Home > Coronavirus - Information from Cloch
The continuing restrictions as a result of the pandemic means that Cloch has changed ways of delivering services to our customers. Below is a summary of our current services and any changes to the services or the way you access the services.
We have staff using the office, but only on a restricted basis. Most staff continue to work from their homes. In July, we introduced a new phone system that allows us to use our live phone system from anywhere – office, home etc. This means when you phone the office our customer connections team will answer as normal and you can be put through to other staff, regardless of where they are located that day.
We are not open to the public, which means that we have not opened up our doors for walk-in visits. Customers can visit the office, only if they have an appointment. On entering the building, you will be asked about symptoms of COVID and whether or not you have been diagnosed with COVID. You will be asked to wear a mask which we will supply on arrival. We will take your details as required by the Trace & Protect scheme. Our interview rooms have been fitted with screens and we will limit any touching of surfaces such as pen and paper. Payments of cash will now not be taken. We are encouraging everyone to pay by card and will encourage new tenants to set up Direct Debits or Standing Orders.
Visiting your home
We are trying to restrict internal visits of our staff where possible for inspections or interviewing at home. For repairs, where possible we will ask the contractor to attend first and carry out the repair or provide us with a report on what else needs done.
In some cases, we will ask you to email pictures or video of the repair or issue that is causing you concern. In this instance, someone will call you to discuss once they have reviewed the images. Alternatively we will look to have a video call with you using zoom. If however, a staff member has to call to your home we will ask you precautionary questions relating to COVID symptoms or self isolation, and will require physical distancing to be observed of at least 2m while we are in attendance.
We continue to ask you to pay your rent as normal. We will always take account of your circumstances when pursuing any rent arrears, in particular if your income has been affected by unemployment or furlough during the pandemic. The main thing is to talk to our housing team and make payments if at all possible. No housing officer will visit your home, however, staff will continue to contact you by phone, video conferencing and letter. If they require to meet you face to face, they will make an appointment for you to visit the office.
We take anti-social behaviour very seriously. We understand that restrictions can cause some people to act out of character, however, the well-being of everyone in our communities is paramount. As more people are based at home it is more important than ever that your home is a safe and happy place. We will continue to respond to anti-social behaviour. The only activity we are not currently engaged in is visiting homes however if we require to meet you face to face, staff will make an appointment for you to visit the office.
We have restarted estate management and now visit estates and closes and can respond as normal to issues around fly tipping and vandalism.
Reactive (day to day) repairs
Our contractors are carrying out all day to day repairs. We are also working with our contractors to catch up with repairs logged during lockdown. The difference now is that we will ask you questions regarding the symptoms of coronavirus or whether or not you have tested positive to coronavirus. If you have symptoms or are currently positive, contractors will not enter your home. All contractors should wear appropriate PPE such as masks and gloves.
Our annual gas servicing restarted in May 2020 and we are now caught up with our backlog, with a few exceptions. Some tenants continue to not provide access to carry out this vital service, and we are now looking to force entry unless there is good reason for a tenant not to let us in to the property. This is because the law states that landlords must service boilers within 12 months of the previous service. This law was not changed during lockdown and we have a legal responsibility to carry out the service.
We now offering a full factoring service. Closes are being cleaned and communal grass is being cut. This means we will billing as normal in November. Where a service wasn’t provided because of lockdown, the bills will be reduced appropriately. All owners should continue to pay their bills and talk to our Accounts Team if they are struggling to make payments due to unemployment or furlough due to the pandemic.
Inverclyde Community Housing Register (ICHR)
The ICHR is now fully operational. After a period of no properties being offered for bidding, we are now back to full strength.