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COVID-19 FAQs

SERVICES

What is happening with stair cleaning?
At this time our routine stair cleaning service has been suspended pending further guidance from the government on essential work during the corona virus lockdown. However, the contractor will respond to our requests to address specific issues that are reported within stairs as they arise. The intention is that although cleaning work is not being carried out at the moment we will be arranging for all stairs to get a thorough deep clean and antiseptic wipe down to ensure against any bacteria transference when it is safe to do so and ahead of regular cleaning recommencing.

What is happening with communal cleaning for supported housing?
Communal cleaning including stairwells continues as local staff will do this as part of the enhanced safety arrangements we have put in place. We have also been recruiting additional relief staff to help ensure standards are maintained seven days a week.

Are we cleaning windows during the lockdown?
Window cleaning is continuing externally but has stopped internally until further notice.

What is happening with Grounds Maintenance?
Our grounds maintenance service has been suspended at the moment and will restart as soon as possible when the social distancing guidance has been relaxed. The contractors will then be required to carry out double cuts and additional works at their first visits to ensure that they get all the areas to a condition that we accept as per the contract.

Why do I still need to continue paying for stair cleaning/rounds maintenance if you aren’t doing it at this time?
Charges are calculated on an annual basis and spread evenly over the year. We anticipate that over the course of the year the same amount of work will be completed, so the charges need to stay in place.

Why are you continuing to arrange Gas Service checks?
One of our key priorities is to make sure your home is safe, and we have a statutory obligation to service any gas appliances on an annual basis, where it is safe to do so.

We will continue to work with our specialist contractors Dalex to make sure any gas services which are due for renewal are completed on time. It is important that these gas services are completed as it has been classified as essential work due to the safety implications.

If your home is scheduled for a Gas Safety Service, please allow Dalex to carry out this service.

Please be assured that additional measures have been put in place and are within Government guidelines to make sure our customers and contractors remain safe.

Following a call from Eildon/or a representative from Dalex, you will be asked the following key questions-

• Have you been to an affected place in the last 24 hours?
• Had contact with somebody with Coronavirus?
• Are there any household members who are over 70 years old or who have underlying health problems?
• Do you have any symptoms?

If the answer to any of these four questions is “yes”, we will postpone the service visit.

What happens when Dalex arrives at my home to carry out the Gas Service repair?
The contractor will ask the four questions again, in case anything has changed. If it is safe to carry out the safety service, the Dalex Engineer will take the following precautions:
1. Use hand sanitiser to sterilise their hands and wear latex gloves where possible prior to entering.
2. Customers should open the door, then remove themselves to another room.
3. Dalex Engineer will enter the property, locate the gas appliances and carry out the service.
4. Once the service is complete, the engineer will ensure the work area is left clean, advise the customer and leave the property.
5. As soon as the engineer is outside the property, they will remove and bag the gloves for disposal.
6. Finally, the engineer will use hand sanitiser to sterilise their hands.

If you are due a gas safety service visit and would like to discuss this further, please contact us on 0800 0385599.

Will you do repairs to my property at this time?
In line with Government guidance on reducing social contact from Tuesday 24 March 2020, we will be operating an emergency repairs service only. All non-emergency repairs will be dealt with when the Government advises us that it is safe to do so.

The list of emergency repairs is below and follows key emergencies outlined in the Right to Repair legislation.

We will only be carrying out emergency repairs where the immediate safety and well-being of our customers is at risk.

Definition of Emergency Repairs:
• Unsafe power or lighting sockets or electrical fittings
• Loss or part loss of electric power
• External windows, doors or locks which are not secure
• Loss or part loss of space or water heating if no alternative heating is available
• Toilets which do not flush (if there is no other toilet in the house)
• Blocked or leaking foul drains, soil stacks or toilet pans (if there is no other toilet in the house)
• A blocked sink, bath or basin
• Loss or part loss of water supply
• Significant leaking or flooding from a water or heating pipe, tank or cistern, water leaking through roof or fabric of the building due to external defect
• smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Are we still repairing safety and security systems such as door entry and warden call systems at our supported housing?
We will only be carrying out emergency repairs where the immediate safety and well-being of our customers is at risk. Please register the repair in the normal way.

RENT

Can I take a rent holiday?

We know this is a difficult time and we understand the problems customers are facing where income has suddenly reduced or stopped. We are very sympathetic to our customers who are either worried about or who have already been affected by the impact of Covid-19. It is crucial that customers who are able to pay rent continue to do so to avoid arrears developing.

Some customers have asked us about rent holidays. Regretfully we are unable to offer rent holidays. Unlike homeowners, we are not being offered ‘payment holidays’ through our banks and lenders. In addition, as a local employer, we endeavour to continue to fulfil our payment obligations to our contractors as well as our staff.

We would encourage all customers who have concerns about their ability to pay their rent to contact us and discuss these matters through the usual routes. Our trained staff will be able to provide advice and signpost customers to relevant sources of assistance such as social security support and Universal Credit.

We know that these are challenging times for everyone in our communities and we are adapting our services to respond to these circumstances. The national response measures are changing daily, and we are ensuring that we play our part in these efforts. We would encourage all our customers who have concerns about rental payments or other aspects of vulnerability to speak with us so we can understand how we can help.

Can I move home?
Due to public health risks, we have stopped routine marketing and letting of our properties. The only exception is where someone is in critical housing need and SBC have asked us to immediately rehouse a household. As soon as the lockdown is lifted, and we have guidance from the Government that it is safe to resume allocations, then we will start advertising again.

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