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what we're doing to protect customers and colleagues

Your health and wellbeing is our top priority 

It is more important than ever for you to be safe in your home. So, we are continuing to provide essential services and additional support for customers in line with the government’s guidance and social distancing measures.

As the guidance changes we continue to review and develop safe working practices and assess the risk to our customers and our colleagues. The latest risk assessment can be found here.

 

supporting vulnerable people

We know that some customers may be more vulnerable at this time and may need additional support.  

We have a team of colleagues who are in regular contact with everyone who we believe may be vulnerable. This includes anyone over the age of 50, plus anyone who has told us they have a health condition which makes them more at risk.  

We are checking that they are well, if they need any additional support such as prescription delivery, food parcels or assistance with pre-payment meters. We’re also working with the support hubs across Greater Manchester to ensure everyone has the support they need at this time.  

Plus we are also keeping in regular contact with customers who have told us they are self-isolating to check on their wellbeing. 

If you think you are vulnerable and have not heard from us, please get in touch, we’re here to help.  

 

essential repairs and gas servicing  

We are still carrying out essential repairsand gas servicing. All non-essential work will be re-rescheduled when the social contact measures are relaxed. This is to stop the potential for the virus spreading and is for your safety.  

what is an essential repair? 

Essential repairs are when you need a swift response because there is a risk to your health or safety. 

This includes the following: 

  • Burst pipes or leaks that cannot be contained or isolated. 
  • Blocked and overflowing external drains. 
  • External doors or windows that cannot be locked. 
  • Total loss of power. 
  • Unsafe electrics. Live or exposed electrical wiring and electrical fittings in contact with water. 
  • Serious roof repairs and falling gutters, slates or tiles. 
  • A bath or shower out of use, where this is the only form of bathing available. 
  • No water from any taps. 
  • Complete loss of heating and hot water, with no alternative means available. 
  • Gas leak or smell of gas within the property. You must also notify the National Grid (Emergency Gas Service Provider) on Freephone 0800 111 999. 

Essential repairs can be reported to us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 0300 561 1111 (inclusive of mobile minutes, low cost from a landline) 

It is really important that you provide accurate information when you report it so that we only schedule repairs which are absolutely necessary. Any repairs that are reported as essential which aren't, put our colleagues and other people at risk through unnecessary contact. 

If you do have an essential repair will provide a same-day service, making your home safe and helping to get it back in good working order as quickly as possible. 

As our colleagues visit some of the most vulnerable members of your community, if we need to call to do an essential repair, please open the door for our trades team and then go into another room and close the door behind you while we carry out the work. It is really important that everyone in your home including children and pets are kept safely in the room with you.   

Our team will wear gloves and try to avoid touching any surfaces. They will wash their hands when they arrive and when they leave. They have their own soap and towels.  

 

housing support & neighbourhood management 

Our top priority is making sure customers homes are safe places to live, so all of the essential health and safety checks, building inspections and waste removal services have continued during this time and our Neighbourhood Support Officers continue to work hard in the neighbourhoods we serve. 

Our colleagues all have the appropriate PPE they need to work safely whilst providing these services to you. To protect yourself and our colleagues and contractors, please respect social distancing and keep two metres away from anyone working in, or around, your building.

We know that customers will still need housing support from us and we are still here for you.  Our housing and neighbourhood teams can provide advice and support over the telephone. Please call us on 0300 561 1111, chat to us on social media or via the live chat on our website.  

 

lettings

Having a place to call home is more important than ever. Which is why we have put measures in place to safely rent homes to new customers at this time.

We will send photos of properties to help people decide if they are interested in a property. We will offer telephone appointments to discuss the property and tenancy and send an online tenancy agreement for new customers to sign electronically.

We will offer contactless viewings/ handovers. One person will be allowed to view the property at a time (max two people) and our colleagues will remain outside of the property. If you are applying for a home at this time, you will be sent detailed guidance around what will happen and what you need to do. 

 

 

chargeable services

Some customers pay a service charge for additional services that we provide such as cleaning of communal areas, grounds maintenance and servicing of lifts and equipment.

Whilst we have had to put some additional safety measures in place due to COVID-19, these services continue to operate.

 

Cleaning

Cleaning in communal areas has continued throughout the lockdown period as this is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Window cleaning has also continued. 

 

Grounds maintenance

The grounds maintenance service resumed on the 20th of May. This will be carried out to the usual service standard.  

If Greenfingers previously provided this service to you, this will now be provided by idverde. We recently reviewed the contract for this work and felt they provided the best value for money for customers. They will be working over the weekend to catch up on any work that could not be done while the service was paused.

If your grounds maintenance is not carried out by Greenfingers, your usual service provider will continue to provide this service.  

  

Charges

The service charges customers pay now relate to last year’s spend and we review service charges for tenants in October and for leaseholders in February. If any charges have reduced, the balance will be refunded, any have increased, this will be reflected in next years’ service charges.

 

Keeping you safe   

It is more important than ever to make sure customers are safe in their homes so all of the essential health and safety checks, building inspections and waste removal services have continued during this time and our Neighbourhood Support Officers continue to work hard in the neighbourhoods we serve.   

Our colleagues all have the appropriate PPE they need to work safely whilst providing these services to you. To protect yourself and our colleagues and contractors, please respect social distancing and keep two metres away from anyone working in, or around, your building.  

 

 

keeping you informed 

We are closely monitoring the government's emerging guidance and taking the necessary action.  

On our website you’ll find a dedicated coronavirus section which is being updated daily www.irwellvalley.co.uk/coronavirus/ 

We’re also sending regular email updates. If you’re not receiving these updates and have an email address, please email contact@irwellvalley.co.uk to register with us. Please include your PRN number in your email (this can be found on your rent statement) 

 

If you become unwell – we’re here to help 

If you start with any symptoms, please let us know immediately so we can put plans in place to protect any other residents and rearrange any appointments we may have to visit you.  

We will then keep in regular contact with you to check you’re OK and have any support you may need whilst you are unwell. 

 

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