We have made changes to the services that we deliver to you, following government guidance.
Your health and safety, that of your home and all of our colleagues along with our corporate responsibility to protect the NHS and those most vulnerable in our communities is our priority, and at the heart of our decision making.
Service update at a glance
Information about our services
Our offices remain closed until further notice. All of our online and telephone channels are open.
Repairs outside your home
From Monday 13 July, we will be starting more external or communal area work, which includes things like repairs to door entry systems, communal flooring, routine external repairs, TV aerial upgrades and surveys of communal areas.
If you reported an external repair before the lockdown started, you will receive a call from us shortly, to let you know when we are coming.
Repairs in your home
Unfortunately, at the moment we can’t carry out major work inside your home that involves two or more of our team, because we still have concerns about keeping you and our teams safe. This includes work such as replacing kitchens or bathrooms. Neither are we able to carry out routine repairs inside your home. We will of course let you know when this position changes.
Please help us to help you by continuing to report emergency or urgent repairs only via our free phone number 0800 358 6025. We will let you know as soon as possible when we are ready to extend our repair services further. The number of calls that we are receiving are currently high due to the current situation. We will try and get to you as soon as we possibly can.
Examples of emergency repairs:
- Storm, accident or flood damage
- Gas leaks – contact the National Gas Emergency Line on 0800 111 999
- Complete loss of electric supply – contact your electricity supplier first
- Complete loss of water supply – contact your water supplier first
- Blocked or leaking foul main drain
- Blocked toilet where there is only one in your home (but you may be charged if you or your family have caused the blockage)
- Major pipe bursts
- Major roof leaks
- Broken main entrance door /window posing security risk
- Blocked flue
- Smoke detector not working (unless you have another one working in the property, this does not include changing batteries)
Examples of urgent repairs:
- Electrical faults
- Minor roof leaks
- Heating failures
- Plumbing leaks
- Non flushing toilet
- Loss of hot water
If you need to report a repair, there are several ways you can do this:
Prior to booking any repairs, we are asking some short health questions to ensure the safety of our colleagues’ and customers’ health.
If we do need to visit your home to carry out emergency or urgent repairs or gas safety checks, please let us know if you do have the virus, are self-isolating or shielding someone in your home. We will ask you and your family to move to a separate room while we carry out the work. This is so we can maintain safe social-distancing.
We know that there are outstanding repairs we weren’t able to do due to the lockdown. If you reported a repair before the lockdown started we will contact you to arrange an appointment as soon as we are able to do it safely.
Thank you for your understanding during this time.
Your health and the safety of your home, continues to be our priority and is at the heart of our decision making.
To help us keep you safe, we have to check all your gas appliances at least once a year. So we’re still visiting homes to do this, but we’re making sure that our teams have the right protective equipment and are following the social distancing guidelines to keep you, your family and themselves safe.
If we do visit your home to carry out gas safety checks, please let us know if you have the virus, are self-isolating or shielding someone in your home. We will ask you and your family to move to a separate room while we carry out the work. This is so we can maintain safe social-distancing.
There are lots of groups and community hubs being set up across the country to support people through the Coronavirus epidemic. We've collated some useful resources across Dorset and Somerset to help our customers through this time.
Please note these groups are independent and have been set up by local individuals. The listing of them is not an endorsement and they are not associated with Magna.
We know this is a worrying time for many of you with regard to how to pay the rent and other bills. We can offer you advice and support to claim any benefits you are entitled to during this time.
If you are struggling to pay the rent as your income has reduced, please contact the income management team on 01305 216067 who will be able to agree a plan to get you through this difficult time and catch up with any rent payments missed.
If you would like advice or support to claim benefits please contact our money matters team on 0800 999 6130.
As our empty homes are now becoming ready to let, we are beginning to advertise them again on choice based lettings sites www.homefindersomerset.co.uk or www.dorsethomechoice.org . We have made changes to the way we are letting our homes to enable the process to be undertaken safely for both our customers and colleagues.
We have started to review the mutual exchanges that were well-progressed before lockdown and the housing team will be making contact with those customers to begin the process of scheduling in the gas and electrical tests needed to move these exchanges forward as of Monday next week. Housing Officers might also need to come back and inspect your home to ensure you are still ready to move. We will carry out these tests and any inspections that are required in a way that is safe both for you and our colleagues.
We need to re-do these checks even if you’ve already had them done in preparation for you to move to your new home. This is because it’s been 3 months since your checks were last done and a lot of things could have changed since then. This may take some time for us to put this in place but we will work through them as fast as we can and we will keep you updated. Please wait for us to contact you.
We’re still unable to offer new mutual exchanges as a way of moving at the moment and we appreciate this will be frustrating, but we want to assure you we are looking at how we can reintroduce this service as soon and as safely as we can. We will keep the website and social media updated with any news and if you want to chat to us you can call us on 01305 216060.
In our sheltered and supported homes, the priority during this difficult time is for sheltered housing advisors to ensure the wellbeing of our customers. Following government guidance on practicing safe distancing and the advice to vulnerable people to self-isolate, weekly or daily telephone welfare checks will be made.
Working with community volunteers and support groups, sheltered housing advisors will do their best to liaise with groups to advise them of people in need who require essential shopping and prescription collections.
Our out of office hours alarm monitoring service will continue to respond to any emergency calls.
Sheltered community rooms and facilities will remain closed.
Emergency alarm system upgrades that were stopped due to lock down will recommence. This work will be carried out by our contractor Orestone . They will be following all government guidance when carrying out this work and practising safe social- distancing. Entering customers’ homes will be kept to an absolute minimum. Should access to your home be required, this will be arranged and supported by the sheltered housing advisor . Orestone will also be carrying out routine annual emergency alarm maintenance checks to the main equipment located in community rooms.
To keep everyone safe, if you see our team members working outside of your home, do feel free to say hello, but please do maintain the important social distancing rule.
The garden handyperson service valued by many private paying customers has resumed.
Following many months of not being able to have this service delivered, customers were delighted to see the before and after results.
Due to a backlog of work, the Handyperson Gardener cannot currently take on new customers immediately. However if you are interested in using the service in the future please do call us on 0800 999 6130 for more information.
In addition to those essential services we are already carrying out, services which can be safely delivered outside your home have now restarted. These include grounds maintenance and the cleaning of communal areas in blocks of flats including window cleaning.
For full details about these services, please visit our estates services page.
We have reduced our service provision in line with government guidelines and to ensure the safety of our customers, their homes and our colleagues, along with our corporate social responsibility to protect our NHS and those most vulnerable in our communities.
We normally review service charges after the end of the financial year so we will bring this review forward by 6 months. Therefore, our service charge costs will be reviewed in line with the services we deliver.
We will not charge customers for services they have not received.
Customers will see the adjusted service charge in October.
Please continue to pay at the current rate until the adjustment is made. Please note adjustments will be backdated.
To continue to follow government guidelines during the Coronavirus pandemic, we have had to adapt our services when tackling ASB. We are now focussing on telephone or email contact with our customers and will continue to be guided by our ASB procedure for case management. Although our investigations will be different, we are committed to doing the following:
- Work with other agencies
- Signpost customers to our specialised victim support or our assessment and mediation service
- Signpost perpetrators to support services
- Offer access to the Noise App if needed
- Increase contact with vulnerable customers
- Encourage the use of technology to record ASB if it is safe to do so
- Signpost to our website to log ASB to ease the pressure on customer services
- Issue verbal warnings over the telephone and written warnings via email
- Produce Good Neighbour Agreements or Acceptable Behaviour Contracts by email providing verbal consent has been given
- Issue Notice of Seeking Possession for breaches of tenancy
- Apply for Injunctions in the most serious cases
- Share best practice with other housing providers.
As part of our regular review of which services we may want to bring back online, we have considered the government guidelines and decided to reopen some of our construction sites, where it is safe to do so.
We are confident our teams and contractors are able to carry out their work safely, following the detailed guidelines issued by the Construction Leadership Council and maintain social distancing. http://cic.org.uk/admin/resources/site-operating-procedures-version-3-1.pdf
We will keep this under review to make sure that we continue to keep our teams and contractors safe.
It is with great sadness that we have decided to cancel Dorset’s Best Village competition this year.
The competition has been running for over 30 years and is very important to us and to many village communities and groups. We therefore wanted to wait for as long as possible and review all options before we made any final decisions, in the hope that we may be able to continue in some way.
The health and safety of our customers, communities, colleagues and volunteer judges of the competition, must be our priority and at the heart of the decisions we make. Although the government’s latest announcement shows signs of restrictions being eased in the coming months, we don’t feel that we will be in a position to safely host the competition this year.
We are sorry this will come as disappointing news to many local communities, but we hope you understand our decision.
Health advice - www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
UK Government advice and updates - www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Understanding universal credit - www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk
NHS Test and Trace - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
Our health and safety COVID-19 risk assessment