Repairs and Maintenance – Advice and News

Repairs and Maintenance – Advice and News

27/08/2020 COVID19 Impact on Housing Management Services – Update

We know that these are increasingly worrying and stressful times for customers and your family and friends. It’s important that you note that the same is true for our staff who are going through this pandemic with the same worries as everyone else. All our staff are working hard and as we are still in Stage 3 of the Scottish Governments routemap out of Covid19, we have had to adapt and continue to working from home, as best we can, to provide services to you. Things are not normal for us and are unlikely to be for some time so we would ask our customers to please bear with us and be patient – we are doing our best under very difficult circumstances and we may not be able to respond as quickly as we would do in normal circumstances.

Restarting Allocations

Processing housing applications and re-letting houses are core activities for Bridgewater, however, like many of our services, these activities have been impacted during lockdown and contractors had been restricted to carrying out Emergency repairs only, therefore, we had been unable to complete work to empty properties and allocate homes to waiting list and homeless applicants. Due to the restrictions in place and reduced staff due to some staff being furloughed, we also stopped assessing housing applications.

We are pleased to advise that now that the restrictions are easing we are following the Scottish Governments guidance on re-starting the allocation of empty properties.  We are getting on top of the back log of housing applications received during this time and are working to get the houses that have become available allocated as quickly as possible.  We continue to work from home and there are still restrictions in place which means we have had to review all of our processes to ensure the safety of our customers and staff.  Therefore, the process of offers, accompanied viewings and sign- ups are taking longer than under normal circumstances

We ask for your continued patience and support at this time.

 

31/07/2020 Repairs and Maintenance – Advice and News

Responsive Repairs

We’re pleased to say that Bridgewater is beginning to make progress on the backlog of non-emergency repairs that we have placed ‘on hold’ during the Covid-19 lockdown. Our temporary contractor, Turner Property Services, will be in touch with you over the next few weeks to make arrangements to carry out any non-emergency repairs tenants and factored owners have reported since the end of March. Since then we have had to limit attending to emergency repairs only. It’s going to take a while to catch up but if you can bear with us a little longer we will be back on top of things before long.

The association will resume its day-to-day routine repairs service from Monday 3rd August. If you have any repairs that you may have delayed reporting to, please get in touch by contacting the Repairs Team – please refer to the information below for how to do this:

REPORTING REPAIRS

If you want to report any type of repair (emergency and non-emergency) during normal office hours Monday to Friday please phone the main office number which is:

0141 812 2237 (That’s ALL repairs Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4.30pm)

You will be asked to leave a clear message giving your name, address, contact telephone number and the nature of the repair. Our staff are continuing to work from home at present and will respond to your call as quickly as possible.

OUT-OF-HOURS EMERGENCY REPAIRS

If you need to report an out-of-hours emergency repair (other than for gas heating problems) the number is:

0333 320 2322*

*This number is to report emergency repairs only during weekends and from 4.30pm to 9am Weekdays.

Your call will be dealt with by Turner’s call handlers.

GAS HEATING/BOILERS

If you have an out-of-hours problem with your boiler or heating system please phone GasSure on: 01294 468113

Please remember that you can also report repairs through the website directly or email us at: repairs@bridgewaterha.org.uk

You can also reach us about any housing, repairs or factoring matter by phoning 0141 812 2237 and choosing the appropriate option.

Planned Maintenance

The Association has been gradually allowing a number of contractors to resume planned maintenance activities throughout our estates. Generally activities are limited to outside work where there is lower risk of person-to-person contact, including:

· Landscape maintenance (Contractor: Idverde)

· External painting (Contractor JS Harvie)

· Gutter cleaning (Paterson Safety Systems)

We are also carrying out work that is necessary to keep tenants safe within their homes and which Bridgewater is legally required to do: This includes:

· Fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detection installations (GD Chalmers)

· Gas boiler servicing (GasSure)

You will be contacted by GD Chalmers and GasSure in advance to arrange access to your home should this be necessary.

All Bridgewater’s contractors are screening their own personnel before allowing them to work on or in any Bridgewater property. They will also have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and will be following strict social distancing protocols. To minimise the risk of infection, and before entering an occupied property, our contractors will contact you beforehand to ask if anyone within the household has, or if anyone is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, or is self-isolating or shielding. If necessary our contractors will rearrange access with you. Before starting any work they may need to ask you to remain in one part of your home until the work is complete, in order to minimise the risk of infection. I would be grateful if you would cooperate with our contractors for the good of everyone. If you have any concerns please contact us on 0141 812 2237 or email us at repairs@bridgewaterha.org.uk

 

24/06/2020 – TEMPORARY REPAIRS CONTRACT: APPOINTMENT OF TURNER PROPERTY SERVICES

You may remember that we wrote to you on 5th May to tell you that our repairs contractor, MPS Housing, had decided to terminate their contract with Bridgewater on 30th June. This was an unexpected decision made without any consultation with the Association. We have expressed our strong disappointment to MPS Housing on behalf of our Board and customers.

I am pleased to tell you that Bridgewater has appointed a temporary contractor, Turner, to carry out emergency repairs reported by customers from 1st July. Turner will also handle any calls from customers that are made outside normal office hours. There is a new number for customers to report emergency out-of-hours repairs (other than gas heating repairs).

The number is: 0333 320 2322

Please do not use the previous number after midnight on 30th June as it will be discontinued.

If you have an out-of-hours problem with your boiler or heating system please phone GasSure on: 01294 468113 (boiler/heating emergency repairs)

If you want to report an emergency repair during normal office hours please phone the main office number which is: 0141 812 2237 (all emergency repairs Monday to Friday)

You will be asked to leave a clear message giving your name, address, contact telephone number and the nature of the repair. Our staff are continuing to work from home at present and will respond to your call as quickly as possible.

You can also report a repair by emailing us at repairs@bridgewaterha.org.uk.

The Association will also be using some of its smaller contractors over the next few weeks to carry out some of our emergency repairs. All of our contractors’ personnel are required to carry and show you a letter of authority. If they do not show you the letter

you should ask to see it before letting anyone into your home. If you are in any doubt please do not let contractors into your home and contact Bridgewater for advice as soon as possible.

For the time being we will only be carrying out emergency repairs in line with the Scottish Government’s current guidance and we will notify you as soon as this situation changes. You must tell us if anyone in your household is vulnerable and shielding from the virus, or if anyone is self-isolating. Our contractors will be following the necessary protocols to prevent infection and will ask you if anyone is self-isolating or showing symptoms that they may have the virus.

We expect to appoint a long-term replacement for MPS Housing sometime in August.

If you have any concerns about these changes please contact us on 0141 812 2237, through our website or by emailing to repairs@bridgewaterha.org.uk.

01/04/2020 Hot and Cold Water in the Home

Most people will be staying at home a lot more than usual during the Coronavirus crisis. This means that sinks, baths, wc’s, wash basins and showers will be used more often in most households, which is a good thing for maintaining good water quality in the home.

Taps and showers, and even wc’s in the home need to be used regularly to ensure that harmful bacteria and viruses do not build up over time, which can be a source of illness and infection. Ideally taps and showers should be used or flushed through for a good 10 minutes at least once a week. It may seem like a chore but it does reduce the risk of infection.

If you tend not to use a shower fitted in your home it’s particularly important that a weekly flush of the shower head is done with care. The safest way to do this is to cover the shower head with a towel and then to run the shower for 10 minutes at a hot setting. This will kill most harmful bacteria and viruses and your shower will be safe to use if you decide to. Your towel should just be laundered in the normal way.

If you have been away from your home for a week or longer please make sure you flush through your taps and shower when you return. This is particularly important advice for anyone who has been in hospital and anyone who may be more prone to infections.

We hope you find this advice useful. The steps we advise are just a precaution that will help reduce exposure of anyone in your household to harmful viruses and bacteria. Further information about preventing infection from legionella is available from the Health and Safety Executive via their website at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/Legionnaires

30/03/2020

Following advice from the Government, Bridgewater have taken the decision to close our office in order to protect our tenant’s and staff. We are uncertain how long this will last for however, we will follow guidance given by the government during this time.

Repairs and Maintenance – our contractors are only carrying out essential emergency repairs during this time and as a result, our aim to attend within 4 hours cannot be maintained. Our contractor will do their best to attend as soon as possible to make the emergency situation safe within your home.

If you are having problems with your electrical system In the event of full/partial loss of power within your property – please carefully try the following steps, to assess if you are able to resolve the power loss before calling for an electrician to attend:

  • If you recently plugged an appliance before power outage – unplug this appliance with the socket switched off
  • Go to your consumer unit (fuse box) and assess which direction the MCB switches and main power switch are facing
  • If any switches are facing the opposite direction, turn the main red power switch to off and turn all MCB switches to off position (down)
  • Now turn the main power switch to ON position and one by one switch each MCB back to on position
  • The socket or lighting circuit which has the fault; should trip back off when you are trying to turn it back to on positon.
  • You should unplug all appliances on a socket circuit that trips and repeat above process to establish if appliance causing issue. If tripped MCB resolved once appliances unplugged, you can then plug each appliance back in one by one to determine which appliance caused the issue then refrain from using where possible
  • Turn off all lights on any lighting circuits causing trip fault. Please use household lamps where possible, for lighting in the meantime

If you experience an electrical fault or there is damage to electrics – please where possible, do not use the electrics where the fault or damaged occurred until an electrician is able to make safe.

Water coming into your home

If you have water coming into your property, please try the following measures to contain the problem until we can arrange for a contractor to attend:

If the leak is coming in through the ceiling of your home and it is on the top floor of a building (below roof):

  • Move any items from the area where the water is penetrating through
  • Please try and find the point of ingress and place a suitable container below to catch any incoming water (while it is still raining, or water is coming in) until an emergency callout can arrive
  • If the leak is affecting any electrics in property, please isolate at the consumer unit until it can be made safe

If there is a property above your home and you are getting a leak into your home you should:

  • Move any items from the area where the water is penetrating through
  • Try and contain the leak at the point of ingress using a bucket or suitable container
  • Try to post a note through your neighbours door to let them know you are getting water ingress
  • If the leak is affecting any electrics in property, please isolate at the consumer unit until it can be made safe.

If it is an internal issue in your home that is causing the water ingress:

  • Move any items from the area where the water is penetrating through
  • Try and contain the leak at the point of ingress using a bucket or suitable container
  • If you know the location of the water isolation valve to your home, then you should turn this anti clockwise to turn off the water supply to your home to stop the leak until an emergency engineer can arrive
  • If the leak is affecting any electrics in property, please isolate at the consumer unit until it can be made safe

Please do not call unless your repair is an emergency.

 

 

23/03/2020

Following the Prime Minister and First Minister’s statements yesterday (23rd March) our repairs and maintenance contractors will only be carrying out emergency repairs. This restriction will ensure that person to person contact will be reduced to the minimum necessary to maintain essential services and keep your household safe. It will also help everyone by potentially reducing the spread of the COVID19 virus. Our contractors will not respond to any requests for non-essential repairs, which we will record and deal with when the current crisis comes to an end. If at all possible please do not report non-essential repairs to us until further notice. We’re very grateful for your cooperation during this difficult and challenging period.

Gas boiler maintenance and repairs:

Our gas maintenance contractor GasSure has informed us that they will no longer be able to enter tenants’ homes to carry our repairs. Unfortunately this means that we will not be able to get your boiler repaired if it breaks down. You should still report any faults to us. Bridgewater staff or our contractor’s call handlers will provide helpful advice when you contact us. We will be able repair faulty boilers when the government’s advice permits this but please be prepared for very significant delays. We will deliver temporary electric heaters to you if you need them. If you have electric heaters of your own please use these to prevent shortages in the short-term. We are grateful for your cooperation in our shared determination to prevent the spread of the virus pandemic.

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