Covid-19 - Frequently asked questions
We are not-for-profit housing co-operative, your rent is our only source of income. It pays for all the services we provide. It goes towards vital repairs and improvements as well as the management of our properties.
We are here to help and support you at all times. We have always prided ourselves on being more than a landlord. This includes during this global pandemic. We don’t have all the answers but we certainly hope to help and support you during this time.
If you have any concerns about your ability to pay your rent, please contact us as soon as possible. The earlier we know, the sooner we can help you. The best and quickest way to get in contact with us is to email us – firstname.lastname@example.org
We aim to get back to you the same day we receive your email.
We have provided some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers below which we hope you find helpful, however, if you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us by email or telephone.
Please phone the usual number of 0141 781 2277. Although, the office is closed the phones are diverted.
Please note the advice and information contained in this FAQ is being provided at a point in time, we will endeavour to regularly update contact details and web links as these are updated by the various organisations involved.
Is the office open to visit?
No. The office is closed for visiting following Government advice. However, staff are set up to work from home. Staff are available as per usual by phoning us on 0141 781 2277 or emailing us at email@example.com.
How do I contact my Housing Officer?
Our office is now closed and all our housing staff are working from home. Call us on 0141 781 2277 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need help with picking up food or collecting prescriptions, what should l do?
We can help with this. Please phone the office and we can pass your details on to Easthall Residents Associations. The Residents Association is doing tremendous work helping those in need at this difficult time. Give us a call & we can help. Or if you wish you can contact them directly on 0141 781 2277 and ask to speak to Andy Gilbert.
Do I need to pay my rent during Covid-19?
Yes. You should continue to pay your rent as normal.
We understand that some may have their income reduced as a result of this situation. If this is the case please make sure you contact us as soon as possible for advice. Read below for further advice on this mater.
How do I pay my rent?
You can pay a number of ways without the need to leave your home.
Online: You can pay online at www.allpay.net by using your plastic repayment card.
By Phone: You can call Allpay directly on 0844 557 8321 to make a payment over the phone.
Allpay App: You can download the Allpay app to your smartphone making it even easier to pay.
Or you can phone Leigh (our Welfare Rights Advisor) and she can take debit card payment over the phone. The best way to do this is to contact Leigh on 07739542486 rather than phoning the office telephone number.
What happens if I am having difficulty paying my rent due to Coronavirus issues?
We are urging all customers whose income has suffered as a result of Coronavirus to get in touch with us as soon as possible. We will do as much as we can to help you through any difficulties caused by this situation, including your ability to claim any relevant benefits. All customers will be supported according to their individual circumstances. We have a wide range of support available.
Please be assured that we will not evict people who are in rent arrears as a direct result of Coronavirus. However, the sooner you get in touch with us, the more we can do to help.
Please be assured that we understand that this is a worrying time for many people and that you may be suffering from a loss of income. We know that some of you may be worried about your rent as well as other bills. We want to reassure our customers that we will not be taking legal action to evict customers where financial hardship is suffered as a direct result of coronavirus.
How do l claim Universal Credit (UC)?
Below is our step by step guide -
- You should wait until after your final full wage has been received to make your Universal Credit claim. (but claim now if your final wage is going to be very low).
- Log in to your journal regularly to watch for messages from UC. Everything is done via your online journal with UC.
- You can apply for an advance (loan) from Universal Credit to keep you covered until your claim is properly sorted. This advance payment will also include your rent money. Be aware UC will then recover this at approx. £50 per month from your ongoing monthly entitlement so it is best to only borrow what you need to get by.
- If you are used to a full time wage you might find having to adjust to UC living costs a big shock. It is best to start thinking now on how you can budget to minimise your outgoings and get by on a much lower income than you are used to.
- If you are still earning partial wages you may not get the full rent costs covered, you will need to cover your rent charge via a combination of UC housing costs and wages.
- UC will ask if you want your rent costs paid direct to your landlord – I would recommend you say no to this and continue to pay your rent yourself. The reason for this is that there is often a long delay between DWP deducting the money from you and actually sending it to us which can put you even further in arrears. Also, if you are still earning some wages they may not send us the full amount. By paying your rent yourself you can remain in control of your rent account.
- If you have a spare bedroom in your house UC will deduct the bedroom tax from your housing costs entitlement. If this affects you then please let us know when you have finished submitting your claim and we will help you apply for funding to cover this. This funding is called Discretionary Housing Payment. See below for more information.
- When your UC claim is up and running you can apply for council tax reduction which should reduce the amount you have to pay each month.
- Rent payments can be made via bank transfer using your own online banking so you don’t need to go out to a paypoint. See below for more information.
- When you are notified of your UC payment date please let us know so we have a note of what date you will now be making your rent payments. Rent is due in advance of the 28th but we are happy to amend this in line with your UC as long as you tell us.
Apply council tax reduction: https://glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=18686
Apply for discretionary housing payment: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/dhp
The Government has also produceded a guide on claiming UC: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/
What should l do once l have made a claim for Universal Credit?
You should contact us to let us know.
Will my benefits be affected?
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have made arrangements for people who have to self-isolate because of the virus, or who have been diagnosed with the virus.
People currently claiming Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance (ESA) will not be required to produce a fit note and will not be sanctioned if they let the DWP know in advance of their situation. Mandatory work search and work availability requirements will no longer apply.
People who need to make a new claim for Universal Credit will be able to receive a month’s advance payment without going to a job centre.
ESA will be payable from day one, rather than after seven days. People who are working or who are self-employed will still be eligible for statutory sick pay if they are staying at home on Government advice, not only if they have been infected. Statutory sick pay will be available from day one, rather than after four days.
There’s more information on the DWP website below:
I have a repair, what should l do?
At this moment we will only be carrying out essential or emergency repairs. Please call the office if you think your repair falls into this category or email email@example.com and we will come back to you.
If you have an emergency repair out with office hours you should phone the usual numbers –
Gas central heating – call Gas Sure on 0129 446 8113
All other emergency repairs – call Turner Property Services on 0333 320 2322
Please note when calling for a repair you will be asked if anyone in the house is showing any symptons or is self-isolating.
Examples of emergency/essential repairs –
- No heating/hot water
- Getting water in from neighbour above
- Lost keys
Will my close still be cleaned?
Our Estate Caretakers will continue to carry this work out following advice from the Government at present. However, this may chang. If this does we will be in touch with those effected.
We ask that all residents follow the social distancing guidance of keeping a minimum 2m from people and remain in social isolation where possible, to allow this task to be carried out safely. This is not only for the estate team’s safety but for your own safety.
- Stay within your own home, with your front door closed during the close cleaning task
- Do not enter the close/communal area for any reason or open your front door whilst the task is being performed to try and engage with the caretakers
- If any resident does not follow the above advice the service will suspended immediately until further notice
- Do not store items or block any escape routes within the communal areas as it may cause a potential Fire or Health & Safety Risk to residents
The safety of our residents and our staff is our main priority.
I have a pre-paid meter, how do l top up as l don’t want/cant to go outside?
If you are self-isolating or recovering from Coronavirus, this will mean you may not be able to leave your home. This can be a problem if you have a prepay meter, which requires you to go to the shop to top up.
Different energy suppliers will have their own ways of dealing with this, which can include one or more of the following options:
Smart meter top up – you can do this online using the usual process. If you are struggling financially due to working restrictions, your energy supplier may be able to top up your meter if it is an emergency situation.
Electricity key or gas card top up – you can pay your supplier directly by phone and they will then send a special code to a pay-point near to you. This code can then be picked up by family or friends. If you don’t have anyone who can do this for you, your supplier may be able to send a key or card to your home that will allow you to top up.
If you or anyone in your homes has any underlying health conditions, you should also contact your energy supplier to let them know. They will add you to the Priority Service Register, which will give you extra support should you need it.
If you are self-isolating, you should contact your energy company as soon as you become aware of an issue to do with your prepay meter, as some of the solutions above can take a few days.
External resources for help –