The past few months have raised lots of new questions from residents as we continue to
adapt to the challenges of coronavirus. We’re here to help and to make it even easier to
get answers we’ve rounded up the top five queries we had since lockdown.
Q: When will normal service resume?
A: We’re pretty much back to business as usual, aside from delivering services in slightly different ways and taking new measures to make sure customers and colleagues stay safe (there’s more about that below). We resumed services on July 6, in line with national guidance around the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. All services are now running again – that includes non-urgent repairs and maintenance inside your home. The fastest way to book an appointment with the repairs team is using the MyKarbon customer portal.
Q: Can Karbon staff come into my home now?
A: Yes, we are carrying out all of our services within customers’ homes, this includes routine and emergency repairs, surveyor’ inspections, gas servicing and electrical testing, providing nobody in your household is shielding, self isolating, displaying symptoms or confirmed as having Covid-19. If there is a suspected case in your home and you have an emergency, we’ll wear PPE, including gloves and masks, to assess the work. We’ll fix the problem if we can or make it safe and return once the period of isolation has ended. We have steps in place to protect you and our colleagues when we do visit your home. Before the appointment, you’ll receive a text to let you know we’re on our way. If you can, please leave windows and internal doors open before the appointment. We’ve taken the decision to maintain a two-meter social distance when delivering our services, so please respect that when we call. We’ll use hand sanitiser before coming into your home and ask that you go to another room while we are working. We will sanitise the area before and after work too and if you’d like us to, we will wear gloves and masks. If you have any concerns before our visit, just give us a call on 0808 164 0111.
Q: Is there any help to pay my rent whilst I’m on furlough?
A: Our friendly Customer Accounts Team is here to help with all things related to rent. We will work with you to find a rent payment plan that fits best with the changes to your income and your circumstances. If you’re in arrears, we can help you to get back up-to-date with an affordable repayment plan and can offer guidance on any benefits you might be entitled to. If you’re entitled to Universal Credit and you’re worried about falling behind whilst you wait for your first payment, don’t be! We understand that if this is your only source of income that you might not be able to pay your rent whilst you wait for your first payment. The most important thing you can do is keep in touch with us, so we know when you’ll receive your first payment and you know how much rent is due to be paid. Our priority is to make sure you continue to have a secure home. Call 0808 164 0111 to get help from your dedicated Customer Accounts officer, or ask to speak to our Money Matters Team for free financial advice.
Q: What support can you give me to deal with anti-social behaviour such as noise caused by outdoor gatherings?
A: With people socialising so much more outdoors at the moment, there has inevitably been an increase in complaints of noise from gardens. Our team is still on hand to support you when this – or other behaviour from neighbours – becomes unacceptable. Throughout the lockdown period we continued with phone calls to customers and as restrictions ease, we will be visiting people to discuss complex and urgent cases. When we do visit, we wear masks and gloves and ask customers to stay a safe distance away. Call Karbon anytime on 0808 164 0111 to report the
incidents you are experiencing, and we will talk through what support is available. Don't worry if your call is out of office hours, the iWitness service is still on hand. They're a specially trained, independent and accredited team you can access by calling our usual number. They can respond to calls of disturbances and provide accurate and credible witness statements. In an emergency, always call the police on 999. For non-emergencies call the police on 101.
Q: Is it still possible to move home safely during this time?
A: Yes, it is. We have developed safe working practices so transfers can still take place. We’ll explain everything clearly in advance to make sure everyone understands what is required. When we carry out your transfer inspection, we’ll ask you to respect the 2m distancing rules. We'lll be wearing masks and gloves, and ask you to wear a face covering too.