at email@example.com.
Thank you for your patience and support since restrictions began in March 2020. We will continue to provide you with the best service we can until all restrictions can be lifted.
Government letter to social housing tenants
On 18 May 2020, the Government published a letter from the Minister of Housing setting out the measures that are in place to support social housing residents while the pandemic and restrictions continue. You can read the letter on the Government's website.
If you need to speak to someone about paying your rent and don’t know who your Income Officer is, please call 01442 228000 and ask for Housing Income, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need to speak to someone about your tenancy and don’t know who your Tenancy Officer is, please call 01442 228000 and ask for Housing Management, or email email@example.com.