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Home > Housing > Advice for our tenants - Coronavirus

Advice for our tenants - Coronavirus

Updated 23 March 2020

In light of the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), we have introduced measures to prevent the future evictions of any tenant who cannot pay their housing rent directly because of coronavirus.

We ask that if you find yourself in this situation, that you inform us as early as possible so we can work with you to put appropriate plans in place.

Keeping our tenants and staff safe is always a priority.

Here is a short video showing you how we can work together to stay safe while maintaining your home.

We have also included a specific Q&A for our tenants below.

 

Q: How can I contact you?

A: Our priority is to maintain services, especially for residents who are particularly vulnerable. If you are struggling at this difficult time and you think we may be able to help, then please get in touch.

Email our rent collection team

Email our tenancy support team for a range of advice

Phone 0300 123 4000 from 8.45am

For emergency repairs to council properties or to report dangerous structures, call 0808 168 7794

For a text mobile service for hard of hearing customers, call 07827 842 833

 

Q: How do I help prevent coronavirus from spreading?

A: Look on the NHS England website

General advice is:

  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze - put tissues in the bin and wash your hands
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • work from home if possible, and avoid unessential travel and social activities
  • use phone, online services or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

 

Q: What are you doing as a result of the coronavirus?

A: We must balance your safety with our responsibilities to protect our staff and prevent the virus from spreading, so we will be calling tenants in advance of an appointment to check you are ok and agree with you whether or not we should visit. If you have symptoms, we can rearrange your appointment.

If you're not poorly, we can still rearrange your appointment. If the appointment does not have to be in person, we will offer alternatives such as a phone conversation.

We will also be following “social distancing” protocols on any essential visits, such as avoiding contact within two metres. Our priority is to protect both you and our staff.

Only essential repairs including but not limited to; power cuts, uncontrollable leaks or floods, blocked drains, insecure doors or windows, fire alarm faults and other repairs that cannot be put off will be undertaken.

We will talk to you about how we attend in advance, and if this is not the outcome you were hoping for, we will explain why we came to that decision.

 

Q: What should I do if I have to self-isolate and I’m due to see someone from Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils?

A: Please contact us and let us know – we all have a role to play to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Read the NHS advice about staying at home

 

Q: I’ve been unable to work because of the coronavirus and do not have enough income to pay my rent. What should I do?

A: Please rest assured that we understand and want to work with you to ensure you are able to cover your bills as a result of the Coronavirus.

We have introduced measures to prevent the future evictions of any tenant who cannot pay their housing rent directly because of coronavirus.

We always encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible if you are struggling to pay your rent, and that remains the case.

We offer a range of advice and support including our Tenancy Support service which help to consider how you might maximise your income. Email the Tenancy Support Team - they may also be able to put you in touch with other support agencies who can also help.

Guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) covers the entire UK and includes advice on how to claim benefits during the Coronavirus outbreak, whether you are a new or existing claimant, and also includes advice on Statutory Sick Pay.

 

Q: Am I at risk from catching it from a member of Babergh and Mid Suffolk Staff?

A: All of our staff are regularly encouraged to keep up-to-date with the latest health advice and to maintain good hygiene, and we continue to monitor the situation.

We have asked all of our staff that are able to work from home to do so.

We have applied strict rules so staff will not be meeting in groups and asked that they apply the social distancing rules if they are together or in the office.

Like everyone else, staff are self-isolating at home if they or a member of their family have symptoms and to follow all other NHS and Public Health England advice and direction.

 

Q: What will happen to our services if our staff contract the coronavirus?

A: We are monitoring the situation and have prepared Business Continuity Plans across the councils to ensure if there are local cases of the coronavirus, including staff, we can continue to maintain services in the case of an emergency such as this pandemic.

You may experience delays in service or in some cases intermittent or a reduced services but we are confident we are able to continue to support you and your family in your home.

Understandably, we may have to cut back on some services and where this happens, we will prioritise responding to emergencies and other urgent work and we will make sure to update you.

We ask you to work with us through this challenging time.

Please remember that our website has a wealth of information that may provide you with the answers you need. If you are a tenant you can also use My Home to check and pay rent, and update your personal details.

Visit the "My Home" Tenant Portal for further information

 

Q: I am a local business, what do I do if an employee suspects they have the virus?

A: Public Health England and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy offers advice for employers on what to do in such circumstances. It also offers advice for those businesses that are paying sick pay.

Read government advice for employers and businesses

The Government website should have the most up to date information, over coming days.