Coronavirus: Repairs service update

image: an Optivo team member making repairs

We're continuing to follow Government advice on the Coronavirus. This means we're making changes to our repairs services to help keep residents and staff safe.

The Housing Minister has recently written a letter to social housing residents to update them on the vital steps being taken to support them as plans are announced to reopen society.  Read the letter here.

What to expect from our repairs service during the Coronavirus emergency 

We’re doing all we can to continue to provide repairs services to you. There will be some changes and we’ll keep you updated regularly. Here’s what you can expect of our repairs service at this time.
 

Non-emergency repairs

Booked non-emergency repairs are now suspended

We’ve had to make some difficult decisions. If you’re due a non-emergency repair, we won’t be conducting this repair at the moment. This is so we can prioritise the urgent repairs and safety checks. We’ll reschedule your repair to a future date.
 
Once we’re carrying out non-emergency repairs again, we’ll get in touch. We’ll ask some simple questions about your health. If we’re unable to speak to you, we’ll rearrange the appointment. 
 

Reporting new non-emergency repairs

We need your help so we can be there for the residents that need our support the most. At the moment our call centre is experiencing a very high number of phone calls, so wer'e asking people to only call us if you have an emergency repair.

For all non-emergency repairs to your home or communal area please report this using our online service MyAccount. We’ll then schedule any work when it’s safe to do so. We appreciate your understanding at this time.

We’re only taking emergency and essential repairs at this time 

If you’re thinking of contacting us about a repair, please help us by considering first whether it’s urgent. If it isn’t, please wait until things get back to normal. 
 
This will help us to manage our repairs through this difficult time. We’ll focus on repair emergencies, and other health and safety related work (gas, fire, electrical, legionella, asbestos). We’ll also focus on works in communal areas, where it’s easier to ensure social distancing. 
 
If you’re unwell but your repair is an emergency, we’ll put special measures in place to get your repair done. If for any reason this isn’t possible, we’ll talk to you about whether there’s another way we might be able to gain access and complete the repair.
 

What is an emergency and essential repair?

Emergency and essential repairs are those repairs required to make sure we protect your health, safety and security, and anyone else at immediate risk. We’ll also make sure our buildings remain safe. 
 
Emergency and essential repairs now include
  • Issues which could, or have already, caused significant damage to your home such as roof leaks, flooding, fire or structural damage
  • Total loss of electricity, mains water, hot water and/or heating
  • Works within external and communal areas such as groundworks (fencing, paving, etc), decoration and communal lighting
  • Safety checks such as gas boiler servicing, legionella, asbestos, fire safety, electricity checks; and urgent works resulting from these checks
  • Any repair required that poses a potential danger to the public.
For a full list of emergency and essential repairs please see below:
  • Water leaks from a water pipe or riser on the landlord side of the stopcock which is causing flooding
  • Making homes safe immediately after a flood e.g. checking electrics
  • Dealing with the effect of severe storm damage (after the storm has passed)
  • Risk of falling masonry or structural collapse or collapse of ceilings
  • Total loss of electricity supply or loss of a power or lighting (but excluding a loss caused by a power company)
  • Unsafe electrical fittings (excluding resident owned appliances )
  • Breaches of  security to outside doors and windows (broken glazing will be boarded, replacing glazed units is resident’s responsibility)
  • Fixing a gas leak (if a gas leak is suspected you should call the National Grid)
  • Blocked drains, soil pipes and/or toilets
  • Loss of heating and/or hot water
  • Emptying cess-pits
  • Pumping station failures
  • Passenger lift breakdowns
  • Personal mobility lift breakdowns (where we’re responsible for repairs and servicing)
  • Insecure communal door access
  • Grab-rails/stair hand-rails (Where these need to be fitted to enable a resident to be discharged from hospital or a place of care)
  • Loss of washing facilities including baths, basins, showers, pumps to showers and Gerberit-type toilets
  • Loss of drinking water on the landlord side of the stopcock.
  • Waking watch services
  • Hard wired smoke detectors.

 


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