Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Frequently Asked Questions

Your health and safety is our top priority. We are doing everything we can do keep you safe and protect the services that are important to you.

On 4 January 2021, the government announced a new national lockdown. The advice, regardless of where you live in England, is to stay at home. The new guidance came into effect immediately. You can find a full list of restrictions and closures in place here

The government has also advised that, if you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you must begin shielding again. The government is sending letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people. This letter is to let you know about the new guidance that will be in place and can be found on the government website here.

We are closely monitoring government advice as the situation evolves and are making changes to our services accordingly to ensure we’re doing everything we can to keep you, our staff and our communities safe.

For more information, read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) below. If they do not provide the answer to your query, please call us on 0344 736 0066. We’re here if you need us.

Repairs service update

The health and safety of our residents and staff remains our number one priority.

All repairs are being carried out as usual but like everyone during this time, our trades staff have to follow government advice around self-isolation. In the event that we need to alter your appointment or current repair due to Covid-19 safety requirements, we will let you know as soon as possible and organise a new appointment at a time convenient for you. 

You may have to wait longer than usual for your repair appointment and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Emergency repairs will continue to be treated as a priority.

 If you are not home when we attend to complete your general repair, it will be cancelled and we will not call out again. Please call us on 0344 736 0066 to arrange a new date and time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Last updated 20/01/2021

Paying my rent and service charges

 

What happens if I can’t afford to pay my rent during this time? 

We understand that some residents might experience financial difficulty during this time. If you can’t pay your rent for any reason, please contact us on 0344 736 0066. 

The government has increased the range of benefits and support available to people whose incomes are affected by the coronavirus. This includes help for self-employed and furloughed staff, as well as new laws which protect tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to the coronavirus from eviction.

We recognise that these are difficult times and will do all we can to support you. If you need financial advice, please get in touch with us on 0344 736 0066

Click here to visit the Universal Credit page of the government website  

Click here to visit the Money Advice page of the Regenda Homes website 

The government has announced a new payment for people on low incomes, who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home, in areas with high number of COVID-19 cases. Click here to find out more about the new government payment for people on low incomes are unable to work due to self isolation 

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate after 28 September 2020, you could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. Click here to find out more about the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment. 

I can’t work due to the Coronavirus and am struggling to pay my rent, can you help? 

As you may be aware, the government has extended statutory sick pay to people affected by coronavirus. However, if you're not eligible for it, we’d urge you to claim Universal Credit. If you have worked in the last two years, you might also be eligible to claim Jobseekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance (if you are unfit for work). We can help you to do that if you need us to. 

We understand that some residents might experience financial difficulty during this time and our Financial Inclusion Team is here to help. You can contact us on 0344 736 0066.  

We recognise that these are difficult times and will do all we can to support you. 
Click here to visit the Universal Credit page of the government website  

Click here to visit the Money Advice page of the Regenda Homes website 

Will service charges be affected?

Your service charge remains the same. Although some services have been limited or changed due to government guidance during lockdown, we will ensure that you and your property receive the same value of service by the end of the year.
If you have not received the appropriate number of visits from our contractors by the end of the financial year (April 2021), we will return this as a credit into your next year's service charge.
Detailed records of service visits which have been made or changed in anyway are kept by us, and we will make sure you only pay for the services you have received.
 
If you are having difficulty paying your service charge or rent, please call us on 0344 736 0066 or email info@regenda.org.uk
 

Help with benefits

The government has released new information on the support available if you have lost your job or are unable to work:

Click here to find out more about the support is available if you were unemployed and have lost your job due to Covid-19

Click here to find out about the support available if you were not employed and can't work. 

I have lost my job - what benefits am I entitled to claim?

If you have worked in the past three years and have paid National Insurance contributions, you may be able to apply for New Style Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), even if your partner works or you have savings over £16,000. Click here to check your eligibility for New Style Job Seekers Allowance

If you are not fit to look for work, you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Click here to check your eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance 

If you are already claiming Housing Benefit, you will need to update your local council on any changes in your income and household circumstances to ensure you are getting the right amount of help towards paying your rent.

If you are not already receiving Housing Benefit, you can apply for Universal Credit for help with your rent and to support any children you might have. Click here for details on how to claim Universal Credit 

Universal Credit will also provide help with personal costs if you are not eligible for New Style JSA or ESA. You can request an advance on your Universal Credit payment of up to one month as soon as you make a new claim.

Click here to visit the Department for Work and Pensions website to find more information on Universal Credit 

If you have been made redundant, information about available support can be found by clicking here 

I have been furloughed - what can I claim?

If your employer has advised that you are being furloughed (unable to come into work but still being retained as an employee and not sick or self-isolating), then they should be able to claim 80% of your wage costs from the government, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. You should therefore be able to continue receiving your wages at this rate and should speak to your employer about this. This should also be available to zero hour contact employees, based on their regular earnings. The furlough scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021, so you should continue to receive 80% of your wages until this date.

If you have already spoken to your employer and still need additional financial support, please refer to the advice given above on claiming JSA, ESA or Universal Credit

I am claiming benefits but am still struggling with my rent

If you are claiming all benefits that you are entitled to receive and are still struggling with your rent, you can may be eligible to apply to your local council for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

If you need further support in applying for benefits or grants or would like advice on any other benefits related issues, please contact us on 0344 736 0066 and ask to speak to a member of the Financial Inclusion Team.

I am sick or self isolating due to illness - what can I claim?

If you are unable to return to work, your employer will let you know whether they will pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). If they will pay SSP, you should be paid from the first day of sickness (rather than day 4). You can also make a claim for Universal Credit to help with your rent and to support with living costs for you and your householdany children living with you.

If you aren’t eligible for SSP but have worked in the past two to three years and have paid National Insurance contributions, you may be able to apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance, even if your partner works or you have savings over £16,000 (see above for eligibility details). 

No medical evidence is required to make the claim for New Style ESA and/or Universal Credit, as you will be treated as having a Limited Capability for Work for the period you have coronavirus or have been advised to self-isolate.

Click here to visit the Department for Work and Pensions website to find more information on Universal Credit  

The government has announced a new payment for people on low incomes, who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home, in areas with high number of COVID-19 cases. Click here for information on support available if you are unable to work due to self isolation 

I am self employed - what can I claim?

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will see grants increase from 55% to 80%, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.

Further information on the self-employment support scheme can be found here.

Tax instalments due to HMRC now can also be deferred until 2021.

Making a claim for benefits

To make a new Universal Credit claim, click here

Click here to visit the Department for Work and Pensions website to find more information on Universal Credit

People making new claims for Universal Credit will no longer need to call the Department for Work and Pensions as part of the process. Further information can be found here.

To apply for New Style Jobseekers Allowance Allowance, visit the government website here or call 0800 055 6688.

To apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance, call 0800 328 5644.

I or someone I provide care for have been advised to shield due to being in a high risk group

If you are unemployed or not being paid by your employer, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit (see above on making a claim). 

Help with rent and council tax for existing claimants 

If you already claim Universal Credit, then you should update your online claim journal to reflect your change in circumstances and ensure that you have completed the section about your rent. You can also claim help with council tax support from your local council.

If you are already on an income related benefit such as Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance (but not New Style) or Income Support, you will be able to claim for help with your rent and council tax directly from your local council. You will need to phone them to ask about the help available to pay your rent and council tax.

I can't make a claim online or over the phone

Where possible, you should ask a partner, friend or support worker to help. In very exceptional circumstances, if you cannot make a claim over the phone or online, Jobcentres remain open and can support you to apply for benefits. 

If you are able to access a phone but not the internet, you can ring the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644 and explain your situation. They will be able to take your claim over the phone and explain what happens next.

If you don't have a direct number for your Jobcentre or Work Coach, phone the Jobcentre Enquiry Line on 0800 169 0910. 

I am already claiming Employment and Support Allowance or New Style Employment and Support Allowance

You will continue to get your Income Support/Employment Support/Jobseekers Allowance payments. You do not need to claim another benefit. All JobCentres have suspended appointments for the time being and you should not be asked to attendare currently in the process of re-opening and they will be in touch when you need to come back in for an appointment. If you have any questions on your claim and are self-isolating, please contact the Income Support enquiry line on 0800 169 0310 or Jobseekers Allowance enquiry line on 0800 169 0310.

Needing help with funeral expenses

Financial support  to help families meet the costs of funeral expenses such as coffins and funeral directors’ fees has increased from £700 to £1,000.

This change came into effect on 8 April 2020. This payment is on top of existing allowances that pay for other funeral costs, such as burial or cremation fees.

You may also be eligible to claim Bereavement Support Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner died in the last 21 months.

Information on Bereavement Support Payment can be found here.

Information around eligibility and how to apply for funeral support can be found here

Help with funeral costs can be found here.

Need further help or advice?

Claiming the right benefits or grants that are available to you can often be confusing and worrying, especially at this difficult time. If you need any advice or support or are worried about paying your rent or other bills, please contact our Financial Inclusion Team on 0344 736 0066 where one of our specialists will be happy to help you to get back on track.

 

 

Repairs service

The health and safety of our residents and staff remains our number one priority.

All repairs are being carried out as usual but like everyone during this time, our trades staff have to follow government advice around self-isolation. In the event that we need to alter you appointment or current repair due to Covid-19 safety requirements, we will let you know as soon as possible and organise a new appointment at a time that is convenient for you.

You may have to wait longer than usual for your repair appointment and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Emergency repairs will continue to be treated as a priority.

If you are not home when we attend to complete your general repair, it will be cancelled and we will not call out again. Please call us on 0344 736 0066 to arrange a new date and time.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I have a new repair - can I report it?  

Yes, you can. If you or a member of your household is self-isolating due to a confirmed or suspected case of Coronavirus, please let us know when you make your appointment. If you or a member of your household is self-isolating when your appointment date arrives, please let us know.

How can I report a repair?

You can report your repair through the following channels:

Clicking here to use our Report a Repair page

• Emailing info@regenda.org.uk

• Sending us a direct message on Facebook or Twitter

You can call us on 0344 736 0066. However, we do expect our phonelines to be busier than usual during this period.

If I report a repair now, when will it be completed?

We usually aim to carry out a non-emergency repair within 20 working days. However, this may take a little longer during the current situation. We will carry out your repair as soon as possible. If it gets worse while you are waiting for work to be carried out, please contact us immediately.

How will you keep people in my household safe while you carry out my repair?

Your safety and the safety of our staff is our number one priority. All operatives and contractors will wear facemasks when in your home and in communal areas. This is to keep both you and them safe as they go about their work. To maintain social distancing measures while they are in your home, they may ask you stay in a different room while work is carried out.

We will call you before we attend your home to check that no one in the property is self-isolating. If anyone is self-isolating, we'll arrange another appointment to carry out your repair.

I was shielding -  will you carry out my repair?

Yes, we will carry out your repair if you are shielding.

I am self-isolating, can I still have repairs carried out?

If you are self-isolating because you have symptoms of Covid-19 or because you have been contacted through the track and trace programme, we cannot carry out repairs on your property. If you are due a repair and you are self-isolating, please let us know so we can rebook your appointment.

I live in a sheltered / supported scheme – will you carry out my repair?

Yes, we will carry out repairs in sheltered and supported accommodation. This will include both emergency and non-emergency repairs.

I need a repair, but I don’t want anyone in my house – can I wait to report it?

We understand that you may not want others in your home right now and that’s ok. However, we do ask that, if there is something that is causing damage to your home, you report it to us as soon as possible, so we can resolve the issue before it becomes any worse. 

Will emergency repairs still be prioritised?

Yes, we will continue to prioritise emergency repairs and aim to respond within four hours as usual.

Are you still carrying out gas servicing checks?

Yes, gas servicing checks are a legal requirement and we’re continuing to undertake all our annual gas services. We know this is a worrying time, but your gas service is important to keep you, your family and your neighbours safe. If there is a service due in your property, we will call you beforehand to make sure you’re OK and to check if you or any members of your household are self-isolating. If circumstances change and you or a member of your household need to self-isolate while you are waiting for your service to be carried out, we'll arrange another appointment for when you are well. All operatives and contractors will wear facemasks when in your home and in communal areas. This is to keep both you and them safe as they go about their work.

To maintain social distancing measures while they are in your home, they may ask you stay in a different room while work is carried out.

Planned and major works

We will continue to carry out planned and major works. This will include electrical testing, porches, windows and doors, roof works and heating system upgrades. If you are on any of these programmes, we will contact you to arrange a date for the work to start.

 

Vulnerable and older customers

Shielding

From 4 January 2021, those who are clinically vulnerable will be asked to shield once again, and only leave home for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. This advice comes into effect immediately. If you are asked to shield, please tell your Scheme Manager so we can make sure you have everything you need.

I live in a sheltered scheme; will I still be able to use the communal areas?

Our communal areas along with any resident’s shared kitchens will remain closed. This is to keep you, your neighbours and our staff safe at this time. The resident’s shared laundry facility will remain open for you to use but must only be used by one person at a time. 

Is it safe to meet people outdoors in communal areas and can visitors come and see me if I live in a sheltered scheme?

No, we are in a new national lockdown and government guidance now states that we must stay at home. You can find full details of the restrictions in place by visiting  the government website here

Will Scheme Managers still be based on site?

Your Scheme Managers will carry out essential visits to your scheme. This includes to carry out fire alarm and lighting tests, building checks and any pull cord inspections. All other dutues will be carried out at home in accordance with government guidance. You can call your Scheme Manager Monday to Friday during office hours if you need to speak to them about anything.

Will you carry out repairs?

Yes, we will continue to carry out all emergency and non-urgent repairs and adaptations. To report your repair, call 0344 736 0066 or visit the My Regenda Homes portal. 

 Will cleaning still take place?

Your scheme cleaners will gradually return at the same time as your Scheme Manager. This will see a re-introduction of the cleaning duties that were in place before lockdown, in addition to the sterile wipe down of hard surfaces and deep cleans, which have been in place since late March 2020.

What support is available to help customers?

We understand that Coronavirus (Covid-19) is causing much anxiety and concern. If you are experiencing difficulties because you are shielding or self-isolating, please let us know and we will see if we can help. 

 

Contacting Regenda

Are your offices open? 

Reception areas in our offices are once again closed. If you need to speak to us, we are still here:

Telephone: 0344 736 0066 
Facebook: Facebook.com/TheRegendaGroup 
Email: info@regenda.org.uk 
My Regenda Homes Portal: Existing customers can check your rent balance, view your statement, pay rent and other charges, and set up a Direct Debit. If you haven’t registered simply visit our website to register. https://www.regenda.org.uk/myregendahomes 

 

How will you keep residents updated? 

We are closely monitoring government advice and as the situation evolves are making some changes to our services. We will keep you updated via our website and social media, or will contact you by phone, email or text message when required. 

Moving home

We're continuing to carry out viewings and sign-ups for our properties - if you are looking to move home, we can help. In line with government guidance, we are providing a lettings service across all our tenancy types.

Our viewings and sign-ups processes have been fully reviewed to ensure that they can be carried out safely. We will follow all government guidelines when carrying out empty property viewings and new tenancy sign-ups. All viewings and sign-ups will be undertaken via appointment only and with social distancing measures in place. Prior to any appointment, we will ask anybody visiting the property whether they or a member of their household has any symptoms of Covid-19. If the answer is yes, we will rearrange the appointment. 

During your appointment, measures will be in place to ensure social distancing. This will include limiting the number of people attending the property, officers wearing personal protective equipment and officers remaining outside of the property while viewings take place. All customer enquiries will be dealt with over the telephone.

 

Anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour

If you have experienced criminal behaviour and are concerned for the safety of yourselves or others, please call the police immediately by dialling 999. 

Can I still report anti-social behaviour (ASB)?

You can still report ASB online or by calling 0344 736 0066.

Will my complaint be taken seriously?

Of course. We take all reports of anti-social behaviour seriously. Depending on the nature of your complaint, an ASB case may be opened. Following this, you will be contacted by a member of our Neighbourhood Team and kept up to date on the investigation.

We understand that there may be an increase in the number of complaints we receive due to people spending more time at home and will not investigate complaints relating to normal household noise or day to day living.

What if my neighbour is breaching government guidelines on social distancing?

Please report these instances to the police on 101. Some local police forces have set up dedicated web pages to report breeches of government guidelines relating to social distancing. We will work with the police and other local agencies to identify these cases.

What if I need a home visit or the case is urgent?

We will only carry out home visits in exceptional or emergency circumstances and we will discuss this with you when we visit your home. If we can deal your complaint over the telephone, we will continue to do this to ensure your safety and that of our staff. We will continue to work with our partners and other statutory agencies to manage any serious and urgent complaints.

Domestic abuse

What if I am suffering domestic abuse and need help or my neighbour needs help?

There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances are. If you or someone you know who lives in a Regenda property is suffering from domestic abuse, please call us on 0344 736 0066. We can provide signposting information to local agencies who will be able to provide support.

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police - the police will continue to respond to emergency calls.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999, listen to the questions from the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. Follow the instructions depending on whether you are calling from a mobile or a landline.

If you call from a mobile, press 55 when prompted to make yourself heard. This will transfer your call to the police. Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.

If you call 999 from a landline and only background noise can be heard, a BT operator will connect you to a police call handler if they cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed.

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

You can also call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.  

Women’s Aid offer a live chat service at chat.womensaid.org.uk


What if I need to leave my home?

Refuges are still open and offering support. You can also complete an online form if you prefer - natoinaldahelpline.org.uk  

Please remember that lockdown and isolation guidance does not apply if you need to escape your home due to domestic abuse. Help and support are available at this time, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services.  

Cleaning and grounds maintenance

Will you be carrying out window and communal cleaning and grounds maintenance services?

We are carrying out grounds maintenance services, including: 

  • A basic grass cutting grounds maintenance service 
  • Full external window cleaning service
  • Some cleaning services to all properties that pay for the service (excluding communal lounges, which are currently not in use).

Communal cleaning specification - hard surface only

 
Item Cleaning
Doors Disinfect all door handles, push plates and door glass
Hallways Disinfect all handrails, doors, door handles, push plates, any door glass and light switches
Communal kitchens Disinfect all doors, door handles, push plates, any door glass, light switches, cupboard handles, taps, kettles and work tops.
Communal bathrooms Disinfect all doors, handles, push plates, any door glass, light switches, taps and toilet flush handles.
Lifts Disinfect all entry call buttons on each floor and internal button panel.

Our operatives will be using a one person per van policy, so you may see more than one van. This is to maintain social distancing and ensure the safety of you and our staff.

Will service charges be affected?

Your service charge remains the same. Although some services have been limited or changed due to government guidance during lockdown, we will ensure that you and your property receive the same value of service by the end of the year.
If you have not received the appropriate number of visits from our contractors by the end of the financial year (April 2021), we will return this as a credit into your next year's service charge.
Detailed records of service visits which have been made or changed in anyway are kept by us, and we will make sure that you only pay for services you have received.
 
If you are having difficulty paying your service charge, please call us on 0344 736 0066 or email info@regenda.org.uk

 

 

Suppliers

 

Message to all our suppliers and partners

During this challenging operating environment in which we all find ourselves, we are working hard to ensure there is minimal disruption to our relationships with suppliers and partners.

We wanted to assure you that we have put in place new ways of working to ensure we can continue to place purchase orders, process invoices, and pay you on time whilst at the same time ensuring that are financial controls are sufficiently robust to guard against fraud.

If you experience issues with any of these please let us know as soon as possible using the contact details below. If you are facing financial challenges and would like to get in touch regarding earlier payment, again please let us know.

Email: stef.fearns@regenda.org.uk

Telephone 0151 703 3143

 

Government Support for the Self Employed

We are aware that the Government has introduced a scheme to support our suppliers and partners who are self employed. This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. Further information is available here.

 

Treasury Direction made by the Chancellor under Sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020

The Chancellor has made a Treasury Direction under Sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. It sets out that HMRC are responsible for the payment and management of amounts to be paid under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, as set out in the Schedule to the Direction. The Direction sets out the legal framework for the Scheme.

You can view it here