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[Last updated 26/11/20 at 16:42pm]

Learn more about how we will be continuing to provide services to our customers under the latest tier restrictions. We are regularly reviewing the situation and will update this page as necessary if the situation changes.

Find the latest government advice on coronavirus national restrictions here:

     

National and local restrictions

   

Repairs

  • We are pleased to say that, where possible, a normal repairs and maintenance service will be maintained. The only limitation to this is if we cannot undertake the works safely within Covid-19 control measures.

    This may include activities involving two people where it is necessary to work in close proximity to others. To address this we have developed a small number of working ‘bubbles’ where pairs work only with each other. This may mean a slight delay in getting these works completed.

    If you've recently moved into one of our new build homes you may still be within the defects period, during which time the housebuilder is responsible for putting things right. Please report any issues to us as usual but be aware that many developers have not yet restarted their defects programmes so there will be a delay before any non-urgent work is completed.

  • We are encouraging customers to tell us about non-urgent repairs in the home by visiting our report a repair page (for legacy Bromford customers). If you already have an online account, you can log your repair here. If you do call us and have an online account already set up you will be re-directed to our website.

    For legacy Merlin customers, you can report any non-urgent repairs and for legacy Severn Vale customers you can log your request through your online account.


  • For legacy Bromford and Severn Vale customers, if you don’t already have an online account the good news is it’s really quick and easy to set one up. For legacy Bromford customers simply visit report a repair and for legacy Severn Vale customers head to report it online were you can register a new account – all you will need is your account/tenancy reference number which can found on your latest rent review letter.

    You will be able to log your current repairs request and any others moving forward. Once you are set up, it’s worth exploring because there are lots of other great things that you can do online without having to call us.

  • We will continue to keep you informed on the status of your repair. There is no need to call us as we will be working through the backlog of repairs and getting you an appointment booked in as quickly as possible. If you feel that your original repair request is now an emergency, something that may cause injury or damage to your home, then please let us know as quickly as possible.

    If the repair that has been reported requires more than two operatives to carry out the work, you may need to wait a little longer as we are initially prioritising smaller repairs jobs such as plumbing, but again we will keep you posted as we open up more of our services and return to some kind of normality.

  • As we begin the phased reopening of services, we are pleased to say we will also start to offer parts of our planned maintenance programme. We need to be sure we can do this in a way that ensures the safety of both customers and colleagues and so initially we will prioritise external and common area works such as cyclical painting followed by window and door replacements. The next phase will then look at reintroducing kitchen and bathroom upgrades and we will keep you up to date on the timescales for this. If you were due to have your kitchen or bathroom replaced before we had to introduce service changes as a result of coronavirus, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to update you on when you can expect this to take place.

  • If you or someone in your household is self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms we need you to let us know in advance by filling in this quick form on this page.

    We will not be carrying out non-urgent repairs in homes where you or a member of your household is self-isolating or shielding. Please call us once your self-isolation or shielding has ended and we will be happy to book an appointment for your repair. If the request relates to an emergency or safety critical repair, we will be able to complete this for you once you have followed a few simple steps which are in accordance with the guidance from Public Health England: 

    • To remain in another room with the door closed if possible, and to maintain adequate social distancing at all times. This means being at least two metres away from any worker as they complete the repair. We also ask that doors and windows remain open to ventilate the area  
    • The engineer will wear protective gloves and use certified hand sanitizer before and after the visit. Once finished, they will take their gloves away with them and dispose of them off site.

    This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both customers and colleagues and you will appreciate that our engineer might have to remove themselves from the property if this guidance isn’t followed.

  • As we appreciate the circumstances of each customer could be quite different, we will need to consider each request on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your neighbourhood coach in the first instance. If you don’t know who your coach is, you can find out using our handy neighborhood coach search function here.

    

Safety on home visits

  • All possible physical interactions between colleagues and customers have been carefully risk assessed by our team of health and safety specialists. These include things like a neighbourhood coach visiting your home, an engineer completing a scheduled repair in your property, or a contractor coming to carry out your annual gas safety check. Assessments have followed the government’s strict ‘covid secure’ guidelines and training has been provided to colleagues to ensure we can keep everyone safe at all times.
  • Before we arrive, the colleague or engineer will call you in advance to let you know we are on our way. This way you can prepare for our arrival and remind yourself of the steps we need you to take.

    On arrival, we will want to ensure we maintain our social distance at all times and for this reason we would like it if you could stay in a different room to where a repair or service is being completed. If this is not possible, for example if a neighbourhood coach needs to talk to you directly, we ask if you can maintain a two metre distance at all times.

    Please also keep your property well ventilated throughout the visit by opening doors and windows where possible.
  • All our risk assessments focus on social distancing as the core control. Colleagues will also be practicing good hand hygiene by using certified hand sanitiser and will be wearing disposable gloves throughout their visit. Colleagues will be provided with face coverings which they may also be wearing, however as we will be maintaining adequate social distancing this is not a mandatory requirement. If you would prefer us to wear a face covering during the visit, just let us know when we call ahead so we can arrange this for you.
  • We have reviewed all our contractors risk assessments and, as a minimum, they too will be following the same controls as Bromford colleagues.
  • If you or someone in your household is self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive please let your neighbourhood coach know. If you have a repair or home visit scheduled during this period please ring our customer services team so we can reschedule your appointment to a time after your self-isolation period has ended. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all, which remains our number one priority.

    If the home visit relates to an emergency or safety critical repair, we will be able to complete this for you once you have followed a few simple steps which are in accordance with the guidance from Public Health England: 

    • To remain in another room with the door closed if possible, and to maintain adequate social distancing at all times. This means being at least two metres away from any worker as they complete the repair. We also ask that doors and windows remain open to ventilate the area  
    • The engineer will wear protective gloves and use certified hand sanitizer before and after the visit. Once finished, they will take their gloves away with them and dispose of them off site.

    This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both customers and colleagues and you will appreciate that our engineer might have to remove themselves from the property if this guidance isn’t followed. 

    If a colleague tests positive they may need to provide customer data to NHS Test and Trace.

     

Safety and compliance

  • We continue to deliver this service, as we have throughout the lockdown, to ensure customer safety. This approach has been confirmed in the government’s updated advice around the coronavirus pandemic. However, if you have an appointment already booked but you or someone in your household is now self-isolating and/or have a confirmed or suspected coronavirus case, please contact us as soon as possible. In this instance we will defer the gas service until the self-isolation period has ended and there are no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus within the household.

  • We want to ensure our customers are safe and so we will continue to carry out these tests as planned, as we have done throughout this period. Again this approach has been confirmed in the government’s updated advice around the coronavirus pandemic.

    We will defer any tests in homes where customers are self-isolating with symptoms or if there is a confirmed case. Please let us know if this applies to you and we will rearrange our visit until your period of self-isolation has ended

  • We are continuing with our planned electrical inspection programme as we have done throughout this period. However, if you have an appointment already booked, but you or someone in your household is now self-isolating and/or have a confirmed or suspected coronavirus case, please fill out this form to let us know as soon as possible. In this instance we will defer the electrical inspection until the self-isolation period has ended and there are no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus within the household.

  • It is important we continue to complete safety inspection/work. All our engineers have been provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and training to enable them to safely carry out work inside your home whilst complying with the guidelines around social distancing and good hygiene.

  • Now that we are recommencing the gradual reopening of services, all of our tree and grounds maintenance work will return to normal whilst following stringent new working practices around hygiene and social distancing. This includes ensuring areas close to road junctions remain safe and accessible to the general public as well as making sure customers can access open spaces safely at schemes. As you will appreciate, the team is working through a backlog and we thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding. All play parks, however, have been closed for the time being.

  • All our risk assessments focus on social distancing as the core control. Colleagues will also be practicing good hand hygiene by using certified hand sanitiser and will be wearing disposable gloves throughout their visit. Colleagues will be provided with face coverings which they may also be wearing, however as we will be maintaining adequate social distancing this is not a mandatory requirement. If you would prefer us to wear a face covering during the visit, just let us know when we call ahead so we can arrange this for you.

   

Rent

Where I live

   

Moving home (excluding shared ownership, outright sale)

  • During lockdown we were unable to progress any applications for a mutual exchange, this included applications we had already received and were working through as well as those that we received during the lockdown period. We did not start working on any of these applications until 22 June.

    This factor along with operational factors such as some landlords being at different stages of getting back to delivering their normal services, has meant that there is a large backlog of applications to move home.

    We are dealing with all applications in order of the date they were received, and we are working through those applications as quickly as we can. Not all landlords are operating a full mutual exchange service yet and how quickly your application can be assessed, and arrangements made for a move, will also depend on the other customer’s landlord. We will share updates with customers if and when we have them but due to the large backlog we are working our way through we cannot guarantee a response to every query that comes into us.

  • Yes, please wait for us to contact you about your application. As soon as there is an update, we will endeavour to let you know. We are currently fielding many enquiries, and this is taking up valuable resources which would be better spent dealing with the backlog of applications.

    To help us we ask you to email mutualexchanges@bromford.co.uk only when you need to tell us that you wish to cancel your application, or when you have a change of circumstances, or wish to update us with new contact details.

    You can also help us by not calling us to ask about your application. Please only call us to let us know if you are unable to attend an appointment that has been made for you or you are unable to move on the day that has been arranged.

  • All mutual exchange applications need more than one visit to the home to carry out property inspections and safety checks and we must ensure we can carry out these tasks safely for customers and colleagues. We will ensure that our colleagues who come to inspect your home or to carry out safety checks follow all government guidelines for social distancing and working safely. This may involve you being asked to stay in a separate room whilst the colleague checks your home, we may also ask that you keep all rooms well ventilated whilst we are there.

    It will be up to you and your proposed exchange partner to agree between you how you will look at each other’s homes safely. We do not recommend that you apply for an exchange if you are not sure that the new home would be right for you. We have a separate guidance note that will be sent to you when you apply for a mutual exchange that will explain how things will work on the day of your move and how to stay safe. It is a good idea to think carefully about how swaps can take place safely, especially as there may be a number of people involved in the move on the day.

    Remember you must not swap your home with anyone else without the consent of all landlords and agreed moving dates. If you do so you are at risk of losing your home.

    For further information on mutual exchanges see our FAQs General FAQs on Swapping Homes

  • Bromford has changed many of our ways of working to ensure customer and colleague safety. We will no longer visit you in your own home to carry out our pre tenancy visit if that can be avoided, instead we will carry out video or telephone interviews with you.

    Because moving to a new home is such an important step, we want to ensure that any home you are being considered for is the right one for you and so we are now carrying out viewings of empty homes in person wherever possible. This will be done taking into account all Health and Safety guidance issued by Public Health England. We ask that you do not bring anyone else with you to a viewing without prior agreement. If you do, we may have to cancel the viewing.   

    When you have viewed a home, had all of your pre tenancy checks, and had your offer of the home confirmed, the next thing is to arrange for you to sign the tenancy agreement with us and move in. On the day your tenancy starts we will meet you at your new home to remind you about the tenancy contract, to arrange for your first rent payment to be made, to give you the keys and to ensure all is well. Where possible we will not ask you to sign a paper copy of the tenancy or share equipment with you. We may send you a copy of the tenancy agreement and ask you to confirm acceptance. If you have access to a printer at home, we may ask you to print out a copy of the tenancy agreement and sign it. We will only do this if it is safe to do so. 

    If you have any concerns at all about the process, please do not hesitate to contact your lettings adviser or your neighbourhood coach who can talk you through the process and advise you on next steps.

    If you have any symptoms of coronavirus, if you have been in contact with anyone who has symptoms, or you are in quarantine, please advise us as soon as possible. Prior to any face to face contact with you the neighbourhood coach will call you on the day of your appointment to ensure it is safe for us to see you.

  • If you are already one of our customers, your neighbourhood coach and another Bromford colleague will visit your current home to carry out an inspection. This is to make sure that you have maintained your home to an acceptable standard and to see if there is any repair or remedial work you may need to do before you can move. Although this visit involves two Bromford colleagues coming to your home, we will discuss with you beforehand how we will manage to do this whilst maintaining Public Health England guidance on social distancing and PPE. We ask that you tell us if you or anyone in your household has tested positive for coronavirus or is in quarantine.

    If you are approved for a move then you will be invited to view the new home with the neighbourhood coach and you will also see your neighbourhood coach again on the day you start your new tenancy.

    If you have any concerns at all about being visited at home or if a member of the household is or in a quarantine period, we may be unable to continue with your application to move. Your neighbourhood coach will explain this to you if this is the case.

  • Moving into a new home can be expensive and comes with several costs in addition to paying your month’s rent when signing your tenancy agreement. You will need to consider all costs such as new carpets, furniture, removal costs and decide whether it is the right time for you to move. 

    One of our neighbourhood coaches will carry out an affordability assessment before we make an offer of a home to you. The neighbourhood coach will be able to advise you on any benefit entitlement during this affordability assessment or tell you where you may be able to get more advice and support if you are concerned about debts.

Buying a new home (including shared ownership)

  • If you’re thinking about moving home later in the year, our sales team is still here for you.

    Our friendly team is available for you to talk to over the phone or video chat, and we have plenty of information we can share by email and online to show you a virtual tour of the home you’re interested in. 

    While our marketing suites and show homes are closed for drop-in viewings, we are now able to book appointments to visit our show homes*, with hygiene and social distancing measures in place.

    You can still reach us, and we'll be delighted to discuss your requirements by :

    *The only exception to this is our retirement living development Park Gardens, which will open for viewings at a later stage.

  • In line with government and Public Health England guidance, we’re now able to book appointments to visit our show homes* from 1 June 2020 and with hygiene and social distancing measures in place. 

    We're making some changes to our viewing procedure to help keep everyone safe and healthy.

    • One household only - we're offering appointments for one household at a time, with a maximum of two people attending
    • Before your appointment, our sales consultant will call you to ask if you are currently experiencing coronavirus symptoms (such as increased temperature, dry cough, loss of smell and taste). To ensure the health and safety of you and our team, customers with symptoms will be asked to re-arrange their appointment for another date. 
    • At your appointment, our sales consultant may wear a face mask and disposable gloves.
    • On your arrival please wait in your car and our sales consultant will contact you to confirm that all preparations for your visit are in place
    • You will be asked to respect social distancing of 2 metres, and our consultant will show you the floor markers as a visual reminder
    • You will be invited to look around the property by yourself, while our sales consultant waits outside or in the largest room of the property, ready to answer any questions you may have. 
    • Before and after your appointment, our sales consultant will wipe down all door handles (in and outside the home), as well as surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom, with disinfectant. Interior and external doors will be left open during your visit to ensure good ventilation and reduce any touching of surfaces
    • The keys will be cleaned in disinfectant before and after each visit and will only be handled by our sales consultant
    • You will be asked not to touch any other items in the house during your viewing. Please note there will be no bathroom facilities. 

    All customers and sales consultants will be asked to clean their hands when they enter and leave the property using the sanitiser provided.

  • For customers who have reserved or are in the middle of moving to a new Bromford home, our sales team will continue to be in touch to help you complete your move, and to provide support, advice and information as required. 

    You can reach us by :

   

Contacting us

  • Yes. However, we are having to manage significant demand so it is possible you may experience a delay in us responding to your call – but please be patient and we will answer as soon as we possibly can. Please consider avoiding calling during peak periods, first thing in the morning or over the lunch period. There are many services you can use online, such as paying your rent or checking your latest rent statement, you can go online at: 

    www.bromford.co.uk for Bromford customers 

    www.merlinhs.co.uk if you have a Merlin tenancy 

    www.svhs.org.uk if you have a Severn Vale Housing Association tenancy  

  • The vast majority of our neighbourhood coaches are working and are doing this remotely via telephone and video chat where possible.  There are some essential activities which they will be doing on patch.  Please contact them in the normal way.  If for any reason they are not available, they will leave a message on their phone and email telling you who to contact in their absence. 

    Find your neighbourhood coach 

  • All of our offices are closed to customers until further notice. If you have a query, please contact your neighbourhood coach, who will be able to assist you. 

    Find your neighbourhood coach

Other queries

  • All our colleagues and contractors will show you their identification before entering your home. Please check this and if you have any concerns then call us for verification.

    All our colleagues and contractors are being issued with regular updates on government guidance. They have been issued with the appropriate personal protective equipment and advice on how to help keep themselves and customers safe. We are also following Government guidance in respect of any colleagues who may need to self-isolate.

    Watch the video below to find out more about how we are taking steps to ensure everyone's safety when we visit your home:

     

     

  • All our risk assessments focus on social distancing as the core control. Colleagues will also be practicing good hand hygiene by using certified hand sanitiser and will be wearing disposable gloves throughout their visit. Colleagues will be provided with face coverings which they may also be wearing, however as we will be maintaining adequate social distancing this is not a mandatory requirement. If you would prefer us to wear a face covering during the visit, just let us know when we call ahead so we can arrange this for you.
  • You may not know, which is why we must all follow the government’s advice on social distancing, hand washing and not touching your face with hands which have not been washed. 

    For more information visit the NHS information page.

  • There is some work we need to do, such as tree maintenance close to road junctions, to ensure areas remain safe and accessible to the general public. In these instances we will continue to provide our grounds maintenance service. We will also continue to undertake essential work at schemes to ensure customers can access open spaces safely while sticking to the government’s guidance around social distancing.

    All play parks, however, have been closed for the time being.

  • We can all continue to look out for each other, following the government guidance on social distancing and hand washing.  If you are concerned about one of your neighbours, please let your neighbourhood coach know. 

  • Understandably, you may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people.  There are simple things you can do that may help, to stay mentally and physically active during this time such as: 

    • look for ideas of exercises you can do at home on the NHS website  
    • spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio or watching TV programmes 
    • try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise regularly, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs 
    • keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden 
    • You can also go for a walk outdoors if you stay more than two metres from others. 
  • Bromford Housing has received a small number of requests from local council’s for access to information about our customers during the current Covid 19 pandemic. Bromford will agree to sharing limited amounts of data with local councils about our customers only if: -

    • the data is critical to emergency response planning or similar due to Covid 19; and,
    • the data will only be used for these purposes and will not be retained when no longer needed in connection with any pandemic.

    Bromford’s approach is consistent with guidance issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office which notes that “public bodies may require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health”.

    We will also share limited information about our customers’ health, for example if they have tested positive for Covid 19, if they are self-isolating or are vulnerable with companies we work with . This data is only shared to help ensure we can help ensure the safety of our customers and any contractors who may visit their homes.

    Please be assured that Bromford takes data protection and the confidentiality of your personal data very seriously and in normal circumstances will only share your personal data in limited circumstances as outlined in our privacy notice. Information is shared on the basis that Bromford and the relevant local authority or company have a legitimate interest in supporting our customers and protecting public health.

     

Whilst we are working to avoid service disruption, should colleague and contractor resource levels be affected we will prioritise services to minimise the impact to health, safety and wellbeing of all. We know this is a challenging and unprecedented time and we appreciate your help and support during this period.