Updated: 1 APril 2020
The safety of our tenants, staff and contractors remains our top priority as the coronavirus situation evolves.
As you’d expect, we are doing everything we can to protect our tenants, residents, staff and contractors. This is especially true in our older peoples and supported housing schemes where we are taking steps to minimise the risk of disruption and ensure we can continue to deliver services safely.
There is still a requirement for us to continue providing many of our ‘essential’ services such as emergency repairs, compliance safety checks and services to our customers. We want to assure you that we are doing all we can to minimise the spread of infection whilst continuing to maintain these ‘essential’ services.
As the situation evolves, we are making some changes to our services:
- Our public receptions and offices – our public receptions and offices are closed until further notice, customers can still contact us via their landlord website, phone or email.
- Reporting repairs – to protect to minimise the risk of transferring the coronavirus during this ‘lockdown’ period, we will now be responding only to Emergency and Essential (Urgent) Repairs until further notice – full details are on the landlord websites.Customers can still report repairs 24/7 by phone only. We will also be screening our repairs service to ensure it is safe to carry out the work inside customers properties. Staff will be asking customers a series of questions to assess whether it is safe to send someone out to their home.
- Appointments – we’re cancelling all face-to-face meetings and appointments. If we have to carry out works in your home e.g. vital safety gas safety checks, essential repairs – we will check its safe to do beforehand and that you are happy.
We will be actively asking customers to follow the latest government guidelines and please notify us if they, or anyone in their household has either being diagnosed with Coronavirus, is self-isolating, has any flu-like symptoms, or has any other concerns why we should not complete work in their home.We are ensuring that our staff and contractors follow public health advice on hand washing and self-isolating if they fall into one of the categories where this is advised. Therefore, customers can be reassured that we have done everything we can to minimise the risk from anyone from Torus visiting their property.
- Customer events, groups and activities – we have decided to postpone all scheduled events, groups and activities.
- Ending a tenancy – we have developed a new temporary process.
- Gas Safety & Compliance checks – it is vital that we continue to carry out checks to keep our customers, their families and neighbours safe, we are committed to keep our customers and our engineers safe and have put in place lots of measures to ensure that you gas service can still go ahead. We are contacting everyone with a service booked in to discuss and to make sure its safe to go.
- Applying for a Home & Allocations – Under one roof is still available to people in St Helens and Warrington to register at www. U-1-R-co.uk and applications will be processed as normal.Property Pool Plus is still available to people in Liverpool to register at www.propertypoolplus.co.uk and applications will be processed as normal. If required a member of the team will contact you to discuss any evidence required.However, given the current situation with coronavirus no viewings will be arranged on properties until further notice. Arrangements will be made to contact those customers who have accepted a property and are waiting to move in. Whilst we are unable to facilitate any move ins at this time, we will endeavour to keep everyone updated.
- Communal Area Cleaning – in response to tenant feedback, to protect residents and to minimise the risk of transferring the coronavirus during this ‘lockdown’ period, we have suspended cleaning communal areas on residential blocks. These changes do not include our sheltered and extra care schemes where cleaning will continue to protect our older and vulnerable customers.Our caretaking staff will continue to make regular visits to make sure the area is clean and safe, including vital fire safety checks.
- Enforcing social distancing – we have received a significant number of calls from customers informing us that they are seeing people breaking social distancing rules. Whilst we as an organisation have no power to stop people leaving their homes without a valid reason; we will act where there is evidence of customers committing anti-social behaviour or breaking conditions within their tenancy agreement. We are advising customers of the best ways to report breaches of social distancing – via alternative police channels and to follow the government rules on social distancing.
You can find out more on all of the above on our dedicated websites:
- Torus Foundation
- HMS (Repairs)
- Torus Warrington
- Torus St Helens
- Torus Liverpool
- Under One Roof
Putting you first – how Torus is helping customers
We understand that coronavirus is causing much anxiety and concern for our customers and we are asking our customers who are self-isolating and experiencing difficulties to please get in touch so we can see what we can do to help.
We are also currently contacting all Torus customers, aged 60+ to make sure they have the support they need during self-isolation and lockdown.
We are asking our customers to make sure we have the correct contact number for them, which they can update via their online account or calling our contact centre.
Paying rent – help and support from Torus
We want customers to know that we are here to help, so if they are experiencing financial difficulties and may not be able to pay your rent a member of the income team will be contacting them to offer support and advice.
We are also asking customers to get in touch with us if they need help and our rents team and we will do their best to support them.
You can also head to the Government Advice webpage which covers plenty of useful information on coronavirus including:
- What the signs and symptoms are
- How the virus spreads
- How to reduce the risk of contracting the virus
As information about coronavirus is being updated regularly, we advise you to keep a close eye on the Government website for all the latest information.
This is a fast-changing situation and we will be updating the website on a regular basis, please keep checking the website(s) and social media for updates. You can also keep up to date with news from Torus via our Twitter account @WeAreTorus.
Please be reassured that the safety of our tenants, residents, staff and contractors remains our top priority.