Covid-19 update

Covid-19
update

Find out what we're doing to 
protect you from Covid-19.

Our latest service update

Updated 8 February 2021

We are operating a reduced repairs and maintenance service from Monday 8 February until further notice.

This is because Covid-19 infection rates are especially high, and the new variants are spreading quickly. By keeping face-to-face contact to a minimum when it is not essential, we aim to keep our customers and colleagues safe.

The services are currently delivering to our customers are:

  • emergency repairs,  

  • out-of-hours service, 

  • key compliance checks,  

  • gas boiler servicing,   

  • electrical safety checks (EICRs) and emergency light tests,   

  • asbestos surveys and removals,  

  • fire risk assessments and remedial works,  

  • legionella testing,  

  • lift servicing and call-outs to lift breakdowns,

  • repairs and maintenance in communal areas.

We are also still: 

  • cleaning the communal areas in our buildings,

  • maintaining the grounds of outdoor communal areas,

  • supporting with mutual exchanges, transfers, lettings and shared ownership sales.

If you already have a non-urgent repair appointment booked, a member of the Silva team will be in touch soon.

This is a temporary measure and we aim to increase the scale and scope of services as soon as we can.

Our first priority is keeping our colleagues and customers safe. We really appreciate your patience and understanding during this very difficult time.

Please click on the headings below for more information.

What will happen if we need to visit your home?

Because Covid-19 infection rates are so high, we will only enter your home if it is essential.

If we do need to enter your home, we will follow all the government’s latest Covid-19 safety measures to help keep you safe.

We will always:

  • contact you before they arrive at your home,
  • have a health check before they arrive at your home,
  • maintain a safe distance, follow hygiene procedures and wear high quality PPE throughout the visit.

In return we politely ask that you:

  • answer some health & safety questions before we enter your home,
  • wear a face mask when we enter your home,
  • move into a different room when we are in your home.

If you or someone in your household is self-isolating, please let us know before we visit. We can either reschedule the appointment or arrange to avoid face-to-face contact when we visit.

Repairs

We are only providing emergency repairs at the moment.

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 aim to respond to emergency repair requests within 24 hours, or sooner if it affects health and safety.

We will carry out emergency repair if you 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 or wet room (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).

If you have a non-urgent repair appointment booked, a member of the Silva team will be in touch. 

We are still doing repairs in the communal areas of our homes.

Compliance & maintenance works

We are only carrying out essential compliance and maintenance works.

These works include:

  • key compliance checks,  

  • gas boiler servicing,   

  • electrical safety checks (EICRs) and emergency light tests,   

  • asbestos surveys and removals,  

  • fire risk assessments and remedial works,  

  • legionella testing,  

  • lift servicing and call-outs to lift breakdowns,

  • repairs and maintenance in communal areas.

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 also 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 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 recently. Recipients of this letter will be asked to call PCM to book an appointment for their electrical test audit.

Read more about our electrical tests

Environmental services

We are still doing the following environmental services:

  • keeping the communal areas in and around our buildings clean, neat and tidy
  • grounds maintenance in the communal outdoor spaces around some of our homes.

Please help keep our community safe by following these guidelines:

  • Stay two metres away from your neighbours and our colleagues.
  • Wear a face covering in the internal communal areas of the building.
  • Keep the communal areas clear of your personal items,
  • Put your rubbish in the correct bin.

Viewing a new home

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:

  1. We will contact you to arrange a time and date for your property viewing.
  2. 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.
  3. The next day, you can ask us your questions about the property by emailing or calling us.
  4. Then you can tell us whether you would like to move in.
  5. Once the property is ready to let, you will be invited to sign your tenancy contract digitally.
  6. 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.

Read the government’s advice about moving home

This advice applies if you wish to transfer, move into alternative accommodation in the private rented sector, or exchange your home with someone else.

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.

Contact our access team

Rent payments

You should keep paying rent and following the 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 so we can offer support.

Contact our rent team

We will support and work with you to find a resolution to any arrears.

Independent living

The communal areas in our independent living schemes are closed, and meals are being delivered to the front doors of those customers who usually receive catering services. Our customers receive daily welfare calls from our independent living team.

Recycling

The re3 recycling sites in Bracknell and Reading are open.

To book a time slot in advance, please visit the re3 website.

Book a recycling slot

Wellbeing support

The government has provided some advice to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing:

Let’s Talk Loneliness

Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of Covid-19 

Covid-19: guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing

Office closure

Our office is closed to visitors but our colleagues are still working, so please contact us if you need any support.

Contact us

Help us prevent the spread of infection

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

If you do need to leave your home, there are three simple actions you must regularly do:

  • Wash hands - keep washing your hands.
  • 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.

Book a free test on the government website

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.

Contact us

Thank you for your continued support and patience.

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