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Coronavirus – information on services

Although we are doing all we can to operate normally, the measures imposed by the government have had an impact on our services. Here you can find out more about the services we are currently providing, as well as information on the financial support available and how our Resident Services team can help. We are very busy and it can take time to get through to us – our apologies for that.

Offices closed to the public

In line with Government guidance Newlon is maximising working from home. As a result all of our main offices will be closed to the public until further notice. However, the Barnsbury Office is now open from 9am to 11am, Monday to Friday.

If you need a service such as a repair you can email us, call us, or book online in the normal way at newlon.org.uk/contact-us. Please see the information below to check which services we can currently offer.

If you have coronavirus, or are self-isolating, please let us know about this when you contact us, so that we can take the appropriate steps to ensure people’s safety.

Repairs

During the peak of coronavirus and the first stages of the lockdown we were successfully providing an urgent repairs service. This means we were carrying out more than just an emergency-only service, but that some non-urgent repairs were recorded so that they could be carried out at a later date.

However, working closely with all our contractors including Wates, our main repairs contractor, we are now providing a full repairs service.

There is a small backlog of outstanding repairs and in the short term there may be slight delays in scheduling appointments. There may also be some delays due to parts or supply chain issues, with many parts coming from Europe, although this situation is gradually improving. Some complex jobs that require multiple operatives may also be more difficult to organise than usual, or may take longer to arrange due to social distancing requirements.

Where necessary we have managed to make specific safety arrangements to carry out emergency repairs where people have confirmed coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating. This will continue to be the case for people in these circumstances.

In non-emergency instances, if you have any coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating, we will need to wait until the quarantine period has been completed before carrying out repairs.

We understand that people may be concerned about allowing our staff or contractors access to their homes at this time. However, our contractors are following strict safety guidelines and social distancing procedures to ensure that we can safely carry out repairs.

Guidelines on how we are safely entering residents’ homes to carry out repairs can be found in our leaflet, Covid-19 repairs guidance 
for working in residents’ homes.

Estate Services

All contracts such as cleaning and inspections are continuing to be carried out, but this may be at a slightly reduced level than normal.

Please continue to follow all the Government and NHS guidance on personal hygiene, especially in regard to sanitising and washing your hands. This is a very important part of maintaining safety in communal areas.

Income and rent

If you are experiencing hardship due to coronavirus, for example because your ability to work is affected, we will be as supportive as possible. Please contact us by emailing income@newlon.org.uk.

Universal credit should be available to assist residents in this instance and we may be able to signpost you to our in-house welfare benefits adviser for additional advice and support.

The Income team may contact people separately to provide advice on financial support where we become aware that residents are experiencing difficulties.

Resident Services team – how they can help

The Resident Services team are continuing to provide the majority of services as normal. Residents can continue to seek advice from our in-house welfare benefits adviser. The team is also signposting to local community support initiatives.

Our community halls are currently open on limited basis for safe activities.

We have produced up to date guidance on financial support for those affected by coronavirus.

You can find out more advice from the team and links for help at newlon.org.uk/resident-services-help.

Email community.services@newlon.org.uk or call 020 7033 4605 if you need to get in touch with a member of the team.

ASB and Enforcement

If you need to contact us please email asb@newlon.org.uk.

Lettings

Viewings for rented properties will either be carried out virtually or, if resources allow, physically. You may be asked to wear gloves and a face covering. When viewing only you and one other adult can be in attendance, and no children will be permitted. If you are shortlisted for a property, we will contact you first to request your documents to check your eligibility. We will need this information quite quickly. If accepted, you will then be invited to view. You can express your interest in a property on our dedicated lettings website.

Guidance for viewing vacant properties can be found in our leaflet, Covid-19 guidance for viewings.

New Build Sales

We are still on hand to help you buy your new home and have adapted our services to ensure our sales team can continue to support customers on their home buying journey. We are available to answer questions at enquiry stage and offer digital tours of our show apartments. We are conducting scheduled physical viewings whilst taking extra precautions to ensure the health and wellbeing of our customers, staff and members of the public. We are able to take reservations remotely and are continuing to facilitate completions.

You can still express interest in our upcoming and available homes on our sales website – newlonliving.co.uk

For all new sales enquiries, please email sales@newlon.org.uk.

Updated guidelines for safely viewing Shared Ownership homes for sale can be found in our leaflet, Guidance for viewings of new build shared ownership homes.

Resales, staircasing, remortgaging and lease extensions

The government has updated its guidance and people are free to buy, sell or move home, however the process of finding and moving into a new home will be different as those involved in the process will need to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible.

This will include doing more of the process online, such as desktop valuations if suitable, virtual initial viewings, vacating your current property while other people are shown around, ensuring your property is thoroughly cleaned before and after viewings or someone else moves in and the use of face masks and gloves.

Surveyors carrying out valuations are expected to follow government guidance for professionals working in other people’s homes and guidance on social distancing. If your home is being surveyed, you should ensure the surveyor has access to all the parts of the property they need to inspect and make efforts to minimize contact with the surveyor for example by staying in another room whilst they are inspecting your home.

We encourage all parties involved to be as flexible as possible over this period and follow government advice.

We are doing our best to maintain service as usual, please email resident.sales@newlon.org.uk should you have any concerns and we will support you however we can.

Barnsbury Estate

The Estate Office is open 9 to 11 am, Monday to Friday, but you can continue to contact them to report repairs or other issues by emailing barnsbury@newlon.org.uk or calling 020 7833 2525.

If you have coronavirus or are self-isolating

If you contact us about a repair or appointment please let us know if you have a confirmed case of coronavirus or are self-isolating. We may wish to share this information with any contractors and will discuss this with you when you contact us.

Social distancing measures

Where we are carrying out appointments or meeting with residents or contractors we will follow the latest Government guidelines such as avoiding unnecessary close contact.

We recommend our residents follow updates and advice from the government and NHS about coronavirus.

Further queries

If you have any other questions please contact our Service Centre by emailing customerservice@newlon.org.uk or calling 020 7613 8080.