Updated: 8 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 checks to keep you safe including your annual gas service 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.
Here are some important updates in regards our services:
Vital Gas Safety – your gas service
We know this is a worrying time but your safety is our top priority. In this lockdown situation, we’re all spending more time at home so it’s essential that your gas appliances are working safely and you’re not at risk.
Your gas service is important - it is vital to that we continue these checks to keep you, your family, your neighbours and community safe.
There is a legal requirement for us to complete essential safety checks at your home such as gas servicing – this has not changed due to Coronavirus!
If you have a gas check scheduled, in addition to your appointment letter we will be in contact with you prior to an engineer arriving to check that it’s safe for us to come out and you’re happy for us to proceed.
If your gas safety check is due, we will continue to contact you and arrange these checks.
- Your safety is a priority and we will complete the appointment as quickly as possible.
- Our gas engineers will follow full Safe Systems of Work protocols and will wear hygiene protection and follow all Public Health England Guidelines.
- You do not need to be in the room while they complete the inspection, so apart from allowing access you will not need to come in contact with the operative.
- We will only go into the rooms we need to carry out the work and will minimise any disturbance, leaving your home clean and tidy, including sanitising any surfaces touched.
If you refuse access:
- we will make a note, and rearrange your safety check based on your specific isolation criteria.
- you will continue to receive letters and contact about your gas safety check, because we must follow important gas safety procedures.
If you refuse access you will continue to receive letters and contact about your gas safety check, because we must follow important gas safety procedures.
Remember, carbon monoxide kills. If you can let us in, please do. However, if you have any concerns, wish to change your gas appointment or have any questions please get in touch:
- Email: email@example.com
- Call: 0800 678 1894
Other checks to keep you safe
Other checks to keep you safe include regular checks on electrics, asbestos, legionella, fire safety and lifts and we need to keep these appointments where possible and where safe for you and our staff. If you receive an appointment for any of these and have concerns, please contact us straight away on 0800 678 1894.
Our public receptions and offices
Our public receptions and offices are now closed until further notice. Please use the website, phone or email if you need to contact us.
- Call: 0800 678 1894
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact us
- Make a payment online
- Different ways to pay your rent
Please note that we are experiencing an increase in demand for our services and are requesting that you please consider how urgent your request or call is before getting in touch.
To minimise the risk of transferring the coronavirus during this 'lockdown' period, we will now be responsing only to EMERGENCY and ESSENTIAL (URGENT) REPAIRS until further notice.
To find out what is classed as an EMERGENCY and ESSENTIAL (URGENT) repair, click here.
To also protect our staff, we'll be asking a series of questions to assess whether it is safe to send someone to your home.
You can only report emergency and urgent repairs over the phone, you are not able to report them online. You can still report emergency repairs 24/7 on 0800 678 1894.
If you're unclear, give us a call.
Paying your rent - help and support from Torus
We know these are uncertain and worrying times for many of our customers because of the coronavirus.
We want you to know that we are here to help, so if you are experiencing financial difficulties and may not be able to pay your rent a member of the income team will be contacting you to offer support and advice.
If you are worried about falling into arrears because you cannot pay us in the short term because of Coronavirus, you can discuss setting up a payment plan with our Rents Team, email Income.Services@Torus.co.uk.
We’re here to help – find out more about rents and what support is available here.
To keep you safe 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.
Applying for a home and allocations
Property Pool Plus is still available to people 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.
Torus properties will continue to be advertised in the normal way and you will be able to place bids for any that you may be interested in and are eligible for.
You will be contacted if your bid is successful however, given the current situation with coronavirus no viewings will be arranged 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 you and to minimise the risk of transferring the coronavirus during this ‘lockdown’ period, we have made some changes to the cleaning of communal areas.
From 27 March we will stop cleaning communal areas on residential blocks.
Caretaking staff will continue to make regular visits to make sure the area is clean and safe, including vital fire safety checks.
These changes do not include our sheltered and extra care schemes where cleaning will continue.
If you have any concerns, please contact us.
It is important that customers continue to pay their rent and service charges.
We appreciate it is a worrying time and would encourage any of our customers who are struggling to get in touch with a member of our team by telephone or online as there is a range of support and advice available to help you.
We also recognise that some services covered by service charges such as grounds maintenance or communal cleaning have been temporarily paused.
We are therefore reviewing our service charging policy in respect of both fixed and variable service charges. We will provide further updates in due course and expect to make more information available once coronavirus restrictions to service delivery are lifted.
We know that many of our customers are already actively following the government’s guidelines around social distancing during the Coronavirus outbreak. However, as a responsible landlord, we must reinforce the message and urge all our customers to stay at home and away from others, as per the government’s rules on social distancing. Get more information here.
Customer events, groups and activities
Because your health and wellbeing are our number one priority, we have decided to postpone all scheduled events, groups and activities – you can find out more on the Torus Foundation website.
Universal Credit and Benefits
Keep updated on how coronavirus is impacting Universal Credit and benefits here.
Ending a tenancy
We have revised our process on how you end your tenancy, find out more here.
Putting you first - how Torus can help you
We understand that coronavirus is causing much anxiety and concern. If you are experiencing difficulties because you are self-isolating, then please let us know 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.
If we don’t have your current contact number, please update your number your online account or call our contact centre on 01925 452452.
Please show kindness to your neighbours and try and help each other out during these challenging times.
Local Help & Support
Communities have really come together to look after each other in response to the Coronavirus situation, click here for information on where you can go to get help with support, food and other local services.
Government advice & additional information
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.
Coronavirus Information in 36 languages!
Doctors of the World have translated the latest government information around Coronavirus into 36 languages. The complete list includes: English, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Czech, Dari, Estonian, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Hungarian, Kurdish Sorani, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Romanian, Sindhi, Slovak, Spanish, Somali, Tamil, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese.
This is a fast-changing situation and we will be updating the website and social on a regular basis, please keep checking for updates.
Please be reassured that the safety of our tenants, residents, staff and contractors remains our top priority.