Press ReleasesCatch up with all the latest news from the Torus group
Coronavirus - Torus services updates and keeping you safe
Updated: 4 May 2021
Torus services: easing out of lockdown - May 2021
As restrictions are starting to ease nationally, we have turned our focus to our services and how we can look to resume them safely for our customers.
As many of our main services were considered critical by Government, we were able to continue to operate. Throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to continue to deliver services to our customers. We carried on completing all gas servicing, responding to repairs, letting homes and building new homes, whilst balancing keeping you and our staff safe.
In line with Government restrictions, we altered our services, including closing our public spaces, moving our services online and virtually where possible.
We continue to experience an increased demand for the most critical services and are doing our best to respond to all repairs and deliver a great customer service.
Over the past year, we have made your health and safety our number one priority and that won’t stop.
Throughout the pandemic our tenants have been so patient, we continue to thank you for that, and ask that you bear with us now as we try to move forward.
- Leaseholder Services – estate and block inspections, court attendance, arrears visits, property viewings
- Income Services – face-to-face visits, court attendance, arrears visits
- Safer Estates – court attendance, interviews, face-to-face visits
- Extra Care schemes – opening of communal areas, salons and bistros, resuming of activities
- Sheltered and Supported Living schemes – opening of communal areas, resuming of activities
- Tenant Voice – tenant inspections and testing, face-to-face meetings, consultations, focus groups
- Staying Home Service (Warrington and St Helens) – viewings and allocations, opening of communal areas, face-to-face visits
A summary of the main changes are:
From 12 April:
- Bistros and Salons will re-open in our Extra Care Scheme.
- FireFit Hub in Toxteth, South Liverpool re-opens.
From 17 May:
- Our communal rooms and lounges will re-open.
- Court attendance in person will resume.
- Arrears visits will resume.
- Estate inspections will resume.
From 21 June:
- Increase the number of face-to-face property viewings.
- Neighbourhood Officer home visits will resume.
- All tenant meetings, including consultations, will resume with no restrictions.
- Estate and block inspections will resume with no restrictions.
- Tenant Inspections and testing resuming without restrictions, including site visits.
Please note that these ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ plans fall in line with national restrictions being lifted. If further changes are made by the Government, these plans will also be updated.
The safety of our residents, staff and the wider community will always remain our priority, Torus reserves the right to amend any of the plans if it is deemed unsafe and all activities being planned will follow full Covid safety measures.
The health and safety of our customers and staff remain our priority, and so, for now, our receptions remain closed. Please continue to use the website, phone or email if you need to contact us.
- Call: 0800 678 1894
- Email: email@example.com
- Contact us
- Make a payment online
- Different ways to pay your rent
Keeping Safe - important safety checks
As we have been spending more time at home, Gas, Electrical and other safety checks have never been more important. Put simply they protect you, your loved ones and the home you live in.
It is important that you allow access for your annual gas safety check, as continue refusal is a breach of your tenancy and could result in legal procedures, fine or even the loss of your home. The Government has made it very clear that this has not changed due to Covid – so please let us in!
To put your mind at rest, if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating, we won’t complete any safety checks until the isolation period is over. If you or anyone you live with is shielding, we still need access for safety checks but, to reassure you, these will be done as quickly as possible and will follow all Government guidance for safe and secure works.
Remember, carbon monoxide kills. If you can let us in, please do. However, if you have any concerns, wish to change your gas appointment or have any questions please call 0800 678 1894 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keeping you safe - working in your home
When you do have an urgent repair or a safety check which needs to be completed, we can assure you that our teams all continue to follow safe systems of work. These are designed to keep you and them safe. If we are visiting you home, we will take the following robust steps to keep you safe.
You do not need to be in the room while they complete the inspection or repair, so apart from allowing access, you will not need to come in contact with the operative.
Our staff will also be wearing face coverings to keep you safe. Please keep our staff safe and wear one too.
So please, continue to let us in to do essential checks and maintenance works. Because as more people remain at home, it’s never been more important that those homes are safe and secure.
We are trying to continue to deliver as many services as we can for customers in the safest way possible both for colleagues and customers. In line with government guidance, most of our colleagues are working remotely at home. However, they are still fully contactable by phone and email.
Our repairs and maintenance services continue to run as normal in a COVID-secure way, including emergency and routine repairs.
We will do our best to respond to all repairs and deliver a great customer service, but the circumstances we're operating in are far from normal. Certain materials are in short supply, demand for repairs is high.
It may take us a little longer to complete routine repair requests than you're used to so please be patient with us.
Please report your repairs by contacting the Torus Customer Hub, Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm on 0800 678 1894, using your online account or emailing email@example.com.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: We continue to operate safely; our established Safe Systems of Work allow us to continue to provide you with a safe repair service.
Please note that revised arrangements remain in place for the following services:
Ending a tenancy – revised arrangements will remain in place, find out more here.
Rent payments – face to face rent payments remain stopped, but all other methods to pay your rent remain unaffected. Find out more about how you can pay your rent here.
Applying for a Home, Allocations, Viewings & Sign-ups - Under One Roof is still available to people to register at www.u-1-r.co.uk, with extensive safety practices in place for viewings and sign-ups.
We will continue to carry out face-to-face appointments where a virtual appointment is not an option and appointments will be kept to a minimum. Offices have been re-designed to be COVID-safe, find out more about what to expect if you visit our office here.
The following services resumed in 2020 in line with Government guidelines and will continue, with safety measure in place:
Communal area cleaning
As it is important to make sure our shared spaces are clean and safe, our Caretaking staff will be continuing to make regular visits to clean communal areas of residential blocks, including carrying out vital fire safety checks.
External maintenance & improvement works
Torus working with contract partners, HMS will continue to carry out essential property maintenance and improvements to the exterior of some of our homes to ensure that we are able to provide great homes.
The latest Government advice makes clear that contractors should continue to undertake vital construction and maintenance services, with emphasis on compliance safety and preventative maintenance works. These works are all external and include; guttering, external pointing, fencing, landscaping and guttering and do not require our teams to access inside the property, but they will need access to the outside of homes.
We will contact our customers prior to any work with details of the site manager who can be contacted with any concerns, along with advice to on how to prepare for the work; cleaning the area of patio furniture/plants etc. and keeping pets indoors.
Works on empty (void) properties
Torus working with contract partners, HMS will continue to carry out vital works on our empty properties (voids) to ensure that vacant homes are made available to families in need.
We will contact the neighbouring properties where works are being completed, providing details of the site manager who can be contacted with any concerns.
- Our customers remain our top priority and we are always committed to ensuring safety and we will, so please be assured, they will work quickly as possible, following strict health and safety guidelines, carrying out the works in line with ‘Safe Systems of Work’, wearing the required PPE in line with the Government’s Health & Safety Executive.
- The Caretakers and operatives will adhere to social distancing, if you do see a member of staff, please remember to keep your distance.
Rent and money worries - help and support
We know that this is still a difficult time for many people and we want you to know that we are here to help.
If you're having difficulty keeping up with your weekly rent payments, have had a change in circumstances or are dealing with personal issues that might affect your ability to pay, please contact us straight away, so we can do our best to help.
We’re here to help – find out more about rents and what support is available here.
You can also keep updated on how Covid has impacted Universal Credit and benefit here.
Customer activities (Torus Foundation) & Tenant Voice
Torus Foundation have continued to offer vital support to older and vulnerable people, to people in hardship, to those who are seeking work and to those who feel isolated – you can find out more on the Torus Foundation website.
You can follow Torus Foundation on Twitter @TorusFoundation.
Customers are still at the heart of our services; our Tenant Voice Team have been expanding options around digital engagement and to ensure customers are still able to have a voice throughout the lockdown.
The team will look to resume face-to-face meetings and inspections as soon as restrictions allow, but in the meantime, they will continue to operate online.
You can find out more about getting involved here.
If you would like to get involved digitally, then why not join the other customers joining Torus Talk, a Facebook group just for Torus tenants and leaseholders: www.facebook.com/groups/TorusTalk
If you are not on Facebook or would like to find out more, contact our friendly Tenant Voice team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow Tenant Voice on Twitter @Tenant_Voice.
Help & support
If you are still experiencing difficulties, then please let us know so we can see what we can do to help. Call the Torus Customer Hub on 0800 678 1894.
Domestic abuse support
If you are in an abusive relationship or suspect someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, please do not suffer in silence – reach out for support.
Safe2Speak, St Helens Council’s Domestic Abuse Support Service ran by Torus Support Network, offers free, confidential and non-judgemental advice and support to anyone experiencing any kind of domestic abuse in the St Helens area.
If you need the support of Safe2Speak call 01744 743200, email email@example.com or text 07781472828 (cannot receive calls). To find out more visit www.safe2speak.co.uk or visit our domestic abuse support page.
Communities - local help and support
Communities have really come together to look after each other in response to the Coronavirus situation, click here for information on where you can go to get help with support, food and other local services.
During the COVID-19 crisis, it is particularly important to safeguard adults with care and support needs. They may be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect as others may seek to exploit disadvantages due to age, disability, mental or physical impairment or illness.
‘Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business – as Usual’ but particularly at this is time when we must all be extra vigilant and try to pick up any early signs that something isn’t right. For further information and contacts please visit the Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board website here.
We know that many of our customers are already actively following the government’s guidelines around social distancing. However, as a responsible landlord, we must reinforce the message and urge all our customers to stay at home and away from others, as per the government’s rules on social distancing. Get more information here.
Safe at Home – Advice & Support from Merseyside Police
Merseyside Police have produced information to keep you and your family safe during the pandemic. The leaflet covers; crime, domestic abuse, support services, online safety, avoiding fraudsters & scams and reporting a crime & contacting the police. The leaflet can be downloaded here. Find out more here.
Please show kindness to your neighbours and try and help each other out during these challenging times.
Keeping updated and in touch
As we have seen this year, as the virus develops, guidance and restrictions change quickly. We want to keep you as up-to-date as possible with any variations affecting the services we provide.
Remember to let us know if you change your email address or mobile number so that if we need to keep you informed about our services or in an emergency, we can do.
We won’t contact you unnecessarily and we comply with all data protection legislation so will not be sharing your email.
To update your details, please email your updated contact details, along with your full address, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep checking here and social on a regular basis, please keep checking for updates. You can also keep up to date with news from Torus via our Twitter account @WeAreTorus or on the Facebook page.