Coronavirus (Covid-19)

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

    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. We understand this is a difficult time for all, but we must be considerate of others to help maintain the health and safety of our neighbours.   

    We're also working with contractors and caretakers to review our regular cleaning schedules and frequency. Service charges will be adjusted if reductions are required.

    We’re also working with our estate services contractors to ensure that they have robust cleaning regimes in place.  This includes paying extra attention to frequently touched surfaces such as handles and lift buttons, and undertaking additional cleans in communal areas if a resident notifies us that they are self-isolating due to illness.

    We have contingencies in place to ensure that cleaning will still happen by trained operatives in the event that regular cleaning staff aren’t available. 

     

  • 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 about a 'rent payment holiday'. Like a mortgage payment holiday, this is 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. 

    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

    Please speak to us if you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, so that we can discuss how best to help you.

    If you need to make a claim for additional housing benefit or universal credit, please do so as soon as your circumstances change. We can help you with that, so please get in touch. You’ll also find useful advice on the Department of Work and Pensions website.

    If you're a homeowner and experiencing issues paying your rent and service charge, please contact your PMO. You should also contact your mortgage lender who may also be able to help.

    Vulnerable residents

    If you have a medical condition which makes you vulnerable to Covid-19 please register on the government list. Alternatively, you can get coronavirus support by calling 0800 028 8327

    You can also register on behalf of somebody else.

  • Visiting our offices

    Our offices are now closed, with all colleagues working remotely in line with government guidance. Please contact your officer or use our online My Account service.

     

  • 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.

  • Property lettings, sign-ups and nominations

    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 implementing an electronic sign-up process as much as possible, and operating with government guidelines if not.

    For general needs residents, we're doing urgent lettings only. For example where notice has been given on a resident’s former property or where we need to move people from temporary accommodation to somewhere safe and more permanent. We’re also identifying and kitting out homes that we could use to move people to in an emergency situation.

    Folio London, our market rent arm, already use an online process 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.