Covid-19 update

Covid-19
update

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

Our latest service update

Updated 8 September 2021

Office re-opening for customers

We had to shut our offices to both colleagues and customers at the start of lockdown. We have slowly been re-opening to colleagues and we continue to keep numbers limited and have safety guidelines in place.

We will be gradually re-opening our office to customers, whilst making sure we do everything we can to keep customers and colleagues safe.

Our offices at Western Peninsula will be open on an appointment basis. We will accept walk-ins, but we will be running a one in, one out policy and so we ask for your patience if you are asked to wait outside. We recommend booking an appointment as we cannot guarantee walk-ins will be seen.

 

A limited number of 30-minute appointments will be available starting from Monday 6 September 2021.

To book an appointment please email enquiries@silvahomes.co.uk or call us on 01344 382 800.

Send us an email

 

Please note that in our office we are asking our customers to follow some procedures to keep everyone safe.

  • Hand sanitiser will be available for use on arrival.
  • We have a non-contact thermometer that we will ask all guests to use on arrival.
  • Masks are to be worn when moving around the building unless you are medically exempt.
  • Please respect 2m social distancing.

 

Repairs update

We have been able to return to our usual service commitment to complete works within 20 days for two services, electric and gas from 23 August 2021.

This is in part due to the fact that there is less demand for electrical repairs and currently, there are fewer gas boiler breakdowns and our focus is on boiler servicing.

It has proved to be more difficult to return to the 20 days commitment for carpentry & general trades and for plumbing, due to the volume of requests we receive for these types of work and the backlog we are facing.

For now, these will stay at the 40 day completion period. The type of works that are covered by carpentry & general trades and plumbing are:

  • Loose bannisters
  • External door easing
  • Garage works
  • Paving repairs
  • Dripping taps
  • Change of radiators
  • Shower replacements.

 

With the increased availability of resources, we are proposing to move to a target of completing repairs for carpentry & general trades and for plumbing to 30 days from 1 October and 20 days by 1 November 2021.

All emergency repairs will still be completed in the required timescale of 24 hours and no customer will be left with urgent works or works that are a risk to health and safety. This applies to all services, electric, carpentry & general trades and gas & plumbing.

Please book repairs through My Silva where possible.

Log in to My Silva

 

We would like to thank you for your ongoing patience and support throughout this period.

Our latest service update

Updated 21 April 2021

We are following the government's Covid-19 guidance to keep our customers and colleagues safe.

Click on the headings below to find out how we have adapted each of our services.

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.

Routine repairs

Our routine repairs service has reopened, in line with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. 

Most repairs are now available as usual, although in some cases there may be a longer waiting time for appointments. We are working hard to carry out all requested repairs as soon as possible.  

Repairs that are reported earliest, including those that were requested before we went into lockdown, are being carried out first. We are also prioritising new requests based on how urgent they are. 

As usual, emergency repairs are being completed within 24 Hours. 

What repairs are available? 

We offer a repairs service for our customers which includes routine and emergency repairs.  

You can read more about these services, including how we prioritise repair requests and whether we charge for repairs, on our website. 

Learn more on our repairs page

New fence repairs cannot be booked at the moment, as we are working through our backlog. We will start booking new fence repairs as soon as possible.

How to book a repair 

There are lots of ways to book a routine repair appointment for your home: 

Click here for more ways to contact us 

Once you have booked an appointment, you will receive an email, text or call to confirm the date and time. 

Why is My Silva the recommended way to book a repair? 

My Silva is the fastest way to book an appointment, due to the high number of calls we are currently receiving. Using My Silva will also help keep our phone lines free for anyone who can’t use the internet. 

It is free to use and easy to register for – all you need is an email address. You can use My Silva at any time, even in the evenings and at weekends when our business is closed. 

Please be aware that some repairs, which require more than one person to do them, cannot be booked on My Silva. This could include:  

  • guttering, 
  • roofing, 
  • groundworks. 

These repairs can be booked by emailing or calling us instead. 

Read more about My Silva 

Log into or register for My Silva 

What safety measures will Silva take during repair appointments? 

We are following all the government’s latest Covid-19 safety measures to help keep you safe. 

If we need to enter your home during the appointment, our colleagues and partners will always: 

  • contact you before arriving at your home, 
  • have a health check before arriving 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, 
  • open a window, if possible, when we are in your home. 

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

Read more about our repairs services 

Emergency repairs

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).

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.

If your home requires an electrical test our partners, Crystal Electronics, 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 outdoor communal areas in our independent living schemes have reopened and we hope to reopen communal areas soon.Meals are being delivered to the front doors of those customers who usually receive catering services and 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

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.