Beware of scams Be vigilant against coronavirus scams – staff working for the council do not visit people at home and ask for council tax and/or housing rent to be paid by cash.
If anyone visits you at home and asks for your council tax and/or rent to be paid in cash, then this is a scam.
Staff working for the housing rent team are visiting residents at home. Staff working for the council tax team are not currently completing home visits.
For further government advice about scams, visit its web pages. If you have any concerns please contact us on 0118 974 6000.
Staff will be working from home to prevent the illness spreading. This means that we will try to email you where possible, or there may be a delay when we post letters to you. We will work hard to make sure that documents you post to us are scanned on to our system as quickly as possible to minimise delays.
We will still accept calls on 0118 974 6000, but there is likely to be some interruptions to the service.
You can also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate that this is a difficult time. If you are finding it hard to meet your instalments, please email us on email@example.com so we can work with you on a more manageable repayment plan.
Financial support while self-isolating
If you will struggle financially while self-isolating, you may be entitled to claim a Test and Trace Support Payments. Please visit our Test and Trace Support Payments webpage for information on whether you are eligible to claim.
Housing, revenue and benefits front desk
The Housing, Revenue and Benefits counter service at our Shute End offices is closed until further notice.
Residents needing to get in touch can phone 0118 974 6000 or use our contact us form online. If you can use our online services, please do to keep the phone lines open for those most in need.
Some of our housing services have changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please see guidance below for the different areas.
Repairs - housing
Please continue to report all repairs as follows:
We are currently only undertaking repairs that are assessed as essential. These will include health and safety and urgent repairs. You will be notified if a repair is assessed as essential at the point that you report it.
If the repair is assessed as essential, you will be asked a standard series of questions concerning the health and vulnerabilities of yourself and any family you have living with you.
Gas servicing - housing
Gas servicing will continue as usual. Robert Heath Heating will contact tenants when their annual gas service is due. This is a legal requirement and must be completed.
- Engineers will use the correct personal protective equipment when completing the service however we ask that residents move to an unoccupied room during the service
- If you have any question regarding the gas service then please call Robert Heath Heating directly on 0800 389 8789
Paying your rent for council owned homes
If you're in a situation where you're worried about paying your rent, please get in touch with us immediately. We understand this is a difficult time, and we are here to help. Our rental income team can talk through your rent account and payment options.
We are providing a Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, telephone only service with our contact details shown below. Please check the top left of the letter about your rent changes sent in late February 2021 to see who your rent officer is.
Please contact rent officers Ade Okeowo (07595 057512) or Beverley Patrice-Farrell (07885 983791). All other enquiries can be made by calling 0118 974 6238, then selecting option 4 and option 4 a second time. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org – we read emails every working day.
The team are continuing to encourage and support residents of working age to apply for Housing Costs to be paid through a Universal Credit application, and residents of pensionable age to apply for Housing Benefit. This includes providing residents with advice and support in managing their online Universal Credit account called their ‘journal’.
Paying your rent for residents living in the private rented sector
From 1 August 2021, the notice period for cases where there are less than 4 months of unpaid rent, will further reduce to 2 months’ notice. The notice period for ‘serious arrears’ is 4 weeks’ notice and the threshold for what constitutes ‘serious arrears’ is ‘arrears equivalent to 4 or more months’ rent.
If you cannot afford to pay your rent, contact your landlord in the first instance. You can seek independent help and advice through Citizens Advice Wokingham..
You can alsoemail email@example.com or call 0118 974 6000 during office hours, or 0800 212 111 outside of office hours in an emergency.
Sheltered tenants - housing
Our Floating support service team are maintaining the services we provide to residents within our sheltered services.
Daily phone calls or visits are continuing to take place for those who are most vulnerable within our schemes. Those that are able should continue to use the ‘I’m OK’ feature, which has been very successful and provides residents with support and peace of mind. We are looking to maintain this in the future.
Your welfare and safeguarding remain our first concern. Should you have any issue, please let us know. The Floating support services team are now retuning to all standard working across the schemes and will continue to wear PPE and maintain social distancing. We ask residents to do the same when in communal spaces.
You can contact them by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0118 974 6000.
Planned visits - housing
Housing Officers are undertaking all the standard housing management visits and will continue to wear PPE and maintain social distancing. We ask you to please keep your distance we are visiting your home.
You can contact them by email on email@example.com or by phoning 0118 974 6000. Ahead of any visit you will be asked if you have Covid-19 symptoms, or if you've been asked to self-isolate. If either of these are the case, we will re arrange our appointment with you later.
We will continue to undertake gas boiler servicing. As with repairs, prior to the gas engineer attending you will be asked a series of questions concerning the health and vulnerability of the homeowner. In addition, to conform with the social distancing requirements the engineer may ask you to go into another room or keep 2m away
We will keep our other planned programmes such as window and door replacements and external decorations under review. Currently we are planning to continue with this work.
The Rental Income Team are providing a Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, telephone service.
Leaseholders and Shared Owners - housing
From 1 April 2020, the insurance for leaseholders of ‘Right to Buy’ Flats and Shared Ownership Properties changed to Avid Insurance Services.
- If you need to make a claim please phone the claims administrator, Questgates Limited, on 01204 860427
- The policy number is 2020CP000177