As the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) develops, we'll be updating this page with changes to services and guidance to best keep our customers and colleagues safe, and to help you through these unprecedented times.


UPDATE from 2 November:

Our colleagues are still available to support you during the second national lockdown and you can get in touch in the normal ways. Our Broadside office continues to be closed so please don’t visit.

Our top priority remains the safety of our colleagues and customers. As our services are already operating in a COVID secure way, we’re not making any changes to them at the moment. This includes operating our repairs service as normal and letting homes.

The Government will be updating its guidance over the next few days and we’ll make sure we provide our services in line with that.

You can read a full update from us in our recent statement.


Changes to our services

Contacting us - Our office at Broadside, Chatham is closed, so please don’t visit. You can still contact us by phone, email, live chat and social media during our normal opening hours.

Repairs - We're carrying out routine repairs as normal. We’re experiencing a shortage of some materials which might cause a delay in completing your repair. If this is the case, we’ll let you know and work with you to make the repair safe until we’re able to do the work.

Gas servicingFor your safety, our gas servicing visits are going ahead. Our teams are following government guidelines on social distancing and have personal protective equipment. We'll contact you to arrange your appointment but please speak to us if you have any concerns.

Essential testing – We need to carry out electrical, asbestos and smoke alarm testing. This work is essential to make sure your home is safe so please let us in. Our teams will be wearing the correct protective equipment to keep you and themselves safe.

Maintenance of our estates - We’ve resumed our cleaning and grass cutting schedule. Our Caretakers will be wearing face coverings when working in communal areas, we ask that you follow social distancing rules when in these areas at the same time.

Kitchen and bathroom upgrades – We’re starting to book in this work, but on a reduced schedule. If you’re due to have a new bathroom or kitchen, please expect a delay in having this work completed. If you have a kitchen or bathroom repair, you can book this in the usual way.

Communal areas – We’ve temporarily closed all communal areas in our supported living schemes. This is to protect customers and reduce the risk of potentially spreading the virus.

Buying a home – You can still buy a home from us by making contact in the normal way. If you’re in the process of buying a home from us, this is continuing but there’s likely to be a delay if the development isn’t yet complete – we’ll keep you updated if this is the case. 

Renting a home – You can get in touch the normal way for our affordable and social rent and private rent homes. If you’re viewing one of our homes then social distancing will be in place at all times. If you want to sign up to rent a home we’ll do this digitally. We’ll only do a sign up in person if you struggle to access the internet, or you have a health condition or impairment that would make it difficult for you.

Assisted decorations - We've paused our home decorations assisted service.

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If we need to visit your home

In line with government guidance we’ll still be able to visit you in your home to carry out routine repairs, servicing and safety checks. We may also arrange to visit you if we can’t help you remotely.

When we, or our contractors need to visit you, we will:

  • Give you advance notice
  • Keep a safe distance of 2 metres apart when we’re in your home
  • Wear face coverings
  • Wear protective clothing appropriate for the task being carried out and will observe strict hygiene procedures
  • Be up to date with the latest guidance on how to work safely
  • Only carry out essential work in any household which is self-isolating. In such a case, prior arrangements will be made to avoid any face to face contact
  • Have risk assessments in place that are in line with government advice

What you need to do:

  • Open the internal doors of any rooms we'll be working in before we get there so we don't need to touch them
  • Open any windows in the room we’re working in to increase ventilation
  • If you can, stay in another room
  • If you can’t stay in another room, have as few people as possible in the room being worked in

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Being neighbourly

Please be a good neighbour.

We now know we’ll all be spending more time at home for some time yet. We ask you to continue being respectful and considerate to your neighbours.

Monitor your noise levels, consider the impact of your actions on others who might be working from home, working shifts or have young children. You must not have bonfires at your home. Remember to check on any vulnerable neighbours (or let us know if you have concerns) but always follow the social distancing guidance.

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If you're facing financial difficulties or can't pay your rent

We've updated our guidance on what to do if you can't pay your rent or charges.

If you're on a low income, cannot work from home and are facing loss of income due to self isolation, the government has launched a £500 payment scheme to help.

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If you're showing symptoms of coronavirus

We're asking customers to tell us when they're showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

You'll just need to let us know your name and address.

We're asking for this information because we have an obligation to ensure the safety of our employees, tenants and contractors. We don’t keep this information for longer than necessary. Read what we'll do with your personal data when you tell us you have coronavirus.

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If you don't have a support network to help you

If you don’t have a support network around you that you can rely on, please let us know by emailing contactus@mhs.org.uk.

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If you're reporting breaches of social distancing guidelines

We've published our guidance on what to do if you're reporting breaches of social distancing.

If you usually pay in person at our office

We've closed our Broadside office by Chatham Maritime, so you will need to pay your rent through My Accountpay by Direct Debit or make a payment by phone.

If you haven't already, register for My Account. You'll just need your tenancy reference number. You can find your tenancy reference number on letters and emails we’ve sent you. If you still can’t find it please drop us a message on Live Chat, Facebook Messenger or Twitter.

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Useful information about coronavirus