Coronavirus: Council tenants
Internal housing repairs
From Monday 20th July 2020 our Repairs Team is restarting work on internal repairs to tenants' homes.
Initially we will work 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
From Monday 29th June we 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 are closed until further notice but staff are still available to provide you with assistance. If you have an urgent enquiry please call 01738 476000 (option 2) to speak to staff. We are operating with a reduced workforce so it may take longer than usual to answer your call. Your call will be placed in a queue so please be patient and your call will be answered.
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 are operating with a reduced workforce so it may take longer than usual to answer your call.
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.
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 to avoid getting into further debt.
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 email@example.com. Calls may take slightly longer than usual to answer at this time. Your Locality Housing Team can also provide advice.
The Scottish Government has announced that extended family groups can now be formed, and as a result some extended family visits are permitted in our sheltered housing facilities. We would ask that anyone visiting a family member is mindful of social distancing rules in relation to other residents and members of staff, and that they observe national hand hygiene guidance.
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'll be phoning 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).
People can also help by keeping in touch with any vulnerable friends and neighbours over the next few weeks, but please observe social distancing rules. Keep in touch with people by telephone if possible.
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.
Perth & Kinross Council is still looking to provide the Garden Maintenance Service for tenants from Monday 13th April. 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
We're all spending a lot of time at home and you may want to take advantage by doing some work on your garden. However, 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. 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 are restarting. Planned maintenance returned to site on Monday 22nd June in Braco and on Monday 29th June in Aberfeldy, to complete the 2019 programme of works.
We will keep you updated on when capital improvement plan works will recommence.