Since the outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we’ve been monitoring government advice closely. We are doing our best to minimise any disruption to our services and our key aim is to protect you and our staff and help control the spread of the illness. Please see below FAQs:
I think I may have Coronavirus. What should I do?
- If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus please follow NHS guidance on self-isolation by clicking here or the Government website by clicking here.
- Please get in touch by email to let us know you are self-isolating: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you think you have the virus, you should tell anyone you share the property with immediately, so that they can take appropriate action and make informed decisions regarding shared areas and access to the property. If we need to arrange a visit to the property for urgent health and safety reasons, you should also inform us and agree to take sensible precautions.
- If you already have an appointment to have maintenance work carried out, please contact Hive: email@example.com. Please note that any appointments delayed through these safety measures will be followed up as soon as the situation changes.
Someone in my House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has the virus. Can you remove them or find me another place to stay?
- The Government has issued specific guidance on what to do if someone in your household has contracted the virus, including self-isolating the whole household for 14 days.
- Nobody can be removed from their home because of the virus.
- Landlords are not obliged to provide alternative accommodation for tenants if others in the property contract the virus.
- If you are living in accommodation which you share with other people, or share facilities with other people, you should follow current Public Health England guidance.
- If you are having to leave accommodation, you should seek alternative accommodation, or get in touch with your local authority
- You can find Government guidance on cleaning your home to minimise the risk of infection here.
- And on what to do if you are in a shared home with someone who may have the virus here.
As a tenant, should I stop paying rent during the outbreak?
Rent levels agreed in your tenancy agreement remain legally due and tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. The government has a strong package of financial support available to tenants, and where they can pay the rent as normal, they should do. In many if not most cases, the Covid-19 outbreak will not affect tenants’ ability to pay rent. If your ability to pay will be affected and you are in difficulty, you should get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity as we may be able to agree a payment plan. If a plan is agreed to pay off arrears at a later date, it is important to stick to this plan and you should talk to us immediately if you are unable to do so. The Money Advice Service has information here relating to Covid-19 and your finances.
What should I do if I have a maintenance issue?
Please inform us at the earliest opportunity if you encounter any issues with the condition of your property. We will continue to carry out urgent repairs. Maintenance reporting can still be done via email to Hive Property Services: firstname.lastname@example.org. Where reasonable, safe for you and in line with other Government guidance, the government recommend that you allow access to your property in order to inspect or remedy urgent health and safety issues. Our trades operatives will wear appropriate personal protective equipment when they visit your home to help prevent any spread of the virus.
Urgent repairs are those which would have a direct impact on your health or safety if they were not rectified. This could include (but is not limited to):
- If there is a problem with the fabric of your building, for example the roof is leaking.
- If your boiler is broken, leaving you without heating or hot water.
- If there is a plumbing issue, meaning you don’t have washing or toilet facilities.
- If your white goods such as fridge or washing machine have broken, meaning you are unable to wash clothes or store food safely.
- If there is a security-critical problem, such as a broken window or external door.
- If equipment a disabled person relies on requires installation or repair.
What should I do if I need out of hours emergency maintenance support?
If you have an emergency maintenance issue outside of office hours, please call Hive on 0113 224 4610 for our emergency company who will deal with your request. Please make sure it is an emergency before calling or you may be charged for this service, if it is not an emergency you will be held liable for all costs.
Will you still be visiting my property to carry out routine inspections?
We are reducing the number of visits to properties. All routine interim inspections have been put on hold until further notice. We will only visit your property if it is absolutely necessary for health and safety reasons.
What should I do if I am self-isolating but need to top up a prepay meter?
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.
General tips for a prepay meter:
- If you are not self-isolating, it’s a good idea to keep topping your meter up with extra money whenever you can to build up plenty of credit in case you have to self-isolate at a later date.
- 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.
What should I do if I am struggling to pay my energy / water bills due to Covid-19?
- If tenants are having difficulty paying bills or keeping up with Direct Debit payments, you should call your energy supplier as soon as possible to see what assistance may be available to you.
- Tenants may still receive automatically generated recovery letters and other notices. If you do receive one, then phone your energy supplier as soon as possible. It is vital that if you are experiencing difficulties with your energy supply, then do not ignore it and get in touch with your supplier as soon as possible. The earlier you get in touch the easier it is for the supplier to offer support, and it may prevent any emergency measures being carried out.
Other useful numbers to keep to hand:
- If your property has lost power, please contact Northern Power Grid on 0800 375 675.
- If you experience a loss of water, please contact Yorkshire Water on 0345 1242 424.
- If you lose your broadband connection, please contact your internet service provider.