Housing frequently asked questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about how we are maintaining housing services for council tenants during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Will my gas safety check still be carried out?
Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants. This is a legal duty to repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition. The government says we still have to carry out annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, during the coronavirus outbreak.
We are taking the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation extremely seriously and the health and safety of our residents is our main priority. And we’re following government guidance to limit the spread of coronavirus.
If your gas safety check is due, and anyone within the property is self-isolating or shielded, call us and let us know. We’ll arrange a follow-on appointment with you for two to three weeks time.
If no-one is self-isolating, you will receive a call from the engineer 30 mins before the appointment to ensure this is still the case. The engineer will attend your property wearing the required personal protective equipment (PPE) which includes, gloves, masks, overalls and overshoes. They will always stay at least two meters away, and it is recommended that all within the household stay in another room while the engineer services your boiler. When the works are done, the engineer will wipe down everything they have touched.
- If you cancel a repairs appointment because I'm unwell or self-isolating. When will I get a new one?
We’re doing all we can to keep our residents safe and to keep the service going. If we’ve cancelled your appointment because you’re unwell or self- isolating, we’ll ask you to get back in touch when you’re feeling better to arrange a new appointment.
- If I want to cancel a repairs appointment, how do I arrange a new one?
If you want to cancel an existing appointment until things get back to normal just let us know and then get in touch when you’re ready.
- I'm currently self-isolating but my repair is urgent. When will it be done?
If you’re ill but your repair is an emergency, such as a major leak or boiler failure, we’ll put special measures in place to get it done quickly. Where possible, our contractors or DLO will carry out the work urgently and may wear some protective clothing when they arrive.
If for any reason this is not possible, we’ll talk to you about whether there’s another way we might gain access and carry out the repair.
- How can I be sure that your maintenance person won't infect me when they carry out the work?
Our repair workers are checking in daily to confirm they are fit for work. We won’t send anyone who is unwell into a resident’s home.
The repair person will stay a safe distance when they arrive to carry out a repair in your home and will ask if you are feeling well. This is to protect you and them as they carry out the repair.
If you would prefer us not to come right now, you can just cancel the appointment and contact us when you’re ready to have us in your home.
- I'm due to pick up the keys to my new home. Can I still do this?
Yes, but we will ask you to call us on the day to confirm that you are well. If you are unwell, we’ll ask you to contact us when you feel better and we can make a new appointment for you.
- Can I still visit my relatives and friends in an H&F Council sheltered scheme?
Yes, you can. Our sheltered schemes are not on lockdown.
However, we ask you to visit only if it’s essential, and only if you are well. You should wash your hands as soon as you enter any of our sheltered schemes and it’s very important that you don’t visit if you are feeling unwell.
- I can't work because of the coronavirus and I'm struggling to pay rent. Can you help?
We can provide advice, support and guidance if you’re having difficulty in paying the rent. Please contact the Rental Income Team on 020 8753 6032 or email email@example.com
This may include setting up a payment plan, or supporting you to claim benefits. The government has extended statutory sick pay for people affected by the coronavirus. However, if you’re not eligible, you may be able to claim Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance, and we can provide advice on this.
- I normally pay my rent at the post office or pay point outlet but can't get out as I need to self-isolate?
We offer other payment methods, including:
- our online rent payment form
- making a payment via your My Account tenant portal
- our 24 hour automated telephone line: 020 8753 1930
- calling 020 8753 6032 to make a payment between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
- setting up a direct debit with our rents account team on 020 8753 3704 or 020 8753 3730, available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
- setting up a standing order or making a faster payment via your bank (they can normally do this over the telephone or online banking).
- I have prepayment meters for my gas and or electricity and do not have enough money to top them up. What should I do?
H&F residents can apply for support through the local welfare fund on 020 7041 6464. Check with your utility provider first, as the government has made arrangements with some providers that financial support is granted directly to you.
- How do I get enough money to meet my basic needs?
The welfare benefits team are available to provide comprehensive welfare rights advice including benefits and debt advice, and information on applying for grants.
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the impact of coronavirus, please contact us on 020-8753 6032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Schools have been closed and my child has free school meals. Will they be fed?
Schools have been instructed to continue to provide free school meals by delivery or vouchers for supermarkets.
- I'm worried about my neighbour. Who can I call for advice?
In the case of emergencies please call 999.
Also, the West London Patient and Carers support line is available, 24 hours a day on 0300 1234 244.