Coronavirus Frequently asked questions:

Maintenance and repairs service: 

Q What should I do if I have a repair arranged but have symptoms linked to Coronavirus? 

A Please inform PHA straight away so that we can liaise with the contractor. We may be unable to complete your repair unless it is classed as emergency while you have symptoms. 


Q What do I do if I have a repair to report but already have symptoms of Coronavirus? 

A Continue to report the repair to PHA and we will determine whether the repair is an emergency or can be left until you are no longer at risk.  If the repair is an emergency, we will make every effort to complete the repair for you.  


Q Why are you only carrying out emergency repairs? 

A PHA have taken the decision to only carry out emergency repairs so that we can protect our contractors and tenants/residents from the spread of the virus as much as possible.  This enables us to provide a good service for all urgent repairs during this time. 


Q What is classed as an emergency repair? 

A Any repair that may cause further damage or danger to any person would be classed as an emergency repair. This may include issues such as leaks, electrical issues, front or back doors to the property not opening or locking correctly, smoke alarms not working or making unusual noises, a toilet not flushing where it is the only toilet in the property.  Heating and boiler repairs continue to be classed as emergency – pha@robertheath.co.uk


Q What is not an emergency repair? 

A Generally, repairs to fencing, sheds, washing lines, internal doors including kitchen cupboards, one plug socket not working would not be classed as emergency repairs. 


 


 

Difficulty in paying your rent as a result of Covid-19 (Coronavirus)? 

Q:  How may Covid-19 (Coronavirus) affect my ability to pay my rent?  

What help can I get?  

A Covid-19 is causing significant disruption across the country and this is likely to continue for some months. PHA Homes is working within company policy and procedures and in accordance with the ever-changing guidance from the Government and governing bodies regarding the current situation in relation to Covid-19.  

There are many tenants and residents whose income may be affected by Covid-19; example situations include: 

  • Employers may need to put their staff on reduced hours.  
  • Schools may send children home from school so tenants cannot work as they have to stay at home to look after the children.   
  • Employers may not be able to pay staff at all and have to terminate their contract and as a result tenants may become unemployed and seeking new work.   
  • Self-employed tenants may not be able to work as their customers don’t want them in their home.   
  • Some tenants may become ill or have to self-isolate and only be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.  

All of these may result in reduced or no income for tenants which could leave tenants in financial difficulty and struggling to pay their rent 

PHA Homes regularly deal with tenants who are struggling and understands how to help those tenants manage their rent payments and seek the best advice possible in order to  sustain their tenancy and remain in their home.  

PHA Homes is committed to supporting our tenants and helping our tenants to maximise income during challenging times.    

As a small non-profit Housing Association PHA Homes relies on the rental income from tenants to sustain the business and therefore all tenants are still liable to pay their rent in advance in accordance with their tenancy agreement or lease.   

PHA’s top tips for dealing with arrears are: 

  • If you are currently in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit then you need to update them as a matter of urgency if your circumstances change and provide them with the necessary evidence they request as soon as possible. 
  • If you are not currently in receipt of either of these, then you should seek advice from Citizens Advice Bureau as soon as possible. They will advise you about your entitlement to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help pay your rent.  You will have to submit the claim as a matter of urgency to avoid delay in receiving your benefits.   
  • Always update Housing Benefit of Universal Credit immediately so to get your claim assessed as soon as possible, as payment will likely be delayed and may not be backdated. 
  • Always stay in communication with PHA Homes to provide regular updates on the actions you are taking to maintain you rent payments and resolve any arrears.   

Furthermore, welfare benefits have introduced temporary regulations if you are infected, in isolation or caring for your child.  

For example, ‘New Style’ Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) lifts the usual 7 day waiting period before the claim can commence. Universal Credit have also put various temporary regulations in place, we would advise you to contact your work coach for more information.  

PHA Homes aims to keep tenants updated as and when further guidance is released as the situation develops and advice from the Government changes.  

In the meantime, other useful resources include. 


 

Support for those affected by Covid-19 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19

Understanding Universal Credit Coronavirus 

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/  

Coronavirus: Employment rights and sick pay  

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/social-policy/health/coronavirus-employment-rights-and-sick-pay/  

You can also seek advice from.  

  • Citizen Advice Bureau who can be contacted on 01730 264887 or 
  • National Debtline on 0808 8084000 or www.nationaldebtline.co.uk.  

Should you have any further queries regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact the Housing Team on 01730 263589, or email admin@phahomes.co.uk