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Coronavirus - Information from Cloch

Home > Coronavirus - Information from Cloch

Due to the impact of the pandemic and following Scottish Government guidance as of the 26th December 2020 we unfortunately had to suspend all “non-essential” repairs reported to Cloch by our customers where works were required to be carried out inside your home or enclosed communal spaces such as closes.

Reactive Repairs

As a result of the announcement from the Scottish Government on Tuesday 20th April we are pleased to announce that we can resume our full repairs and maintenance service from Monday 26th April 2021. We are working closely with our contractors in an effort to attend to the backlog of repairs. If you have previously reported a repair to Cloch since the 26th December 2020 you can expect a call from our contractor, McDougall`s, or a Cloch staff member who will discuss the repair with you. If the repairs is still required to carried out they will  make an appointment with you to carry out the works. As you can appreciate it will take a bit of time to get through all the outstanding repairs. We really appreciate your patience and co-operation during this time.

We will also instruct all new repairs reported to Cloch from Monday 26th April, and where required we may be able to arrange for a Property Services Officer to carry out a visit to your home whilst ensuring that all COVID-19 safe working practices are followed.

Our office is still closed at this time, however you can still call Cloch during office hours to report or discuss any repair issues you may have.

Gas Servicing and Gas Boiler Repairs

This service will carry on as normal.  The restrictions allow for work on utilities.

Planned Maintenance

We have stopped any planned maintenance that is internal to your home, except agreed medical adaptations which are permitted under the government guidelines.   We will also be continuing with painter work in our closes. 

Smoke Detector Upgrade Works / Electrical Safety Inspections

These works which were also suspended will also resume. If your home is due to have either of these works carried out you will be contacted by our contractor GD Chalmers who will contact you by letter and phone to arrange a suitable appointment for them to come and fit a new smoke detector system to your home, or to carry out an electrical inspection of your home. We would add that these works are legislative and are required under law to be carried out, and we would appreciate your cooperation in allowing access to you home to have these woks completed.

Please note: 

No repair will be carried out to your home if you or anyone in your household has recently  tested positive for Covid or is showing symptoms of the virus.  Also, if you are self-isolating and don’t want anyone in the house, we will put the repair on hold.  

Also, be aware that while the tradesman will wear a mask entering and exiting your home, they will ask you to move to another room or be at least 2 metres away and may remove their mask to work.

If a painter is in your close, you should not hesitate to ask them to move away while you enter and exit your home.  

Void Work

The restrictions still allow the letting of homes and because of this, we are continuing to work on empty homes to bring them up to a lettable standard.  This means workmen may be in your close, but they have always been advised to keep to the highest COVID secure standards.

At all times during this pandemic we have been working closely with our contractors to ensure that safe working systems are in place to protect not only our residents but also the operatives.

Office

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.  

Arrears

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.

Anti-social behaviour

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.

Estate Management

We are currently not carrying out regular inspections.  We will react to any complaints about Estate Management.

Factoring Arrears

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.

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Customer Service Excellence AwardCyber Essentials Certification   House Exchange Inverclyde Common Housing Register Living Wage Accreditation Scottish Federation of Housing Associations Member Scottish Housing Regulator Scottish Public Services Ombudsman