Last updated: 8 January 2021.
The majority of our services are operating when safe to do so, for both our customers and staff, but we can provide some service-specific updates which you may find useful. We will also be updating our website, barnethomes.org, regularly with service status.
Due to the new lockdown restrictions our in-house services will implement a reduced responsive repairs service from Monday 11 January. This will be limited to ‘essential repairs’ Essential repairs include those which will ensure residents have a safe supply of electricity, heating, water or hot water, and repairs that will ensure homes are water-tight, secure and free from health and safety hazards. Essential repairs also include resolving repairs issues that if left unattended could become a health and safety hazard to either the resident or the property.
We will review the situation, in line with Government guidelines, week beginning 15 February.
The current responsive repairs appointments that we have booked into the system over the coming weeks will be reviewed, and if works are of a non-essential nature, residents will be contacted and the appointments re-arranged.
Planned and programmed repairs will be completed where work is already in progress, in line with government guidelines. We will not start any new planned or programmed repairs under the current restrictions.
Communal repairs in blocks and on estates will continue where safe to do so and in line with CV-19 risk assessments.
Heating breakdowns will continue to be attended where assessed to be an essential repair. This includes total or partial loss of heating and/or hot water.
Installations of boilers and heating systems will continue where deemed essential due to the current boiler not working, having obsolete parts or being beyond economical repair. This will only be done where safe to do so and in line with CV-19 risk assessments.
- Landlord Gas Safety Checks: Barnet Homes will continue to target all relevant properties for Landlords Gas Safety Record (LGSR) compliance checks. This is a statutory requirement and we have an obligation to continue with these during the pandemic. Exceptions to allowing access can be made for those residents with symptoms, those who are self-isolating or those who are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable. In these instances, we will attempt to book in the LGSR checks when safe to do so. Residents will be expected to demonstrate that they fall into the above categories to allow the exemption to the LGSR going ahead. Barnet Homes will still go to court to obtain a warrant and force entry where needed unless the above exemptions can be evidenced.
- The Out of Hours emergency service will continue as normal providing operatives to attend for carpentry, electrical, heating, plumbing, jetting and roofing emergencies only. All operatives will be wearing PPE and will follow CV-19 risk assessments when attending properties
- Barnet Homes is rolling out a new IT system to allow remote technical surveys to take place via video link. We can still visit properties for a technical survey where absolutely necessary and safe to do so, in line with CV-19 risk assessments including the wearing of PPE.
- Property Services: As with our repairs and gas services, we will continue to carry out work in your homes where it is safe to do so involving the wearing of all appropriate PPE. Essentially, this is property compliance work, for example, electrical testing, which we are required to carry out periodically to keep your homes safe. Some of these checks require access to communal areas only, for example, inspection and servicing of passenger lifts and asbestos surveys, and operatives will be wearing PPE in all these situations.
- We will proceed with fire safety works, wherever possible, adopting all required safety measures as we do so. You will be advised where we need to postpone any such works. This includes fire risk assessment work to communal areas. We aim to complete any work that is already in progress.
- Programmed works such as kitchen and bathroom renewals and window replacements will now be postponed in response to the current CV-19 conditions. We will advise you when these planned works can re-commence.
- Estate Services: Barnet Homes is reducing the services offered by caretaking staff from Monday 11 January to concentrate on the cleaning and sanitising of high traffic areas such as door handles, communal entrances, intercom systems and lift panels. This is being done to reduce transmission of infection at these high-volume touch points. The Health & Safety checks undertaken by caretakers will continue as normal but some scheduled cleans may be impacted during this period.
- The Grounds Maintenance team are continuing with their normal winter schedules which consists mainly of leaf clearance across estates.
- The Bulk Refuse team are operating at full capacity, particularly in light of the large increase in fly tipping experienced during previous lockdowns.
- Customer Contact Team: Our Customer Contact team is working from home and will continue to assist with your enquiries. Mondays and Tuesdays are our busiest days, so if your call is not urgent, you may be able to speak to a member of the team more quickly towards the end of the week. If you need an essential repair the team will ask you to answer a short series of COVID-19 screening questions to ensure it safe to attend your property. If you have a repair request that is not essential, the team will ask that you contact us again during the week beginning the 15 February.