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Covid-19 (Coronavirus) FAQs for Tenants – Independent Living

How can I contact Clanmil while the offices are closed to the public?

Can I still get my repairs done?

What is an emergency essential repair?

Will I get emergency repairs done if I am self-isolating or shielding?

I have a service booked (gas, electrical, fire safety) but I don’t want your Maintenance Technician in my home in case they have Coronavirus. What should I do?

I am in the process of having update work carried out in my home such as a new kitchen/bathroom or rewire. Will work stop?

Are you still going to maintain the grounds around our scheme?

Will I get a rent payment holiday?

My income isn’t affected. Can I still pay my rent in the normal way?

What help is available financially for people who have been laid off, have no money coming in or are on a reduced income?

I need to terminate my tenancy. Can I still do this?

Is Clanmil still organising events and activities?

What support are you offering to older people?

Will my Scheme Co-ordinator still be working?

How should I contact my Scheme Co-ordinator?

Can I have visitors to my home?

What precautions are being put in place for Independent Living schemes?

Is there extra cleaning taking place at my scheme?


How can I contact Clanmil while the offices are closed to the public?

While our offices are closed to visitors, our team will be working as normal and you can reach them during office hours (9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday) by:

  • email to an individual team member’s email address or to housing@clanmil.org.uk
  • telephone for urgent enquiries (not repairs) on 028 9087 6000
  • telephone for emergency and essential repairs only on 028 9087 6019 or email repairs@clanmil.org.uk
  • telephone for rent arrears on 028 9087 7034 or email Incomerecovery@clanmil.org.uk
  • Facebook Messenger @clanmilhousing, Twitter @ClanmilHousing or our website clanmil.org
  • Outside office hours, our out-of-hours emergency repairs service will continue to operate on tel: 028 9042 1010. This service is for emergency essential repairs.


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Can I still get my repairs done?

To protect us all, internal repairs are now limited to emergency essential work only. Non-essential repairs will not be carried out at this time.

Essential external repairs and repairs to vacant properties will continue for now.

If you contact our repairs desk on 028 9087 6019 or at repairs@clanmil.org.uk about a non-essential repair, we will take the detail of the repair and log it in our system. At this time we will not issue the job to a contractor. We will address non-essential repairs when normal service resumes.

Grounds maintenance work will stop for a 4-week period.

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What is an emergency essential repair?

Emergency essential repairs are those that if not completed, could put you, a third party (e.g. neighbour or pedestrians on the street), or the building at risk or, that will cause a health and safety risk. These include:

  • Loss of heating
  • Significant water leaks
  • Loss of power
  • Immediate health and safety risks where there is significant risk of injury
  • Lift not working
  • Fire alarm repairs
  • Gas boiler servicing
  • Critical fire protection work.
This is not a complete list and we will assess each repair individually to determine whether it is an emergency or not.

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Will I get emergency repairs done if I am self-isolating or shielding?

If you’ve been told to self-isolate, or shielding on GP advice, or experiencing any symptoms, you must let us know when you report your repair.

We will ask you to answer some questions about your household’s health and recent travel to assess the risk of carrying out the repair before a decision is made.

If your repair is inside the property, and we can proceed with it, we will ask you to isolate yourself from the area of repair for as long as possible before the repair takes place. We may ask you to undertake other measures, but these will be discussed with you before we arrive.

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I have a service booked (gas, electrical, fire safety) but I don’t want your Maintenance Technician in my home in case they have Coronavirus. What should I do?

We recognise that you may be frightened to let contractors into your home, but it is important that we keep you safe through boiler servicing etc.

We still need access to your home to complete this service, but we are putting extra safeguards in place to protect you and our contractors.

For ‘emergency’ or ‘regulatory compliance’ work, we will contact you ahead of the visit and complete an assessment over the phone of work to be undertaken, to minimise the length of the visit. Our Maintenance Technicians will have all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment needed and will continue to regularly wash their hands and use hand sanitiser. They will clean all surfaces they touch, before leaving your property.

When they are on site, you must remain in another room with the door closed and not enter the work area while the Maintenance Technician is in the property.  If you are concerned about any aspect of this, please contact us and we can discuss individual measures we can put in place to reassure you.

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I am in the process of having update work carried out in my home such as a new kitchen/bathroom or rewire. Will work stop?

Yes. Unfortunately, all non-emergency work must stop until further notice. We will do everything we can to ensure that you have a functional kitchen/bathroom in the meantime. Once we return to business as usual, we will contact you to arrange the completion of the works to your home.

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Are you still going to maintain the grounds around our scheme?

In line with Government advice, we are suspending grounds maintenance activities for a period of 4 weeks as this is not an essential service in the context of the pandemic threat, but we are keeping this under review.

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Will I get a rent payment holiday?

Rent is vitally important to not-for-profit organisations like Clanmil.  It allows us to carry out essential repairs and maintenance work and deliver support services to the people who live in the homes we provide. You need to continue to pay your rent in full.

Where your circumstances change due to the Coronavirus, you must let us know as soon as you can. We will look compassionately at each case to find a solution.

If you are worried about paying your rent, please get in touch with us now. Our Money Advice Team is providing advice and support for people who are struggling with their finances, including help claiming benefits, and they can help.

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My income isn’t affected. Can I still pay my rent in the normal way?

Yes. All normal rent payment options remain available, including the option to pay over the phone. We would of course encourage you to pay online or to set up automated payment (e.g. direct debit) to reduce demand on phone lines and save yourself time. Check our website for details of ways you can pay your rent: http://www.clanmil.org/pay-your-rent or email Incomerecovery@clanmil.org.uk.

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What help is available financially for people who have been laid off, have no money coming in or are on a reduced income?

If your income is affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) you may be able to claim Sick Pay or benefits to support you through this period. Your income may be affected due to working less, no longer working, self-isolating, or caring for someone who is sick.

Many employees will be protected during this period as the Government has offered a package of support to businesses to help them to retain staff.

The Government is offering PAYE employees grants to cover 80% of employees wages (up to £2,500/month per employee) for up to 12 weeks. This support is called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It means that you can still get 80% of your pay if there is no work. Your employer should contact HMRC for further details.

Government has also announced a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. Many of our tenants are self-employed such as taxi drivers, plumbers and builders. This scheme will pay those adversely affected by the Coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, from June. Self-employed people can also now access benefits such as Universal Credit.

If you need money or benefits advice then contact Clanmil’s dedicated Money Advice Team. Our Money Advisors can help you make the right decisions. You can contact the Money Advice Team on 028 9087 7047 or email moneyadvice@clanmil.org.uk.

Find out more here: http://www.clanmil.org/money-advice.

You can get the most up-to-date information on the Department for Communities website here: https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/landing-pages/covid-19-and-benefits

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I need to terminate my tenancy. Can I still do this?

Yes. However, we will manage this process differently. You should still get in touch with us to give us at least 4 weeks notice, as normal.

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Is Clanmil still organising events and activities?

In line with Government advice all events and activities have been cancelled until further notice.

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What support are you offering to older people?

We are carrying out an exercise with people living at our Independent Living Schemes to identify areas of support for those who need it. Your Scheme Co-Ordinator will be in touch shortly by phone to talk to you about this, if they haven’t been already.

If you are worried about self-isolating, about shielding for 12 weeks or for any other reason, and have no support, please let us know. We’ll try to help.

You also have access to the Out-of-Hours service through your call system or pull cord.

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Will my Scheme Co-ordinator still be working?

Our scheme staff will continue to work throughout this period. However, we will stop rotating Scheme Co-ordinators around different schemes for now to limit the number of people accessing each scheme. We will keep this under review and advise you if we need to make any further changes. Housing Officers will step in as needed.

During this time, your Scheme Co-ordinator will be focussing on the cleanliness of the scheme, tenant contact and support, and health and safety checks. We would therefore ask that you only make contact with them in relation to these or other urgent matters.

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How should I contact my Scheme Co-ordinator?

Throughout this period we are minimising face-to-face contact, so please only contact your scheme co-ordinator by telephone or by using the intercom system. This is to protect both your health and that of our team.

It is important that you also understand we will be observing social distancing of 2 metres or 6 feet at all times to protect our staff and you, so visits to individual flats by our staff will only be in an emergency.

Due to the size and for your safety, only the Scheme Co-ordinator can be in their office at any time.

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Can I have visitors to my home?

On Wednesday 18th March we took the decision to restrict access to our Independent Living Schemes. This applies to all visitors, including relatives, friends and contractors. You can now only have one visitor, for essential reasons like bringing shopping or medicine. They must observe good personal hygiene. Only essential Clanmil staff will be permitted access to the premises and contractors will only attend if carrying out emergency maintenance. We are postponing routine work.

Children are not permitted to visit our independent living schemes under any circumstances until further notice.

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What precautions are being put in place for Independent Living schemes?

We have introduced a number of measures at your scheme to help protect your heath and that of our team. These include:

Common Rooms
We have taken the difficult decision to close common rooms at all Independent Living Schemes until further notice. While we understand how much you will miss this facility, this is an important step in helping slow the spread of COVID-19 and is in line with Government advice in relation to gatherings.

Common Toilets
These will be closed for the foreseeable future. As well as helping to slow the spread of the virus, this will allow your Domestic Assistant to focus more of their time on keeping key touch points clean, such as door handles, lifts in communal areas etc.

Guest Rooms
Guest rooms are also closed until further notice. We will make contact with anyone who has a booking to explain the situation. Where there are exceptional circumstances, these should be discussed directly with your Housing Officer.

Laundry Room
The laundry facility remains open and available. However, from 25 March we are amending the rota to restrict access to one person at a time. Your Scheme Co-ordinator will advise you of your new laundry slot. We will be keeping this under review as the situation develops.

Please follow these guidelines when using the laundry room:

  • Please use the room one at a time in line with the new rota
  • Please wait outside the room for the other person to finish
  • Please respect the time restrictions and keep within your slot to ensure everyone gets fair access
  • Please clean the machine after use with the cleaning products provided
  • Soiled clothing should not be washed. They should be doubled bagged and disposed of in the bin.
Hairdressing Room
In line with Government advice, all hairdressing rooms are closed until further notice.

Government advice is that all hairdressing services should be suspended at this time, so please do not bring a hairdresser into your apartment. They will be turned away by our scheme staff.

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Is there extra cleaning taking place at my scheme?

We are keeping the cleaning of all schemes under review and exploring all opportunities to increase our cleaning regime.

While the Domestic Teams are on duty, they will be paying particular attention to key touch points in communal areas such as door handles and lifts. Please remember that our Domestic Team can’t be there all of the time, so it is important that you keep washing your hands and take your own precautionary measures also.

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