Broadland’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
[Updated Thursday 12 November]
The Government has announced a new lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This started on Thursday 5 November.
We have summarised the main changes that affect you below.
We are making these changes to keep our tenants and staff safe while ensuring we continue to deliver essential services as best we can under the circumstances:
- During the lockdown, we will not be meeting tenants face to face and we will phone or video call tenants instead.
- Where it is essential to meet a tenant face to face, for example during a sign-up, we will comply with all Covid-secure health and safety requirements.
- We will only do planned repairs and improvements where they can be carried out in a Covid-secure way.
- We will continue to undertake emergency, urgent and one-person routine repairs. This includes gas and electrical safety tests. Employees must wear appropriate PPE when entering a tenant’s home or working in communal areas.
- We will progress mutual exchanges wherever possible with other landlords.
- We will continue to let and relet homes in partnership with our local authorities, so will undertake change of tenancy works.
Please help us keep everyone safe by observing the social distancing guidance when our our staff are in or around your home. This means staying at least 2 metres apart – or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions – when staff are visiting for repairs, cleaning or any other reason. Thank you for your support and patience.
Please also see our Coronavirus – useful information for tenants page, with sources of financial and wellbeing support.
Interim Complaints & Compensation Policy
We have made some changes to our complaints and compensation policy to take into account our reduced services while the Coronavirus measures are in place.
Please go to making a complaint page for more information.
PPE and social distancing
Our cleaning teams will be wearing Hi-Vis jackets as well as gloves whilst they clean and sanitise our schemes.
If you are having a repair completed in your home, our repairs team will call you before they visit and run through a few simple questions which will identify which PPE they need to wear during their visit. They will also go through what steps we need you to follow to help make the visit as safe as possible for everyone.
Please keep a safe distance (stay at least 2 metres apart – or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions) while our operatives are visiting.
For repairs in communal areas or outside your home, the PPE worn by the operatives will be based on the risk assessment created for that particular repair.
Gas servicing and electrical testing
Gas servicing and electrical testing is essential to keep our tenants safe in their homes. As your landlord we have a legal obligation to continue to carry out these works, following Government guidance.
We will ask you if you are suffering from any symptoms of Coronavirus so that we can take the necessary steps to protect you and our staff. If you have any questions about your gas service or electrical test, please contact our Customer Services team on 0303 303 0003.
Outdoor communal areas
You can continue to use communal outdoor space for daily exercise, but please do not use any play equipment. Remember to stay 2 metres apart from other tenants and Broadland staff who may be working outdoors, to minimise the spread of the virus.
Cleaning of communal areas
We will continue to clean the communal areas of our properties. To help maintain the highest level of sanitisation in these areas, we have invested in some advanced technology. The new equipment allows us to sanitise all contact surfaces with an electrostatically charged product. This will remain on the sprayed surfaces and continue to kill bacteria and viruses for up to 28 days at a time, reducing the need for us to visit schemes every day.
We will be spraying across all communal areas, alongside our general cleaning services. The chemicals are non-toxic to humans and pets. However, please maintain social distancing as normal while our cleaning teams carry out this work.
Essential health and safety and fire safety checks are also continuing. Your help with minimising the spread the virus is really appreciated.
Our offices and staff
All our offices are closed but you can contact Customer Services as usual.
Our staff will be providing advice and contact via phone where possible. If we do need to visit you, we will check for any risk of Coronavirus. We have told staff not to shake hands and to keep a safe distance. Please do not be offended – this is to protect you, as well as people working for Broadland.
Difficulties paying your rent
If your income is affected by Coronavirus and you are struggling to pay your rent, please contact us as soon as you can. We can help with claiming the right benefits and support you. Our Rent and Tenancy Support teams are here to help.
We will not take possession proceedings, or evict anyone due to the impact of Coronavirus who keeps in contact and works with us to sustain their tenancy.
Sheltered housing schemes
Our sheltered scheme managers are still working from home, following Government guidance. However, they are attending their schemes regularly to do health and safety checks and to carry out allocation appointments. They are contactable all day by telephone or email. If you live in one of our sheltered housing schemes, please see the recent letter you received with the contact details for the team.
The communal lounges remain closed, until we can find a safe way to re-open them. We apologise for the inconvenience, but need to follow Government guidelines and ensure you stay as healthy as possible and stop any potential spread of the virus.
Housing with care
We continue to work with Norse Care to ensure that our tenants remain as safe as possible and this is why we have restricted visitors to all housing with care schemes.
Norse Care have been working hard to facilitate safe external visiting with an appointment system for family and friends, as we know the importance of tenants being able to see their loved ones in person.
Thank you to all our tenants, their families and friends and all the staff at Norse Care for your support in helping us to manage this situation as effectively as possible.
Our grounds maintenance services have continued wherever they can. Our Estates team have been keeping at least 2 metres away from tenants and other staff members.