To protect you and prevent the spread of coronavirus, we will only respond to emergency and urgent repairs until further notice. You can no longer report repairs online. Please phone with emergency/urgent repairs only. Thanks for your patience. Find out more about repairs and Torus services here.  

Press Releases

Catch up with all the latest news from the Torus group

Coronavirus - Torus services and keeping you safe

Updated: 28 May 2020

Putting you first

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic we’ve made the health and safety of our tenants, residents and staff our number one priority. 

For now, our services remain unchanged but we’re reviewing detailed guidance following the Government announcement of May 10th. If we start to reintroduce services or reopen our offices, we’ll let you know.

Rest assured, any decisions we make will still put your health, safety and wellbeing first. 

There is still a requirement for us to continue providing many of our ‘essential’ services such as emergency repairs, compliance checks to keep you safe including your annual gas service and services to our customers. We want to assure you that we are doing all we can to minimise the spread of infection whilst continuing to maintain these ‘essential’ services.

Here are some important updates in regards our services:

Vital Gas Safety – your gas service

We know this is a worrying time but your safety is our top priority. In this lockdown situation, we’re all spending more time at home so it’s essential that your gas appliances are working safely and you’re not at risk.

Your gas service is important - it is vital to that we continue these checks to keep you, your family, your neighbours and community safe.  There is a legal requirement for us to complete essential safety checks at your home such as gas servicing – this has not changed due to Coronavirus!

If you have a gas check scheduled, in addition to your appointment letter we will be in contact with you prior to an engineer arriving to check that it’s safe for us to come out and you’re happy for us to proceed.

If your gas safety check is due, we will continue to contact you and arrange these checks.

  • Your safety is a priority and we will complete the appointment as quickly as possible.
  • Our gas engineers will follow full Safe Systems of Work protocols, practicing social distancing and increased hygiene protection in line with Public Health England Guidelines.
  • You do not need to be in the room while they complete the inspection, so apart from allowing access you will not need to come in contact with the operative.
  • We will only go into the rooms we need to carry out the work and will minimise any disturbance, leaving your home clean and tidy, including sanitising any surfaces touched.

If you refuse access:

  • we will make a note, and rearrange your safety check based on your specific isolation criteria. 
  • you will continue to receive letters and contact about your gas safety check, because we must follow important gas safety procedures.

If you refuse access you will continue to receive letters and contact about your gas safety check, because we must follow important gas safety procedures.

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 get in touch:

Other checks to keep you safe:
Other checks to keep you safe include regular checks on electrics, asbestos, legionella, fire safety and lifts and we need to keep these appointments where possible and where safe for you and our staff.  If you receive an appointment for any of these and have concerns, please contact us straight away 01925 452452.

Our public receptions & offices

Our public receptions and offices are now closed until further notice.  Please use the website, phone or email if you need to contact us.

Please note that we are experiencing an increase in demand for our services and are requesting that you please consider how urgent your request or call is before getting in touch.

Repairs Service

To protect to minimise the risk of transferring the coronavirus during this ‘lockdown’ period, we will now be responding only to EMERGENCY and ESSENTIAL (URGENT) REPAIRS until further notice.

To find out what is classed as an Emergency and Urgent Repair, click here

To also protect our staff, we’ll be asking a series of questions to assess whether it is safe to send someone to your home. 

You can only report emergency and urgent repairs over the phone, you are not able to report them online.  You can still report emergency repairs 24/7 on 01925 452452.

If you’re unclear please give us a call.

Paying your rent - help and support from Torus

We know these are uncertain and worrying times for many of our customers because of the coronavirus. 

We want you to know that we are here to help, so if you are experiencing financial difficulties and may not be able to pay your rent a member of the income team will be contacting you to offer support and advice.

If you are worried about falling into arrears because you cannot pay us in the short term because of Coronavirus, you can discuss setting up a payment plan with our Rents Team, email Income.Services@Torus.co.uk.

 We’re here to help – find out more about rents and what support is available here.

Service update 20 April 2020: Works on empty homes (voids) resumed

In line with the latest Government advice, from this week Torus working with contract partners, HMS will resume vital works on our empty properties (voids) to ensure that vacant homes are made available to families in need.

HMS are working with Torus and the Local Authority to prioritise empty homes for new customers. These homes may be for key workers or required in order to provide much needed accommodation for vulnerable customers. 

Our customers remain our top priority and we are always committed to ensuring safety and we will:

  • Complete work as quickly as possible
  • Comply with the latest government advice on Coronavirus whilst working inside the property
  • Carry out the works in line with ‘Safe Systems of Work’ with staff wearing the required PPE in line with the Government’s Health & Safety Executive.
  • Ensure that social distancing is adhered to when entering and leaving the property.

We will be in touch with the neighbouring properties where works are being completed, providing details of the site manager who can be contacted with any concerns or questions. 

Service update 27 April 2020: External maintenance & improvement works resumed

In line with the latest Government advice, from the 27 April Torus working with contract partners, HMS will be carrying 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 during the current crisis, 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.

Our customers remain our top priority and we are always committed to ensuring safety and we will:

  • Contact our customers prior to any work with details of the site manager who can be contacted with any concerns or questions along with advice to on how to prepare for the work; cleaning the area of patio furniture/plants etc. and keeping pets indoors.
  • Complete work as quickly as possible
  • Not enter the home
  • Comply with the latest government advice and ensure that social distancing is adhered to.
  • Carry out the works in line with ‘Safe Systems of Work’ with staff wearing the required PPE in line with the Government’s Health & Safety Executive.

If you do see a member of staff, please remember to keep your distance.  

Appointments

To keep you safe we’re cancelling all face-to-face meetings and appointments.

If we have to carry out works in your home e.g. vital safety gas safety checks, essential repairs - we will check its safe to do beforehand and that you are happy.

We will be actively asking customers to follow the latest government guidelines and please notify us if they, or anyone in their household has either being diagnosed with Coronavirus, is self-isolating, has any flu-like symptoms, or has any other concerns why we should not complete work in their home. 

We are ensuring that our staff and contractors follow public health advice on hand washing and self-isolating if they fall into one of the categories where this is advised. Therefore, customers can be reassured that we have done everything we can to minimise the risk from anyone from Torus visiting their property.

Applying for a home and allocations

 Under One Roof is still available to people to register at www.u-1-r.co.uk.

Under One Roof will continue to process online applications. A member of the team will contact you if necessary, to discuss the evidence required.

Torus properties will be shortlisted in the same way and you will be contacted if you have made a successful match.  However, given the current situation with coronavirus no viewings will be arranged until further notice. 

Arrangements will be made to contact those customers who have accepted a property and are waiting to move in. Whilst we are unable to facilitate any move ins at this time, we will endeavour to keep everyone updated.

Service update 27 April 2020: Communal area cleaning resumed 

Following customer feedback about concerns over the spread of coronavirus, on the 27 March 2020 we made amendments to our communal area cleaning and suspended cleaning on residential blocks, with Caretaking staff will continuing to make regular visits to make sure the area was clean and safe, including carrying out vital fire safety checks.

But in line with new Government guidelines and to ensure continued safety and hygiene, regular cleaning and outdoor maintenance will resume in all communal areas, following strict health and safety guidelines.  Be rest assured, we have introduced new health and safety precautions and we will:

  • Complete work as quickly as possible
  • Comply with the latest government advice on Coronavirus whilst working.
  • Carry out the works in line with ‘Safe Systems of Work’ with staff wearing the required PPE in line with the Government’s Health & Safety Executive.
  • Ensure that social distancing is always adhered to.

If you do see a member of staff, please remember to keep your distance.  If you have any concerns, please contact us.

Service Charges

It is important that customers continue to pay their rent and service charges.

We appreciate it is a worrying time and would encourage any of our customers who are struggling to get in touch with a member of our team by telephone or online as there is a range of support and advice available to help you.

We also recognise that some services covered by service charges such as grounds maintenance or communal cleaning were temporarily paused for a short period of time.

We are therefore reviewing our service charging policy in respect of both fixed and variable service charges. We will provide further updates in due course and expect to make more information available as soon as possible.

Social distancing

We know that many of our customers are already actively following the government’s guidelines around social distancing during the Coronavirus outbreak.  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.

Customer events, groups and activities

Because your health and wellbeing is our number one priority, we have decided to postpone all scheduled events, groups and activities – you can find out more on the Torus Foundation website.

Universal Credit and Benefits

Keep updated on how coronavirus is impacting Universal Credit and benefits here.

Ending a tenancy

We have revised our process on how you end your tenancy, find out more here

Putting you first – how Torus can help you

We understand that Coronavirus is causing much anxiety and concern.  If you are experiencing difficulties because you are self-isolating, then please let us know so we can see what we can do to help.   

We are also currently contacting all Torus customers, aged 60+ to make sure they have the support they need during self-isolation.  

If we don’t have your current contact number, please update your number your online account or call our contact centre on 01925 452452.

Local help & 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.

Please show kindness to your neighbours and try and help each other out during these challenging times

Government advice & additional information

You can also head to the Government Advice webpage which covers plenty of useful information on coronavirus including:

  • What the signs and symptoms are
  • How the virus spreads
  • How to reduce the risk of contracting the virus

As information about coronavirus is being updated regularly, we advise you to keep a close eye on the Government website for all the latest information.

Coronavirus Information in 36 languages!
Doctors of the World have translated the latest government information around Coronavirus into 36 languages.  The complete list includes: English, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Czech, Dari, Estonian, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Hungarian, Kurdish Sorani, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Romanian, Sindhi, Slovak, Spanish, Somali, Tamil, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese.
www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/


 

Safeguarding adults during the crisis
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.

These groups may be targeted because of several factors. Generally speaking, they may need assistance with some tasks, be less up to speed with technology, more welcoming of new contacts, more trusting and – for many older people – wealthier. There is evidence that social isolation increases the likelihood of abuse. Many older and disabled people spend long periods at home alone, and now as the whole nation is being asked to stay at home the same groups are more likely to be alone rather than in a family group.

At a time of international crisis, those who seek to exploit these vulnerabilities are quick to act. We will all have been warned of new scams offering help and advice on COVID-19 or with financial assistance. Many of us will have concerns for family members who may fall prey to fraudsters.

‘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 Warrington Safeguarding Adults Board webpage.

Keep updated...

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.

Keeping in Touch Magazine: The ‘Keeping in Touch’ magazine gave you important information about our services at that time.  Find out more and download your copy here.
 

Rest assured, any decisions we make as we resume our services will still put your health, safety and wellbeing first.