Our latest service update
Updated 9 November 2020
The lockdown restrictions, which are in place in England between 5 November and 2 December, will affect some of our services. We are monitoring the government's advice closely, so that we can keep making sure our services stay compliant, and that our safety measures are effective.
Most of our colleagues have been working from home since March, and they will keep providing our services digitally and over the phone, as much as possible.
The services that we cannot carry out remotely will continue to be delivered in person. This means our repairs services will continue and we will also make sure our communal areas are kept clean. If they need to enter your home, all our front-line colleagues will wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and they will follow social distancing practices.
If you have any questions about our approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, or if you feel you need any additional support, please get in touch.
If you need an emergency repair, or if there is a health & safety risk, please call us on 01344 382 800 to book an appointment.
We carry out emergency repairs for our customers who have:
- No heating or hot water
- A blocked toilet (if it is the only toilet in your home - this repair may be re-chargeable)
- An uncontainable leak (including roofing or serious gutter leaks)
- A broken shower, including wet rooms (if this is the only washing facility in your home)
- Full power failure
- An insecure property (such as smashed windows or a broken front door lock)
We aim to respond to emergency repair requests within 24 hours, or sooner if it affects health and safety.
We are currently providing the following types of routine repairs:
- Fixtures and fittings
- Electrical wiring
- Communal areas
- The outside of the home
The following repairs are unavailable, due to resource limitations caused by Covid-19:
We are getting additional resources to help carry out these repairs while our supply chain recovers from Covid-19.
How to book a repair:
There are three ways that you can book a repair for your home. We are expecting an increased volume of calls and wait times when our system reopens, so if you have an email address, please try to use My Silva to book an appointment. This will help to ensure that our customers who can’t access My Silva will be able to get through to our team over the phone to book a repair.
Once your appointment has been booked, you will receive an email, text or call to confirm the date and time.
This is the quickest and easiest way to book a repair.
You can use My Silva to book a repair slot directly in our system, up to 40 days in advance, without speaking to a member of our team. All you need is an email address.
If your home requires more than one repair, please book a separate appointment for each request.
Please note, you cannot book the following types of repairs through My Silva:
- Emergency repairs (please call instead)
- Repairs for communal areas in the building (please email or call instead)
- New build home defects (please email or call instead
You can send us an email at any time and we'll book it into our system between 8.30am and 5pm, from Monday to Friday.
Telephone: 01344 382 800.
You can call us any time between 8.30am and 5pm, from Monday to Friday.
Safety information: home visits
All our frontline colleagues are following the government’s latest Covid-19 safety measures, to keep you safe when they visit your home.
- Contacting you before they arrive at your home.
- Having a health check before visiting your home, to make sure they don’t have Covid-19 symptoms.
- Asking you some essential health & safety questions before entering your home.
- Maintaining a safe distance and following hygiene procedures throughout the visit. This includes the use of high-quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
If you or someone in your household is self-isolating, please let us know before your appointment starts. We can either reschedule the appointment or arrange to avoid face-to-face contact when we visit.
Planned compliance & maintenance works
We are undertaking a limited programme of external works and services.
We are also carrying out safe maintenance and repairs in our empty homes, so that they can be re-let to new customers.
All our colleagues and partners are adhering to the government’s safe working guidance.
Planned compliance & maintenance works
We are carrying out essential compliance and maintenance works in all our homes, some of which may require us to enter your home.
These works include:
- Asbestos surveys, in communal areas and within homes.
- Electrical emergency light safety tests in communal areas.
- Electrical safety condition reports (EICRs) in homes and remedial work where necessary.
- Fire risk assessments and remedial work where necessary.
- Fire alarm and automatic opening vent testing.
- Kitchen and bathroom surveys, ahead of future replacements.
- Front door upgrades and replacements.
- Gas servicing (CP12) on boilers.
- Legionella testing and water flushing.
- Monthly lift servicing (including stairlifts and hoists) and lift breakdown attendance.
- Replacing your boiler, even if it hasn’t broken down.
Our colleagues and partners will contact you before arriving at your home, maintain a safe distance and follow hygiene procedures, as set out in the government’s Covid-19 guidance.
No work will be carried out in any household where an individual is self-isolating, unless it is to remedy a direct risk. In such a case, prior arrangements will be made to avoid any face-to-face contact.
We are carrying out safe maintenance and repairs in our empty homes, so that they can be re-let to new customers.
Gas safety checks
We are carrying out essential gas safety checks in all our homes.
If you are self-isolating, please inform us and we will rearrange the gas and electrical safety check to take place after your isolation has ended.
If you smell gas, or if you have concerns about the safety of your appliances, you should call the gas emergency service provider on 0800 111 999, and switch off appliances until the gas emergency supplier, or a registered gas engineer, has attended and advised that the appliances are safe to use.
Electrical safety checks
We are carrying out routine electrical tests and electrical test audits in some of our homes, to make sure they remain safe to live in. In order to carry out these tests and audits, our contractors need to enter our homes.
Our electrical tests are being carried out by Crystal Electronics and Pilon. If your home requires an electrical test, either Crystal Electronics or Pilon will contact you to book an appointment.
We have also appointed an auditor called Phoenix Compliancy Management (PCM) to check that the electrical tests which are being done in our homes are to our high standards. PCM is sending letters to some Silva customers who had their electrics tested this year. Recipients of this letter will be asked to call PCM to book an appointment for their electrical test audit.
We are continuing to keep the communal spaces in and around our buildings clean, neat and tidy.
Please help to keep our community safe by following the government's guidelines:
- Stay two metres away from your neighbours and our colleagues.
- Wear a face covering when leaving your property and in the internal communal areas. Once outside you may remove your face covering.
- Keep the communal areas clear of your personal items.
- Please put your rubbish in the correct bin.
If we need to adapt our services due to Covid-19, then we may offer a reduced service which will involve essential caretaking duties, safety checks and touchpoint cleaning only.
The re3 recycling sites in Bracknell and Reading are open.
To book a time slot in advance, please visit the re3 website.
We have adapted our viewings process so that it complies with the government’s latest Covid-19 guidance.
If you request a viewing of one of our homes:
- A member of our access team will contact you to arrange a time and date for your property viewing.
- We will meet you outside the property and unlock the door for you. You will then be able to look around the property on your own or with a member of your household.
- The next day, you can ask us your questions about the property by emailing or calling us.
- Then you can tell us whether you would like to move in.
- Once the property is ready to let, you will be invited to sign your tenancy contract digitally.
- As soon as we receive your advance rent payment, you can move in.
If you are thinking about moving home, please read the government’s advice first, to ensure that you do it safely.
This advice applies if you are seeking to transfer, move into alternative accommodation in the private rented sector, or mutually exchange.
The process of finding and moving into a new home will be different, as we need to enable social distancing measures.
If you have any questions about moving home or the government’s guidance, please let us know.
You should continue to pay rent and abide by all terms of your tenancy agreement to the best of your ability. If you have any trouble paying your rent, please let us know as soon as possible.
We will support and work with you to find a resolution to any arrears.
Under the new government guidance, restaurants must close and people should stay at home. For this reason, the communal areas in our independent living schemes are closed again, and meals are being delivered to the front doors of those customers who usually receive catering services. We know that this lockdown will be a challenge, so we are trying to set up support bubbles for our independent living customers. Our daily welfare calls are continuing.
If you are having difficulty getting to the shop to buy essential supplies, such as food or medication, you can sign up for our food delivery programme.
The government has also provided some advice to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing:
Our office is closed to visitors, but all our colleagues are still working, so please contact us if you need any support.
Help us prevent the spread of infection
There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:
- Wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly.
- Cover face - wear a face covering in enclosed spaces.
- Make space - stay at least 2 metres apart, or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions.
Getting a Covid-19 test
You should get a Covid-19 test with the NHS if you have any of these symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
If you have these symptoms, you should stay at home and get a test.
Together, we can save lives.
We are all responsible for looking after every member of our community.
By cooperating with the government’s guidelines, you can help us to prevent the spread of the virus amongst our colleagues and customers. Please do whatever you can to support your friends, family and neighbours.
If you have any questions about our approach towards coronavirus, please get in touch.
Thank you for your continued support and patience.