Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
We know that the coronavirus outbreak is of deep concern to everyone and that this is a difficult time for the residents and communities of Wandsworth that we provide services to. We are working hard to limit disruption to the Council’s housing services as far as possible but residents will appreciate that there are measures that must be taken to minimise the spread of the virus and that we must make plans to deal with events such as changed working arrangements and possible staff absence.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 June about further easing of lockdown measures, some Council receptions will reopen on a limited appointment-only basis from 6 July 2020 including the housing reception at Putney Bridge Road. The reception for the Western Area office will continue to operate as it has been throughout the pandemic, on an appointment-only basis.
Although receptions are reopening, the majority of matters will continue to be dealt with over the phone and appointments will only be arranged where this is not possible.
The safety of residents and staff remain our priority and there are precautions in place to ensure visitors and staff are able to follow social distancing guidelines. Please be assured that all Council buildings including reception areas are benefitting from enhanced sanitisation and that staff are maintaining good standards of hygiene and observing social distancing.
The following arrangements will be in place from Monday 6 July:
- Council receptions are operating reduced opening hours of 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). This is to limit the need for staff and residents to travel during rush hour.
- Housing receptions will be operating on a strictly appointment-only basis. Anyone attending reception without an appointment will be asked to leave and make an appointment unless it is an emergency, when an appointment later the same day will be offered.
- Visitors should arrive for appointments at the time given. To minimise the number of people in the reception areas at any time, it is important that people do not arrive early or late to appointments.
- Appointments should be attended alone unless bringing other family members or friends cannot be avoided.
- Anyone travelling to their appointment on public transport is required to wear a face covering on their journey. This can be worn for the duration of the visit but this is not a requirement. A perspex screen will provide a barrier between the visitor and the member of staff.
- Residents should use the hand sanitiser provided in reception upon arrival and before leaving.
- All visitors should maintain a distance of at least two metres from people not part of their household.
If anyone due to attend an appointment or anyone in their household is showing symptoms of coronavirus, they should contact the Council to advise that they will not be attending due to being in self-isolation.
Contact details for the housing teams.
Repairs and Maintenance
While tighter lockdown restrictions were in place only essential, urgent repairs were able to be carried out. In line with lockdown restrictions easing and refreshed Government guidance for tenants and landlords, the Department is now able to carry out routine non-essential repairs.
Visits by contractors and council officers
Housing officers are continuing to resolve issues over the telephone or via email wherever possible to avoid the need for unnecessary visits. If issues do require a visit however, officers will undertake these with additional precautions in place including regular handwashing and social distancing measures.
If you are due to have a contractor or council officer visit and anyone in your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or you are self-isolating due to a confirmed case of coronavirus, you must contact your area team as soon as possible to inform them.
All council staff will be requesting confirmation before entering anyone’s home that all members of the household are currently symptom-free.
Estate and block cleaning
Block and estate cleaning is continuing with cleaners paying particular attention to common parts of blocks such as door handles, push plates, call panels etc. ensuring that these are cleaned thoroughly regularly.
Wandsworth Emergency Control
The Council continues to operate its 24-hour emergency control which can be contacted on
020 8871 7490.
Social and private renters
The Government has published guidance for landlords and tenants who may be affected by current events. It explains social and private sector tenants’ rights and responsibilities during this period including important information on paying rent and evictions. It sets out measures relating to notices seeking possession as amended by the Coronavirus Act 2020:
- Court action on possession cases during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak; and
- Property access and health and safety obligations in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions
These guidance documents are available on GOV.UK.
Also see the Government’s press release on Friday 21 August 2020. This explains that the ban on evictions has been extended for a further four weeks to 20 September 2020 and that new six-month notice periods will be in place until at least 31 March 2020.
Letter from the Minister of State for Housing
Christopher Pincher MP, the Minister of State for Housing, has written a letter to all social housing tenants in England. This sets out what you should expect as tenants at this time including information on repairs and maintenance, building safety, moving home, and the additional support in place to help people deal with some of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Concerns about paying your bills
With some people facing reduced incomes or job loss as a result of the outbreak, the Council has confirmed it will be relaxing its normal rules on rent arrears and non-payment of council tax. Allowances will also be made for leaseholders who are struggling to pay their service charge bills. However, people are strongly encouraged to continue paying these bills if they are able to. Not only will this avoid them building up debt problems in the future, but the Council relies on this income to help fund the vital frontline services that Council residents rely on.
You must contact the rent collection service on 020 8871 8987 if you are concerned that you
cannot maintain rent payments as a result of the outbreak.
Help for residents
The Council have set up a Community Hub to coordinate the support being offered by the
Council and Wandsworth’s many voluntary organisations. We have launched a new helpline
for residents, particularly those elderly and/or vulnerable people without support networks,
who need assistance to access medical/care services and food supplies. This is to help
those most in need stay safe and well while they self-isolate at home.
If you or someone you know needs this support, please contact 020 8871 6555 or
Building safety guidance
Building safety remains a priority for Government and Local Authorities. In response to the current Coronavirus pandemic the Government has published updated building safety guidance which includes advice for the construction industry and revised guidance on ‘waking watches’ fire patrols.
These guidance documents are available on GOV.UK.
More information including what to do if you feel unwell
You can find more information and advice about coronavirus on the NHS website. The page is being updated regularly and is the best place to go for the latest health information.
Other useful sources of information:
- The latest information and advice from the Government.
Frequently asked questions from: