CoronavirusFrequently Asked Questions

Estate, blocks, communal and playground areas

By June 22, 2020 No Comments

Estate services

We’re pleased to let you know our estate contracts officers are now back out on site again. Their role is to check our estate contractors are keeping the communal areas to a good standard and report any issues or repairs.  

To protect everyone, they are mostly only inspecting outside communal areas on our estates. This is to make sure social distancing guidelines are kept to. As soon as they can, they will be back inspecting internal areas. In the meantime, if you have concerns about a communal area please contact us.  

If you see the estates contract officers out and about (you’ll recognise their Town & Country logoed uniforms) please respect the social distancing guidelines, especially if they are inside the blocks for any reason. 

Share your feedback 

Our contractors having been doing their best to maintain the gardens and cleaning in communal areas and carry out the assisted gardening service throughout lockdown. We would welcome your feedback about the estate services, please complete our estate services form. 

Social distancing

Is vitally important in communal areas that the government guidelines around social distancing are observed. Please be aware of this in all indoor and outdoor communal areas and any lifts in your building.

As people are at home more than usual at the moment there may be more noise from neighbours than you’re used to. Please try to be mindful of your neighbours and tolerant if there’s a little more noise than normal. However, do let us know if you are experiencing unreasonable amounts of noise and you haven’t been able to resolve this with your neighbours.

We are still monitoring communal areas. Where we identify that people are gathering (for example we have photos of tables and chairs set up in communal hallways) we are dealing with people directly but we wanted to make everyone aware that this is not acceptable, it risks everybody’s health, and creates a health and safety risk which is a clear breach of tenancy conditions. We will take action against those who are disregarding health and safety and the government’s advice. We’ll also get the police to intervene if necessary.

Communal outside areas

Bulk rubbish

While our estate services are restricted, it’s especially important that residents dispose of all household rubbish refuse properly.

We know it may not be possible to get rid of all your bulk refuse while the household waste recycling centres are restricted. In these instances, please store these items within the boundary of your property until you are able to take it to a centre.

We appreciate this is frustrating but please refrain from using the bin stores for bulky waste or dumping it illegally.

If you spot or catch someone fly tipping you should report it to your Local Authority.

Pest control  

Weve noticed a big increase in reports of pest problems since lockdown commenced. We work closely with pest control contractors to address any concerns and provide treatment, where appropriate, as quickly as possible. To help prevent against pest problems, please make sure that all communal bin areas are used correctly. Please do not leave black sacks or bulk refuse on the floor and make sure the bin lids can close fully and aren’t overflowing.

Playgrounds closed to help reduce Covid-19 spread

In line with the government guidance and for your safety, all our playgrounds are closed at the moment.

Please make sure your children don’t use them. We would also advise against using any outdoor gym equipment during this time.

This is for health and safety reasons:

  • Playgrounds could be an environment in which the Covid-19 could remain on surfaces and spread
  • Social distancing isn’t easy to manage in play areas especially with young children
  • We are unable to carry out the usual health and safety inspections because of the restrictions on our estate services at present.

Where possible we’ve shut off playgrounds we own to discourage use, but we do have some where this isn’t possible and ask that you please don’t use them.

These measures are all designed to help slow the spread of the disease, protect the NHS and ultimately save lives.

Fire safety in flats

We appreciate how difficult it can be to live in a flat while access to the outdoors is so restricted by government guidance. However, it’s really important that we keep focusing on everyone’s safety.

Please can we remind flat dwellers of the following requirements which are there to ensure fire risk and other health and safety issues are minimised

Communal areas

Please do not store or leave anything in communal areas. This presents a potential fire risk and potential trip hazards. Even things that seem non-flammable and safely put away in corners or under stairs can become major hazards in the event of a fire when smoke and panic can make people very disorientated.

This is especially important right now as our inspections of communal areas are reduced due to the government restrictions. Please note however, we are still carrying out some inspections and anything left in communal areas will be removed without notice, for everyone’s safety. This still includes door mats.

Balconies and terraces

  • Barbecues or any other forms of cooking must not be used on balconies under any circumstances; an incident on one balcony could quickly affect others.
  • Please limit outdoor furniture and storage to reasonable levels and only use items intended for outdoor use and of fire rated quality. Only non-flammable items should be stored on balconies. Any lights must be suitable for outdoor use.
  • Extensive storage is not permitted on balconies. We understand that most local tips and bulk refuse services are closed at present, but please don’t use your balcony to store bulk refuse or unwanted items
  • White goods and other electric items (such as fridges and tumble dryers) are a high fire risk if stored outside and should never be stored or used on balconies
  • Because of safety issues we ask that you avoid smoking on balconies, if your balcony is used by smokers please make sure that cigarette ends are disposed of correctly.

Inside your flat

  • Please check regularly that smoke or heat detectors are in working condition and are not disconnected or covered – press the test button to make sure they sound. Please let us know immediately if they’re faulty
  • Please use candles with care
  • Be aware to not overload sockets and or extension leads

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation