This information was last updated on Tuesday 2 March at 9.30 am.
We’ve provided most of our normal services since we went back into lockdown on 5 January. Now that we have a clearer timeline from the Government, we can start to plan how we might step up provision and gradually relax restrictions over the coming months. We’ll update this page as quickly as we can if anything needs to change.
Keeping in touch
Our My Account online portal is the best way to perform several tasks, day or night, including making payments, checking your account information, raising a repair, checking the status of an existing repair, or to contact your local officer.
If you need to speak to someone, please get in touch with your housing officer or property management officer (PMO). In an emergency, or out of hours, your call will automatically divert to our customer service centre.
In line with the latest government guidance, we need to cut down on non-essential travel again, so won’t be doing routine site inspections or home visits unless there’s an emergency. Repairs will continue – see below.
If you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Covid-19, please self-isolate in line with Public Health England’s guidelines. Where possible, please let your housing officer or PMO know so we can make a note on our system. This will help us to notify cleaning teams and any repairs contractors who may need to access your home so they can carry out appropriate risk assessments.
We understand that this is a difficult time, but please don’t take your frustrations out on our staff. Being abusive to them is a breach of tenancy and there are a range of actions that will be put in place from contact arrangements to taking legal action in those circumstances.
Repairs and other services
We intend to continue to provide a full repairs service during the new restrictions as we have been doing for several months. All our contractors will continue to follow the relevant Covid-19 pre-appointment guidelines and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitisers to maintain a safe environment while they work in your home.
Please continue to log repairs in the normal way. If you're reporting a repair online via My Account, please provide photos where possible to help increase the chance of us fixing your repair on the first visit.
Planned investment works such as new kitchens and bathrooms will also continue. Some start dates could be delayed and works could take a little longer to complete than normal. We will let you know if this affects you.
For new-build properties still in their guarantee period, we continue to work with the developers to get these repairs (also known as 'defects') booked in.
When we carry out your repair, we’ll need to work in line with government guidance on social distancing, which means some jobs might take longer to complete than normal and our response times might be slightly slower. Please bear with us.
There is no statutory requirement for contractors to wear face coverings when carrying out work in your home as long as social distancing measures are observed, but whenever our contractors come to your home they will make arrangements with you to ensure the safety of you, your family and themselves. Please tell them if you would prefer them to wear a face covering or make this clear when you book a repair.
See how to report a repair for more information, including the types of repairs covered, how to contact us, and what to expect when our contractors visit your home.
Estates and communal areas
Our cleaning contractors continue to clean communal areas, paying special attention to regularly touched areas including handrails, light switches and doors. Our gardening services will also continue as usual. Please observe social distancing guidelines when you see these contractors.
In locations where we have onsite staff such as concierges or caretakers, please follow local regulations that might have been put in place for safety reasons.
We have received some complaints about people, including children, congregating in communal areas. Please continue to follow government guidance on social distancing to keep everyone safe.
Paying your rent and service charges
We know this is a difficult time and we understand the problems you face if you suddenly have less income than you expected. Please continue to pay your rent and service charges, but get in touch if you are struggling so that we can work together to help you.
If you're facing financial difficulties due to loss of earning or becoming unemployed, we can guide you to claim the right benefit that will help you pay rent and sustain your tenancy through this period. Please take a look at our benefits and money advice page and let your housing or property management officer know as soon as you can.
Financial and other support for you
If you’ve become unemployed or your hours of work have been reduced you may be entitled to financial help with your housing costs through Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. We can guide you to claim the right benefit that will help you pay rent and sustain your tenancy through this period. For more information on what you may be entitled to, see our benefits and money advice..
If you're struggling to pay your rent or service charges, or to keep to your payment plan, please let your officer know as soon as possible. We're here to help and can offer support with any benefits issues you have. If you're a homeowner, you should also contact your mortgage lender who may also be able to help.
We’re working with organisations in your area, including foodbanks, local council hardship funds and delivery services. There's also help available for vulnerable residents and those struggling with energy bills. Please see support available during coronavirus.
Visiting our care and support services
If you have relatives in one of our older people’s or supported housing schemes, please contact the scheme directly to find out about local arrangements for visits. Thanks to the hard work and vigilance of residents and colleagues, all our schemes have had relatively low cases of Covid-19 so far, so it’s crucial that we all play our part in keeping it that way.
- Visiting our offices
Building and fire safety
We continue to deliver building and fire safety programmes to maintain our strong compliance position where it's safe to do so and where sites remain open for business.
Our programme to investigate the make-up of the walls of our blocks will continue, and we’re making steady progress towards bringing programme back on track with our original timescales following delays due to the initial lockdown. Where issues are identified, we’re putting in place interim measures such as waking watches or local alarms.
Resident meetings and events
Most of our resident group meetings are now taking place online. These include the regional forums for residents in specific geographic areas.
Moving home and sign-ups
We're letting our general needs homes as usual, but will ask you to work with us differently – for example, by providing proof of ID online only. We can help you with that. If you are moving or transferring from one of our homes, we might ask for your help. For example, we might ask you for photos of your home and for you to leave copies of keys in a key safe we will provide before you leave. We will also ask you to give us details of the utility providers and leave the property clear ready for our contrators.
Our temporary housing team are very much open for business to local authority partners for new lettings, an area where we know there is significant need. We're signing up new tenants online much as possible, and following government guidelines if not.
New tenants for Folio London, our private rent arm, can sign up online. You can also continue to book video viewings, and the team are offering face-to-face viewings where possible.
Selling/buying your property
Show homes and marketing suites for our new homes are open, but you need to make an appointment to attend. You’ll find more information on our sales site.
If you want to sell your home, please let us know. We'll list it and collect interest from prospective buyers but will need a valid RICS valuation to do this, which will only be valid for three months. If the RICS valuation expires before you find a buyer, you'll need to pay to renew it so we strongly advise you to consider this before instructing us to list your home for sale.
If you want to buy more shares in your home, we can still accept staircasing instructions in the usual way. We're doing our best to maintain services as usual, but regrettably, it is possible there may be delays at points. Please bear with us.
If you're thinking of buying more shares or selling your home, you should also continue to consider our important message to homeowners which provides details around lenders' response to government guidance relating to building and fire safety before instructing us.
Watch out for bogus callers
We've had reports of people turning up at some of our properties pretending to work for us or the NHS, saying they'll test you for coronavirus. Neither Notting Hill Genesis nor the NHS are running any such programme and you should not let these people into your home. Please report them to the police.
There have also been instances of people pretending to offer help with getting vaccinated against C-19. Please remember that vaccines are only available from the NHS. You may be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or a local pharmacy to receive your vaccine. It is free of charge and at no point will you be asked to pay.
• The NHS will never ask for your bank account or card details
• The NHS will never ask for your PIN or banking password
• The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
• The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents like a passport, driving licence, utility bill or payslip.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you receive a suspicious email forward it to email@example.com, or if you receive a suspicious text message forward it to 7726, a free service.
If you believe you may have been the victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud as soon as possible on 0300 123 2040.
Building new homes
Our construction sites are open, but most are working with fewer operatives to comply with national safety guidance.
If you're a Folio London customer, please check www.foliolondon.co.uk for information on how you may be affected.