Coronavirus (COVID-19) information: Housing

We know that the coronavirus outbreak is of deep concern to everyone and that this is a difficult time for the residents. We are working hard to limit disruption to the Council’s housing services as far as possible but residents will appreciate that we must ensure government restrictions are adhered to and that there are measures that must be taken to minimise the spread of the virus.

Council Receptions

The housing reception at Twickenham Civic Centre is operating on an appointment-only basis. The majority of matters will continue to be dealt with over the phone or online and face-to-face appointments will only be arranged where this is not possible.

The safety of residents and staff remain our priority and there are precautions in place to ensure visitors and staff are able to follow social distancing guidelines. Please be assured that all Council buildings, including reception areas, are benefiting from enhanced sanitisation and that staff are maintaining good standards of hygiene and observing social distancing. 

The following arrangements are in place:

  • Council receptions are operating reduced opening hours of 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). This is to limit the need for staff and residents to travel during rush hour.
  • Housing receptions will be operating on a strictly appointment-only basis. Anyone attending reception without an appointment will be asked to leave and make an appointment unless it is an emergency.
  • Visitors should arrive for appointments at the time given. To minimise the number of people in the reception areas at any time, it is important that people do not arrive early or late to appointments.
  • Appointments should be attended alone unless bringing other family members or friends cannot be avoided.
  • Anyone travelling to their appointment on public transport is required to wear a face covering on their journey. This can be worn for the duration of the visit but this is not a requirement. A perspex screen will provide a barrier between the visitor and the member of staff.
  • Residents should use the hand sanitiser provided in reception upon arrival and before leaving.
  • All visitors should maintain a distance of at least two metres from people not part of their household.

If anyone due to attend an appointment or anyone in their household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or has been advised to self-isolate, they should contact the Council to advise that they will not be attending due to being in self-isolation.

If you need to speak to someone from the housing advice and allocations services about homelessness or rehousing, please email housingadvice@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk (providing your name, address, contact details and description of your situation) or call 0208 891 7409.

Social and private renters

The Government has published guidance for landlords and tenants who may be affected by current events. It explains social and private sector tenants’ rights and responsibilities during this period including important information on paying rent and evictions. It sets out measures relating to notices seeking possession as amended by the Coronavirus Act 2020:

  • Court action on possession cases during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak; and 
  • Property access and health and safety obligations in the context of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions

These guidance documents are available on GOV.UK.

Also see the Government’s press release on Friday 21 August 2020. This explains that the ban on evictions was extended for a further four weeks to 20 September 2020 and that new six-month notice periods will be in place until at least 31 March 2021.

The Council's Private Sector Housing Team are only conducting inspections of properties in emergencies and where it is safe to do so. This will remain the case until at least 3 December 2020. The team will however continue to assist in resolving non-emergency cases remotely. 

Building safety guidance

Building safety remains a priority for Government and Local Authorities. In response to the current coronavirus pandemic, the Government has published updated building safety guidance which includes advice for the construction industry and revised guidance on ‘waking watches’ fire patrols.

These guidance documents are available on GOV.UK.

More information including what to do if you feel unwell

You can find more information and advice about coronavirus on the NHS website. The page is being updated regularly and is the best place to go for the latest health information.

Other useful sources of information:

Frequently asked questions from:

 

Up to: Housing

Updated: 09 November 2020