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Market rent FAQs

The coronavirus FAQs below are for our market rent customers.

REPAIRS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Are repairs still being completed?

 

Our emergency repairs service is operating as normal. To report an emergency repair, please call 0300 300 0059 (Shropshire) or 01785 312000 (Staffordshire). 

Due to the impact of Covid-19, our response time to non-emergency repairs may take longer than usual. 

What happens if I need an urgent repair and someone in my household is self-isolating or has coronavirus?

 

If we are responsible under the terms of your tenancy agreement to complete repairs, we will attend your home to make it safe or carry out an emergency repair. All of our operatives will follow a set procedure before entering your home.

Please follow their instructions closely for your own safety and that of our operatives.

You and your family will need to stay in another room, with the door closed, whilst our operative undertakes the repair.

What should I do if I want to reschedule an appointment?

 

Please telephone customer services to rearrange your appointment as quickly as possible.

What is classed as an emergency repair and how do I report it?

 

An emergency repair is a problem that represents an immediate risk to safety, security or health. You can call our customer services team on 0300 300 0059 (Shropshire) or 01785 312000 (Staffordshire) to report emergency repairs. 

 

Do I have to let you in to undertake a repair?

 

If you report a repair and we confirm that our repair operative is attending, you must let them in to carry out the work. We will work with you to arrange when and how the work can be carried out.

If your repair is an emergency, you must let us in for your own safety.

If it is not an emergency and you cannot make the appointment, please rearrange by contacting customer services.

How do I know it’s safe to let your repair operative into my home?

 

How do I know it is safe to let your repair operative into my home?

If we do need to visit your home, we have set procedures to ensure that all our repair operatives are working in line with controls adopted by Severn Homes that go beyond the current government guidelines.

We will contact you before our operative visits so that you are aware of the following procedure.

Before we enter your home, you and anyone in your household will be asked:

  • some brief health questions relating to Covid-19.
  • to move to and stay in another room, with the door closed, for the duration of the visit by the operative.

If you are unable to follow these requests, our operatives have been instructed to immediately leave your home to ensure they keep everyone safe.

Operatives wear disposable gloves and have sanitiser and vehicle mounted wash facilities.

Where social distancing of 2m cannot be maintained by operatives working with each other, they wear:

  • Disposable gloves
  • FFP2 or FFP3 Respiratory Protective Equipment and face screen or goggles.

When accessing sheltered / extra care facilities and moving within any communal area, operatives wear Respiratory Protective Equipment.

When the job has been completed, you will be advised to wipe down the immediate area that our operative has worked in.

 

 

 

MY RENT

QUESTION

ANSWER

How can I contact you to discuss my rent and service charges?

 

You can call our customer service centre on 0300 300 0059 who can offer you help and advice and refer you to your dedicated officer.

Will I lose my home, if I cannot pay my rent as a result of financial hardship caused by coronavirus?

 

In order to continue to provide our services and to maintain your homes, we must still collect rent, but no customer will be evicted for being unable to pay their rent because of the impact of coronavirus. You will, however, still receive standard rent arrears reminders. 

We will work with our customers to find affordable solutions in order to help people through this difficult period, so if you’re concerned please contact our customer service centre on 0300 300 0059.

Our advisors can refer you to our income or money advice teams for further help and support.

Our aim is always to do everything possible to ensure our customers can sustain their tenancies and remain in their homes.

If I am classed as being on unpaid leave how will this affect my working tax credits?

Working Tax Credit has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people and you can only make a new claim for Working Tax Credit in very limited circumstances.

If you are already in receipt of Working Tax Credit, we advise that you contact the Tax Credit office as soon as possible to discuss any changes in your income which may affect the amount of tax credit you receive. If you are not already in receipt of Tax Credit you may be able to access financial support through Universal Credit or other benefits.

You can find more details on the government website here.
 

What should I do if my work closes or I need to self-isolate and can’t afford to pay my rent?

 

To make sure people in work can take the necessary time off to stay at home if they are suffering from coronavirus or to prevent its spread, changes have been made to Statutory Sick Pay for employees and to how Universal Credit can support people who are self-employed.

If you are concerned about your rent payments due to changes in your income, we advise that you look into any financial support that may be available to you as soon as possible.

Further details can be found on the Government website here.

Alternatively, there are several other agencies who can offer advice including your local Citizens Advice.

I am due to sign a new Market Rent tenancy – will this still go ahead?

 

Yes. If you have been offered a new property, we will contact you to discuss how you can safely view and sign-up for the property.

The health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues is of the utmost importance to us during this difficult time. All our staff are working in line with government advice to help keep you safe.

What can I do if my neighbour is not following government advice on social gatherings?

If you are concerned that your neighbour is hosting a large social gathering, we would recommend that you report it to the police on 101 because they have the powers to take any necessary immediate action. Please also let us know by emailing info@severnhomes.co.uk so that we can determine whether there is potential nuisance or anti-social behaviour that we need to monitor and manage.

We are working in partnership with the local Police to help customers understand government guidelines on the importance of social distancing.


HELP US TO KEEP YOU SAFE - ESSENTIAL SAFETY CHECKS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Will you be carrying out safety checks?

In accordance with Government and Health and Safety Executive rules, our vital safety and compliance checks are unaffected by Covid. This means we have, and will continue to, carry out:

  • Gas safety checks
  • Electrical testing
  • Communal fire door and fire risk assessments

Do I have to let you in to undertake a safety check?

 

Yes. If we request access for safety checks you must let us in to carry out this vitally important work to help us keep you and your family safe. The government and Health and Safety Executive have informed landlords that they must continue to fulfil their statutory and legal obligations, including safety checks.

If you or anyone in your household has coronavirus, are self-isolating or shielding you must tell us so your appointment can be rescheduled for after the isolation period has ended. 

What measures are in place in the current circumstances?

Please be assured that the health and wellbeing of our customers and our operatives is of the utmost importance to us during this difficult time and all operatives are working in line with government guidance on how they should enter and work at a customer’s home.