We’re working to scale back to all but our most essential services in line with government guidance to manage the Covid-19 pandemic. Our priority remains to keep our residents and colleagues safe during this challenging time.
Below you can find some important information to be aware of. We'll continue to review our activities in light of the government's latest announcements and will provide updates as quickly as we can.
Keeping in touch
Your housing officer or property management officer (PMO) remains your main point of contact for any queries. In an emergency, or out of hours, your call will automatically divert to our customer service centre.
We'll support our colleagues during this time and encourage them to prioritise their health in line with government guidelines. This means we’re cutting down on non-essential travel and won’t be doing home visits unless there’s an emergency, or routine site inspections.
We’re confident that we can continue to provide you with most services by phone or online through My Account, but will keep the situation under review and adapt our approach if necessary.
If you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Covid-19, please self-isolate in line with Public Health England’s guidelines. Where possible, please let your housing officer or PMO know so we can make a note on our system. This will help us to notify cleaning teams and any repairs contractors who may need to access your home so they can carry out appropriate risk assessments.
Repairs and other services
Due to the government's stricter social distancing measures, we'll be completing only emergency repairs for now.
For new-build properties that are still in their guarantee period, repairs (also known as 'defects') that aren't an emergency can still be reported but will be on hold until the government guidelines change.
For other properties, we're working through the list of repairs that were raised before the new measures came into force. Our contractors will be in contact to update you on the status of your repair as soon as they can.
We’re sorry not to be able to complete your repairs as planned. We'll keep the details so we can restart work as soon as possible once current restrictions are relaxed.
See how to report a repair for more information, including the types of repairs covered and how to contact us.
Estates and communal areas
By following government guidance, we will all help to keep ourselves and each other safe. We have received complaints about people, including children, congregating in communal areas. It’s very important that we all follow government guidance on social distancing, which includes avoiding large and small gatherings in public and communal spaces.
Our cleaning contractors continue to clean communal areas, paying special attention to regularly touched areas including handrails, light switches and doors. We understand that this is a difficult time for all, but we must be considerate of others to help maintain the health and safety of our neighbours.
Paying your rent
We know this is a difficult time and we understand the problems you face if you suddenly have less income than you expected. Some of you have asked for a rent payment holiday, but like a mortgage payment holiday, a payment holiday is just a way of postponing payments. It doesn’t mean the money is not owed.
For that reason, we’re not giving rent payment holidays as we don’t want you to store up problems with arrears for the future and put your tenancy at risk. Please continue to pay your rent where possible. Please continue to pay your rent where possible.
If you're facing financial difficulties due to loss of earning or becoming unemployed, we can guide you to claim the right benefit that will help you pay rent and sustain your tenancy through this period. Please take a look at our benefits and money advice page and let your housing officer/PMO know as soon as you can.
Financial and other support for you
If you’ve become unemployed or your hours of work have been reduced you may be entitled to financial help with your housing costs through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. We can guide you to claim the right benefit that will help you pay rent and sustain your tenancy through this period. For more information on what you may be entitled to visit our benefits and money advice page.
If you are struggling to pay your rent or service charges, or to keep to your payment plan, please let your housing officer/PMO know as soon as possible. We are here to help and can offer support with any benefits issues you have. If you're a homeowner, you should also contact your mortgage lender who may also be able to help.
You can also register on behalf of somebody else.
Can I get help with gas and electricity bills?
Speak to your energy supplier if you're struggling financially or in arrears with gas or electricity bills. You could get support including:
- reduced bills or debt repayments
- a temporary break in your bills or debt arrangements
If you have a pre-payment meter they may be able to, for example:
- arrange for someone else to top up your meter
- add credit to your account automatically
- send you a pre-loaded top up card
You may need to leave your meter box unlocked if you need someone else to top it up.
Disconnections of pre-payment meters are suspended. For more information visit the government website.
Other support available
We’re working with organisations in your area, including foodbanks, local council hardship funds and delivery services. You can find out more about food banks at Trussell Trust.
If you need any other support please visit our support services or get in touch with you housing officer.
- Visiting our offices
Planned works and maintenance
We're reviewing the latest government guidance on safe working for our planned investment programmes.
Most of our construction sites have closed or are in the process of shutting down. A few remain open, but we expect further closures in the coming days.
Where sites continue to operate, we are working with our contractors to ensure that they have the appropriate site operations procedures in place and are adhering to social distancing as well as health and safety requirements. We are keeping the situation under continual review.
We’ll make safe all sites where works are stopped and will be regularly inspect any scaffolding where it has had to be left in place for the completion of future works.
Building and fire safety
We are continuing to deliver building and fire safety programmes to maintain our strong compliance position where it is safe to do so and where sites remain open for business.
We’ve had to pause our programme to investigate the make-up of the walls of our blocks in line with the government’s social distancing requirements.
The implementation of new tariffs on our heat networks has also been put on hold.
Resident meetings and events
We've postponed all resident and community meetings and events to help keep people safe in line with government guidance. However, we'll be keeping our residents updated by email and through the website, as well as exploring ways to continue to work with some of our resident groups.
Moving home and sign-ups
Our temporary housing team are very much open for business to local authority partners for new lettings, an area where we know there is significant need. We're signing up new tenants online much as possible, and following government guidelines if not.
For general needs residents, we're doing urgent lettings only. For example where notice has been given on your previous home or where you may need to move temporary housing to somewhere safe and more permanent. We’re also identifying and kitting out homes to move people to in an emergency situation.
Folio London, our private rent arm, already use online sign-ups for new lets, and are doing video viewings where possible.
Selling/buying your property
Following the emergency measures which have been put in place to combat COVID-19, we will no longer be booking viewings for resale properties. The government has advised that while these are still in place people should, as far as possible, delay moving house. If it is urgent that you market your home, we will still list your home and collect interest from prospective buyers but will need a valid RICS valuation to do this, which will only be valid for three months. If it expires before you can find a buyer you will need to pay to renew it so we strongly advise you to consider this before instructing us to list your home for sale.
If you want to buy more shares in your home, we can still accept staircasing instructions in the usual way. We are doing our best to maintain services as usual, but regrettably, it is possible there may be delays at points. Please bear with us.
For all customers thinking of buying more shares or selling their homes you should also continue to consider our important message to homeowners which provides details around lenders response to Government guidance relating to building and fire safety before instructing us.
If you don't currently own a NHG property and are interested in buying, please see the NHG Sales website for more information.
Watch out for bogus callers
We've had a few reports of people turning up at some of our properties pretending to work for us or the NHS, saying they'll test you for coronavirus.
Please know that neither Notting Hill Genesis or the NHS are running any such programme and you should not let these people into your home. Please report them to the police.
If you're a Folio London customer, please check www.foliolondon.co.uk for information on how you may be affected.
This information was last updated on 27 March, 2.30pm.