Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Frequently Asked Questions

Your health and safety is our top priority. We are doing everything we can to keep you safe and protect the services that are important to you. If you think you or a member of your household may have picked up the virus and are now self-isolating or social distancing, please let us know. We are closely monitoring government advice and as the situation evolves are making some changes to our services.

Please note, in accordance with Government guidance we are only carrying out emergency repairs which include: the security of your home, leaking water that could cause damage to your home, loss of heating and hot water or loss of electricity.   

View our frequently asked questions (FAQs) below, or if you have read our FAQs and have not found the answer to your question, please call us on 0344 736 0066.

Last updated 12/05/2020

Paying my rent

 

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 that we can to support you, please get in touch with us on 0344 736 0066

Fund out more about Universal Credit and Coronavirus 

Get more info about how we can help with your finances

 

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 or Employment Support Allowance – and we’ll help you do that if you need us to. 

We understand that some residents might experience financial difficulty during this time and our financial inclusion team are here to help. You can contact us on 0344 736 0066.  

We recognise that these are difficult times and will do all that we can to support you. 

Click here to understand more about Universal Credit and Coronavirus >

Get more info about how we can help with your finances

Help with benefits

I have not been furloughed and have lost my job - what benefits am I entitled to claim?

If you have worked in the past two to 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. Eligibility for New Style JSA can be checked here.  

You can also apply for Universal Credit for help with your rent and any children you might have. Please visit gov.uk for eligibility and details of how to claim.

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

There is further information on Universal Credit for all circumstances on the Department for Work and Pensions website

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.

If you have already spoken to your employer and this is not possible, please refer to the advice given above. 

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 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 any 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 section 1 above for elegibility 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.

There is further information on Universal Credit for all circumstances on the Department for Work and Pensions website

I am self employed - what can I claim?

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme was introduced by the government on 26 March 2020. This is a grant that will be equal to 80% of your last three years self-employed income and will be paid at the beginning of June 2020. The maximum grant will be equivalent to earnings up to £2,500pcm and will be paid for at least three months (although this could be extended if necessary).

You do not necessarily need to have stopped trading to apply. However, to qualify, self-employed people must have submitted their 2019 tax return to HMRC by 31 January 2020. The government is allowing a 4-week grace period to get late returns submitted.

Those eligible will be contacted directly by HMRC once the scheme is operational. They will be asked to complete an online form and the grant will be paid directly into their bank account.

Those who are left with no income in the meantime can apply for a Business Interruption Loan through their bank. Alternatively, you can make a claim for welfare benefits, namely Universal Credit or New Style Job Seekers Allowance. Further information on Business Interruption Loans can be found here.

There is further information on Universal Credit for all circumstances on the Department for Work and Pensions website

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

Making a claim for benefits

To make a new Universal Credit claim, visit gov.uk/universal-credit 

There is further information on Universal Credit for all circumstances on the Department for Work and Pensions website

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 gov.uk or call 0800 055 6688.

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

I 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 to reflect your change in circumstances and ensure that you have completed to section about your rent. You can also claim help with council tax 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/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 attend. They will be in touch when you need to come back in. 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.

JobCentre appointments

From 19 March, all JobCentre appointments with claimants are suspended for three months. This includes weekly and fortnightly work search reviews in JSA and ESA (new style and legacy) and Income Support work-focused interviews.

If you have an appointment scheduled, you should not attend the JobCentre and your benefit payment should continue as normal. The JobCentre will contact you when you need to come back in. 

If you already have a new claim appointment booked, the JobCentre should contact you at a pre-arranged time by telephone to go through your claim. If you wish to change your telephone appointment or didn;t receive a telephone appointment, call the Jobcentre Enquiry line on 0800 169 0910. 

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.

Information around eligibility and how to apply can be found at gov.uk.

 

 

Repairs service

Following the government statement in March 2020, we suspended all non-emergency repairs. We have continued to carry out repairs that have affected the security of your home, leaking water that could cause damage and loss of heating, hot water or electricity. From 1st June 2020, we will begin to reintroduce a routine repairs service.

I have a new repair - can I report it?  

You can report a new repair from 8th June 2020. This will allow us to rebook outstanding repairs that have not taken place due to the lockdown, before we take new repair appointments.

My repair appointment was cancelled or I reported a repair during lockdown – when will my repair be carried out?

We understand that you have been waiting longer than expected for your repair to be carried out. We will have a large backlog of repairs to carry out when the service restarts and we will prioritise these. We have been contacting residents who are waiting for a repair to be carried out and will continue to rebook appointments. If you have any concerns before then, please call us on 0344 736 0066.

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, because of the backlog of repairs that we have, this will be longer. 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 can I report a repair?

You can report your repair through the following channels:

• Telephoning 0344 736 0066
• Emailing info@regenda.org.uk
• Sending us a direct message on Facebook or Twitter

We expect our phonelines to be busier than usual during this period. At this time, we are not able to open our online repairs reporting system. This is because appointments may show has being booked due to backlogged repairs. We will aim to open the repair reporting system as soon as possible.

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. When we carry out your repair, you may see our staff wearing protective clothing, such as face masks and gloves, as well as following guidance on social distancing. This is to protect them and you as they go about their work. To maintain social distancing measures while they are in your home, they may ask you stay in an 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.

Are you carrying out all repairs from 1st June 2020?

We hope to but this will depend on us being able to source the materials we need. We are aiming to carry out all non-emergency repairs from 1st June and will be taking new repair bookings from 8th June. However, there may be delays while we wait for materials. We will keep you updated on the progress of your repair.

I need a repair but I am shielding – will you carry out my repair?

No, we will not carry out non-emergency repairs to any household that is shielding. This is because current government guidelines state that anyone who is not
an essential carer, doctor or nurse cannot enter your home. If you have an emergency repair, please call us on 0344 736 0066 to discuss your options.
The government is currently advising those extremely vulnerable groups to shield until the end of June and is regularly monitoring this position. We will continue to follow government guidelines and will only start routine repairs for households in the extremely vulnerable group when it is safe to do so.

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

We will continue to carry out emergency repairs in sheltered and supported schemes but will not carry out any non-emergency repairs at this time. This is because there may be numerous people shielding in these schemes and we need to ensure that traffic in communal areas is kept to a minimum. We are monitoring this situation and will restart non-emergency repairs as soon as it is safe to do so. We will consider carrying out non-emergency repairs in exceptional circumstances, so please contact us if you live in a sheltered or supported scheme and need a repair.

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, we’re continuing to undertake all our annual gas servicing requirements. 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. When we carry out your service, you may see our staff wearing protective clothing, such as face masks and gloves, as well as following guidelines on social distancing. This is to protect them and you as they go about their work. To maintain social distancing measures while in your home, we may ask you to stay if a different room while we carry out the service.

Planned and major works

Planned and major works are still suspended for the time being. We will continue to review this situation.

 

Vulnerable and older customers

 

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

Given Government guidance on minimising non-essential interaction, communal lounges and kitchen areas will be closed until further notice. If you already receive a telephone or intercom wellbeing call during the week (Monday to Friday), these will continue to take place however they may be delivered by a colleague from our wider Care and Support team and not your usual Scheme Manager. 

 

Will visitors still be able to come to see me if I live in a sheltered scheme? 

During this time, we will be asking residents to only accept visitors for essential appointments such as caring duties, property repairs, provide health, social care and welfare visits and food deliveries. 

 

Will Scheme Managers still be based on site? 

From 31 March 2020, all Scheme Managers will work remotely to complete their daily wellbeing checks with residents, and will only visit the schemes to undertake essential activities, e.g. following up if someone doesn’t answer their morning call or carry out a building check. This is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for you and your Scheme Manager. If contact is required, please use your telecare or ring your Scheme Manager directly. 

 

Will cleaning still take place?

We are reintroducing basic cleaning to our sheltered and supported schemes. We will maintain social distancing and help to ensure areas remain clean. We won't be able to carry out cleaning in communal areas however, as these remain closed for now.

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.

 

What support is available to help customers? 

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

We are phoning customers who we know might need support during this time. If you would like a wellbeing call, please let us know on 0344 736 0066.  

If we don’t have your current contact number and/or email address, please update your account online or call our customer contact number on 0344 736 0066.   

For guidance on protecting people most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus (shielding) please visit: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875126/Easy_read_guidance_on_shielding_March_2020.pdf

Keeping in touch

 

Can I still call if I need to talk to a member of staff?  

As of Wednesday 18 March 2020 we are closing our public reception areas until further notice. You can still get in touch in the following ways: 

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

From 1st June, we will start to let our empty homes again. There will be a number of changes to how we carry out things like viewings and signing up new tenants.
This is important, as we want to make sure we are keeping our staff and the people applying for our homes safe. 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. 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. Any customer enquiries will be dealt with over the telephone.

We will not be carrying out viewings or sign ups for supported or sheltered schemes at this time but we are reviewing this decision weekly and will recommence a lettings service to schemes as soon as possible.

 

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?

The health and safety of our residents and staff is our number one priority. As a result, we are not carrying out any home visits at this time. 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 the household 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 have started to reintroduce our grounds maintenance service and our operatives will be keeping to social distancing guidelines outlined by the government.  From Monday 27 April, we reintroduced: 

  • A basic grass cutting grounds maintenance service, but cuttings will be left on site until the green waste and commercial tips re open 
  • The 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.

 

 

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

For the latest health advice please visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/  

Information about the virus is being updated regularly. We advise you to keep up to date with the latest information. The Government Housing Minister has written to all tenants living in social housing. You can find a copy of the letter here

We will update this page regularly as new Government guidance is announced to keep you updated with any change to our services.