Find out changes to our services and advice in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus: Council tenants

Updated 29/09/2020

Internal housing repairs

Our Repairs Team has now restarted work on internal repairs to tenants' homes.

We are working on the backlog of repairs that has built-up during the pandemic lockdown period. Once those repairs have been carried out, we will start taking reports of new non-urgent repairs.

The work will involve you allowing our Trades Staff into your homes. Please note that the limit to household visits announced by the Scottish Government on September 22nd 2020 does not apply to trades people. We will continue to carry out our repairs, inspection and gas servicing visits.

We know that many of you may be concerned about letting someone into your home at this time, and so we have created some guidelines to reassure you about what we will do to keep you, your family and our staff safe.

You can continue to report emergency or urgent repairs by calling 01738 476000 or emailing Emergency repairs are classed as those where there is a risk to health and safety or where we need to take quick action to prevent damage to your home or neighbouring property.

External repairs to your homes

We have restarted external repairs to rhones, paths, fences and small masonry jobs that were reported to us before lockdown. If you have a repair that fits this category we will be in touch with you to let you know when our staff will complete the repair.

Staff will observe physical distancing guidance and appropriate PPE will be worn when necessary. On the day of us attending we would ask that you stay in your home or at least two metres away from our staff at all times. The safety of tenants and staff remains our priority.

While we work on the backlog of repairs we will not be progressing any reported repairs unless they are an emergency, or urgent. To report an emergency repair please call 01738 476000 (option 1).

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. We will keep you fully updated as we work towards restarting our full repairs service.

Contacting your Locality Housing Office

All of our Locality Housing Offices remain closed in line with Scottish Government guidance, but staff are still available to provide you with assistance. If you have an enquiry please call 01738 476000 (option 2) to speak to a member of your Locality Housing Team.

Applying for housing

Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic we have had to change the way we deliver services. We are still providing a full range of housing options and homelessness services, but we are not currently able to offer face-to-face housing options interviews or advice as our offices remain closed in line with Scottish Government guidance. Also, the Housing Options Self-Assessment service is temporarily unavailable as we are building a new and improved system which will provide an option to apply for housing online.

Our information on how to apply for housing has recently been updated.

Paying your rent

We recognise that many of our tenants are facing significant financial challenges at the present time. Please be reassured that we are here to help and support you through this in any way we can. If you think you may struggle to pay your rent please get in touch with us. 

We can provide assistance such as helping you to maximise your income and make referrals to agencies who can support you with the daily living costs including food provision. As your landlord we take our responsibilities to support you both financially, and in terms of your health and well-being, seriously.

Our highly trained staff will work with you to look at and agree a solution to help support you during this difficult time. We welcome the national guidance around the postponement of evictions for both social housing and private sector tenants.

Please contact your Locality Housing staff on 01738 476000 (option 2)

We offer a number of ways to pay your rent from your own home while we are in this period of lockdown, including online and via a smartphone app. You can also use PayPoint if your local shop offers this service. Visit the paying your rent webpage for more information.

If you are paying your rent online please remember to enter the 16-digit payment number at the bottom of your rent card, not the number in the middle of the card.

Rent Arrears

If you have built up any rent arrears over the last few months you should call us straight away. We understand that many people have suffered financially as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and we are here to help.  We can offer you a range of advice and support including referrals to make sure your income is maximised and consider other financial support like our Sustaining Tenancies Fund. 

It's vital you don't ignore your arrears, they can build up quickly and can become very difficult to pay back. If you are struggling to pay your rent or we have tried to contact you because you already have arrears please get in touch. We can discuss an affordable repayment plan and can put you in contact with our agencies who are here to help.

You can speak to your Locality Housing Team on 01738 476000 (option 2)  to avoid getting into further debt.

Homeless Services

Perth & Kinross Council's homeless services continue to run. If you are homeless or think you may become homeless in the next 2 months you should contact the Housing Options and Support Team on 0800 917 0708 or email Calls may take slightly longer than usual to answer at this time. Your Locality Housing Team can also provide advice.

Sheltered Housing

In line with Scottish Government guidance, we are asking people not to visit tenants in our sheltered housing units indoors at the present time, unless the tenant is in your extended household bubble.

Trades people are not covered by the guidance and are permitted to access households to carry out any necessary maintenance or repairs.

Staff continue to undertake additional welfare checks on residents over 70-years-old. This includes our tenants who live in mainstream accommodation. We are working closely with colleagues in the Health and Social Care partnership to deliver a joined-up approach.

Telephone welfare checks

Our Housing Staff are carrying out welfare checks with vulnerable tenants to make sure they have the support and help they need during this difficult time. We are keeping in touch with tenants who we know have vulnerabilities to ensure they're safe and healthy. We'll help to put support in place for people where it's required.

If you feel that you need an urgent chat about the welfare of you or your family please call us on 01738 476000 (option 2).

Gas safety checks

Perth & Kinross Council is continuing gas servicing visits in tenants' homes at the current time, in line with national industry guidance.  

Gas servicing is a statutory requirement for local authorities and is vitally important for the safety of our tenants.We would encourage tenants to allow staff access to homes to carry out these checks.

Our contractor Saltire is following robust protocols when attending homes. For the safety of tenants and their staff NHS screening questions are being asked 24 hours before a visit, and again from a 2- metre distance immediately before entering a property

Staff have also been issued with Protective Personal Equipment to wear during visits.

Garden Maintenance

Perth & Kinross Council has restarted the Garden Maintenance Service for tenants. We would ask that when a staff member is in attendance cutting the grass that tenants remain inside so we can ensure safe social distancing.

Structures in gardens

If you're planning to build a fence, shed or outhouse at your property you should speak to us first to make sure you don't need planning permission. This especially applies if you are thinking of building a fence in a neighbourhood that has 'open-plan' gardens. You can check with your Locality Housing Team by calling 01738 476000 (option 2).

Buy Back scheme

Our Buy Back Scheme (buying back ex-Council homes) has been suspended until further notice. This is due to the practicalities of carrying out surveys safely, particularly in occupied properties, as well as staffing pressures at the current time. The scheme will be re-instated when we are satisfied that it is safe and practical to do so.

Planned maintenance and Capital Improvement works

Some of our planned maintenance projects have now restarted.

Work on our programme to replace windows an doors, and upgrade central heating systems, in tenants' homes has restarted. Staff working in your homes will observe the same COVID-19 guidelines as our repairs team, and we also ask that tenants observe this guidance.

Some work has also restarted on our Council house new-build programme.