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Coronavirus FAQ

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

This is a guide for our residents that will cover frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions that have not been addressed here, please send us an e-mail to solon@solonswha.co.uk. 

 

 

The folllowing questions will be answered on this page:

1. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
2. What should I do if I experience any of the symptoms?
3. I would like to report a repair, what should I do?
4. Will a contractor or staff member be able to deal with my repair?
5. If a contractor or staff visits my house, will I be safe?
6. What about the fire safety of my building?
7. And other legally required health and safety works?
8. Can I still visit the office?
9. Can I still hand back my keys in person?
10. How can I pay my rent?
11. My income has been affected by the COVID-19 measures and I'm struggling to pay rent. What can I do?
12. Will I be evicted if I can't pay my rent?




1. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • A high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

2. What should I do if I experience any of the symptoms?

Follow the NHS and Government guidance (see links on the right).

If you are self-isolating with symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, please let us know immediately or when we contact you. For security measures, this data will be held on our system temporarily.


3. I would like to report a repair, what should I do?


If you need to get in touch with us, please do so by e-mail rather than by phone. This is because many of our staff will be working from home and it will be easier for them to track and respond to your queries. 

Alternative ways to get in touch with us can be found here.

Our phone lines are open from Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm.

We will continue to monitor enquiries that come in via e-mail, our website, text, voicemail and WhatsApp from Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm.


4. Will a contractor or staff member be able to deal with my repair?


Due to Government guidelines, we are currently only carrying out emergency repairs.  All current non-urgent repair appointments have been postponed. You can still report non-urgent repairs but these will only be processed once it is safe to do so.

If you have raised a repair with us, we will contact you directly and tell you how this will affect your repair request.

During the crisis, no inspections will be undertaken within your home unless it is an emergency.


5. If a contractor or staff member visits my house, will I be safe?


If you have an emergency repair booked with us or our contractors, please make sure you keep the required safety distance while they carry out works in your home. We are also making sure that anyone who visits has taken the necessary precautions to keep you safe.

We will ask you if you are self-isolating before doing any work in your home. If you are self-isolating, we will explore options with you to ensure you and our contractors can do the work safely.

If you are not comfortable having our contractors and staff in your home at the moment, please e-mail us in advance to cancel any appointments you have booked with us or our contractors.


6. What about the fire safety of my building?

We need to continue to make sure your building is safe during the Coronavirus outbreak and protect your and your neighbours' safety.

Communal areas will continue to be inspected as usual. The fire alarm and emergency lighting systems will be checked to make sure they are working. We will also make sure communal areas are clear. Due to current circumstances, any items found in the communal area will be removed immediately. You may not be able to collect them until the lockdown is over.

Please help to keep you and your neighbours safe by keeping all belongings inside your home.


7. And other legally required health and safety works?

Where possible, we will continue to do servicing, inspections and works where we have a legal obligation to do so. This includes:
  • Gas servicing
  • Electrical testing
  • Fire alarm inspections
  • Inspections of some water systems
We will ask you if you are self-isolating before doing any of this work in your home. If you are self-isolating, we will explore options with you to ensure you and our contractors can do the work safely.


8. Can I still visit the office?


Following the Government advice, we have decided to close our office temporarily but we are still operating, so you can continue to reach us via phone, e-mail, website or WhatsApp. 


9. Can I still hand back my keys in person?

No, our office is now closed temporarily. If you would like to end your tenancy, it is important that you get in touch with us beforehand so we can give you clear instructions. Please e-mail us on allocations@solonswha.co.uk.


10. How can I pay my rent?

Our office is temporarily closed but we offer many alternative ways to pay rent:
  • By direct debit or standing order
  • Online via Allpay using a debit or credit card
  • By phone using a debit or credit card
For more information, please contact our Income Team using their contact details below.


11. My income has been affected by the COVID-19 measures and I'm struggling to pay rent. What can I do?


We are aware that some household incomes are affected by the coronavirus. We will work with you to reduce any impact as much as possible. Here is some information on what to do if you are affected:

Residents who receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit should see little or no change - paying benefits is a government priority.

Residents who receive Housing Benefit should inform the Housing Benefit Office of any change of circumstances.

Changes for Universal Credit should be done via your UC journal. Please contact Solon if you need support.

If you don't receive any benefits, you can:
  • Apply for Universal Credit via www.gov.uk/universal-credit
  • Apply for Council Tax Reduction via your local council's website
  • Contact Talking Money on 0117 9543990 for financial and benefits advice.
If you are in supported or temporary housing, you should apply for Housing Benefit via your local council's website.
  • Contact Solon's Income team:
Andrew McKinlay:  07933 717983
andrew_mckinlay@solonswha.co.uk
Paul Hardy: 07933 142186
paul_hardy@solonswha.co.uk 
Lisa Newley: 07933 717986
lisa_newley@solonswha.co.uk (Weds-Fri)


We may agree a payment plan with you and allow you to pay less rent during the crisis. This will be based on your circumstances and your ability to pay. Any arrears agreed will need to be repaid at a later date. 

You can apply for reduced rent by filling out our Reduced Rent Payment Application form.

It is very important that you keep us updated with any changes in your circumstances.

If your income has not been affected by coronavirus, you should continue to pay your rent as usual.


12. Will I be evicted if I can't pay my rent?

There will be no new evictions or repossessions for the next three months. This is so that residents know that their home is not at risk if they are unable to pay the rent as a result of coronavirus. This is also in line with Government guidance.




We will update this page regularly as more information becomes available. Our aim is to ensure that our residents receive as much support as possible during these uncertain times.


Last update: 01/04/2020

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