We have created a list of questions and answers that might be useful for you about our services and any changes we have made whist we're having to work a little differently throughout the pandemic.
We are following the advice from the government and any changes we make to our service are a result of government advice. We would of course recommend that you also keep checking on the latest advice which can be found on the government website and also on the NHS website.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
We have grouped the questions by category, just click the links below to go to each category.
I’m booked in to have a new bathroom or kitchen fitted in the next few weeks. Will you still be doing this?
Any work we have already started, we will continue with. Any work booked in going forward we will be reviewing case by case and will be in touch with all our tenants booked in to have work like this carried out.
Are you still doing non-essential repairs?
Although we are continuing this work, to protect your family and our colleagues we’re asking that when booking a repair, you consider first if it is essential and cannot wait, before contacting us.
The rate of Covid-19 transmission has risen, which is why we want to reduce our non-essential repairs, so that we can prioritise those most urgent, and for those most in need. But to do this, we need your help.
The correct measures and precautions remain in place when visiting your home to make sure we keep everyone safe, as this is our number one priority. However, we’d like to please ask that you also take precautions by considering if your repair is time critical.
I’ve got a non-essential repair but I’m self-isolating due to showing Coronavirus symptoms – will you still do my repair?
No. We will ask you to call back once your self-isolation period is over to rebook your appointment if you show no symptoms at the end of this period.
Is it safe for your repairs staff to come in my home still?
We’re closely following government advice, which currently states that repairs can be carried out, as long as precautions are taken.
We are making sure our staff have the relevant cleaning and safety supplies to be able to do their job to keep you and themselves safe, and we are taking all relevant precautions.
I’ve lost my job or had my hours cut because of Coronavirus so I’m going to struggle to pay my rent. What do I do?
If you're worried about paying your rent, get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can discuss your rent payments and see what is doable for you at the moment. We can work together to get a plan in place that will work for you. Our team are on hand to offer as much support and guidance as we can at this difficult time.
I’m already behind on my rent and now I can’t work I’m going to get even more behind – what do I do?
If you're worried about paying your rent, get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can discuss your rent payments and see what is doable for you at the moment. We can work together to get a plan in place that will work for you. Our team are on hand to offer as much support and guidance as we can at this difficult time. There's also some useful info on these websites that might be helpful as well:
I pay my rent in cash by visiting your office, what do I do to pay my rent now?
There are a lot of alternatives to pay your rent rather than paying cash. Please give us a call on 01724 279900 to find out more. You can also set up a direct debit to make your payments each month.
This is also something we can help with so just get in touch with us.
Post Offices and shops are still open with social distancing measures being applied so if this is your usual way to pay your rent and you are happy to carry on following government advice we would recommend this.
I’m worried about my rent or another issue to do with my tenancy. Who do I speak to?
If you have any worries or concerns there are a number of ways you can get in touch with us. You can call us on 01724 279900 and our Customer Service team will be able to make sure you speak to the right person. You can message us on Facebook, speak to us on live chat on the website or you can download our My Home app.
Are your offices still open for me to visit?
No. Following the latest government guidance stating the national lockdown from Thursday 5 November, we have decided to keep our offices closed to the public. You can still get in touch with us over the phone, using the My Home app, on our website and via social media. So we’re still all here doing our jobs to support you – it’s just slightly different in the way we’re delivering it right now.
I live in one of your retirement schemes, can I still use the communal facilities like the lounge and kitchen?
Following the latest government guidance coming into action on 5 November, we are continuing to keep communal facilities such as scheme lounges, closed. We will continue to update you on this as government guidance is updated.
Will there be any activities taking place in my retirement scheme?
Unfortunately, at the moment we have taken the decision to stop all our planned activities in our retirement schemes. This is following the government advice.
Can I contact the Employment Support team as I have lost my job due to Coronavirus?
Yes, if you have lost your job please get in touch with our recruitment agency who have lots of work available, or if you need some employment support – our team can help with that too. Call them on 01724 844848 or check our Ongo Recruitment on Facebook.
I have an appointment with someone in the Employment Support team – will it be going ahead still?
Yes, unless you have heard from us your appointment will be going ahead. It is likely however that this will now be a phone appointment.
Can I still get help with applying for benefits?
We will still be supporting you with your benefits but this will be over the telephone or via email.
What about the safety checks you carry out where I live, will these still be happening?
We will be continuing with our safety checks with revised working practices in place. This will be for fire safety, emergency lighting, legionella checks, gas safety checks and lift servicing.
What advice is there as a tenant during the Coronavirus outbreak?
The government has put together some information on their website which includes advice for landlords, local authorities and tenants. This includes stressing that essential repairs and safety checks should continue in most cases and that tenants should continue to pay their rent and speak to their landlord if they are having difficulties. Check it out here.
What measures are we putting in place to keep our tenants safe?
All of our engineers are following the latest advice from Public Health England on entering and working in customers and tenants homes, to make sure our staff and tenants are safe.
I’m self-isolating because I have coronavirus symptoms – what will you do about my appointment?
Please get in touch with our Customer Service team on 01724 279900 to rearrange your appointment for after your two-week isolation period.
Why can’t we just postpone it?
The government hasn’t changed the law for landlords to postpone essential safety inspections and servicing and as your landlord we have a duty of care you protect you. If this law is revised we look will look for suitable measures.
Why are these checks important?
To ensure gas appliances are safe and functioning correctly, and to reduce the risk of breakdowns, carbon monoxide poising, and gas leaks. We carry out these checks to make sure you are safe in your home, so they’re really important.
Can’t I do the check myself? Like a meter reading?
No – The gas safety check is an annual service check of the gas supply and the appliances within the dwelling. This must only be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer, with the correct qualifications.
If I am self-isolating as a precaution for the 12 week period, what happens if my boiler stops working will you still fix it?
Your health is extremely important to us, along with your decision making to self-isolate. If this does happen, get in touch with our Customer Service team straight away. You can call them on 01724 279900.
What should I do if I’m experiencing domestic abuse at home?
We would encourage you to call 101 or 999 if you’re in danger. Please take a look at the Humberside Police website for more information.
Will your staff wear face coverings when visiting my home?
Yes. You will see all our colleagues wearing a face covering when they arrive for an appointment, when they enter your home and at any point when they’re moving around your home. They will take off their face covering when in a room on their own working.
Will your contractors wear face coverings?
Yes. In the same way as us, our contractors will arrive to an appointment wearing a face covering, will keep it on when entering your home and moving through your home. They will also take it off when in a room on their own completing work.
Do I have to wear a face covering if you visit me at home?
We would ask that if we are attending an appointment at your home to carry out works or an inspection that you stay in a different room to us, then you won’t need to wear a face covering. If we have an appointment with you or someone at your home, we would ask if you would wear a face covering – just to keep everyone safe.
Do I have to wear a face covering if I have an appointment at one of your offices?
Yes please. We’re following the government guidance around face coverings so would ask that you do wear one when attending an appointment in person with us. We’ll be wearing one too.
Do I need to wear one to visit The Arc?
Yes please. If you can make sure you’re wearing one when you enter the building and keep it on until you’re sat down. Then when you get up to leave, use the toilet etc we would ask that you pop it back on. We’ll be wearing them too.
What about the safety checks you carry out where I live, will these still be happening?
We will be continuing with our safety checks with revised working practices in place. This will be for fire safety, emergency lighting, legionella checks, gas safety checks and lift servicing. It is really important that we can continue to do these checks to keep you safe in your home.
My home and community
What do I do if I’m having trouble with my neighbour?
Please try to speak to your neighbour in the first instance as they may not be aware of the issues you are having. If you have already tried this contact us as soon as possible so that one of the Housing Team is able to take details over the phone and/or email. The earlier we try to address this type of behaviour the more chance we have of resolving it.
I’m supposed to be moving into one of your new build homes, will this be delayed?
At the moment, all our contractors are still working on all our sites and will continue to do so until the government tell them otherwise. We are closely following government advice and will change our ways of working if they advise us to.
I live somewhere with communal and shared areas, are you doing more cleaning in them?
We have reviewed all our cleaning specifications and in all areas with communal or shared spaces we are increasing the amount we clean contactable surfaces such as handrails, lift buttons, door handles and surfaces.
I am experiencing anti-social behaviour in my neighbourhood – what can I do?
Please keep a log of incidents. Has this been reported to the police? If you have reported this to the police, please could we have details of log no and investigating officer.
I’m still out of work because of coronavirus, now that evictions are no longer banned does this mean I will lose my home?
During this challenging time landlords have been advised to not serve an eviction notice without a very good reason to do so. It is essential that we work together during these unprecedented times to keep each other safe.
Here at Ongo evictions are the last resort, if there is any way we can help you to remain in your home then we will. If you are worried about your rent account please get in touch with us on 01724 279900, we are to help and can offer you various ways to avoid being evicted.
Why has the evictions ban ended?
The Government announced that evictions are “an important step” towards transitioning out of emergency measures and allowing the market to operate.
As an organisation it is imperative we take the necessary steps needed to ensure every tenant is treated fairly and given a fair opportunity.
Is there any government guidance about evictions for anyone living in a housing association home?
The Government has made regulations extending the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020, meaning that from 29 August 2020 landlords will not be able to start possession proceedings in most circumstances unless they have given their tenants six months’ notice. Shorter notice periods will apply to certain cases where the landlord wants to evict the tenant because of rent arrears of 6 months or more, anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse or false statement.
Click here to read the full Coronavirus Act 2020
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