COVID-19 Information

ADVICE FOR LIVING TENANTS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

The Living Team hope you are well and comfortable social isolating in your SU headlease homes.

Whilst the current situation is developing day by day we want to keep you updated about our SU Living services and provide as much information as possible about how we intend to respond to the current situation.

In developing these processes, Living have been mindful of the advice issued by Public Health England and the university sector. We have worked to strike a balance between providing services to households and the need to offer the best protection we can to all housemates, staff, contractors and property owners. 

Many of our property management routines are important in maintaining regulatory compliance and as such we will need to access properties in order to undertake fire checks, undertake repairs and investigate any problems that are reported to us.


EASTER BREAK

We know many tenants leave Lancaster for the Easter Vacation so in the short term please could each household provide us with  the names of those tenants continuing to occupy their Headlease home as well as update us to any housemates isolating via email su.living@lancaster.ac.uk.

For those returning home for the Easter break leaving their property vacant during the holidays, please ensure you secure your property ensuring all doors and windows are locked and any valuables are taken home or stored out of site. Where properties are vacant the Living team will monitor the property whilst it remains unoccupied.


CORE SERVICES FROM LIVING

For the time being the Living office is closed. However, all members of the team, including our tradesmen and suppliers, are continuing to provide our usual services through increased home working. Contact details are as normal:

Telephone 01524 592170
Email su.living@lancaster.ac.uk
Emergency 01524 594541


HOUSING ACCESS

It is important, for health and safety reasons, that Living continue to access certain buildings, flats and rooms. In most cases Living use linked tradesmen to fulfil health and safety routines, cleaning and security requirements as well as undertaking general maintenance and repairs. These tradesmen will have their own health and safety routines, but have been given best practice guidance with regard to Coronavirus.

Cleaning services will continue as normal, however we will focus on cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, kitchens and bathroom areas to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Public health advice on COVID-19 and how to stop it spreading is included in this email.

Living team visits will be limited to those requested by tenants, contractors, property owners and any other exceptional circumstances. Contractors visiting properties have been asked to follow Public Health guidance on good respiratory and hand hygiene.


TENANTS WHO ARE SELF ISOLATING

If tenants are self-isolating, either because of their own symptoms or because of the symptoms of friends or others in the flat it is important they email su.living@lancaster.ac.uk to advise of the period of self-isolation ASAP

If you report a repair you will be asked to confirm that you are not self-isolating

In cases where a tenant is self-isolating access to the room or flat/house will be limited to the absolutely necessary. This means:

• no pro-active maintenance (such as painting or carpet replacement)

• only essential repairs will be undertaken where it would be dangerous to leave matters unattended.
 
Once the period of self-isolation has ended then we will work to complete any outstanding repairs in a timely manner.


OTHER TENANTS LIVING WITH US

At China Street the communal areas will be maintained and serviced as normal.

In order to assist our contractors and staff, non-essential repairs may be slightly delayed – particularly if a contractor is on leave or self-isolating - but wherever possible every attempt will be made to undertake repairs in a timely manner. We anticipate tenants will see little change in our maintenance response times. In some cases contractors may have problems obtaining supplies and that may slow down putting things right - if that happens we will let you know.


EXTERNAL MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

As these do not require access to a property or flat these routines will continue as normal.


PROPERTY INSPECTIONS

Term 3 home visits have now been completed - except for Bridge Square - so we will not visit again, unless requested until after Monday 4th May. We will review this process in line with government guidance at the time.


CONCLUSION

This information is the best we can currently give you. If you have any enquires then we will do our best to help. This is a difficult period for us all and is likely to last some time, so co-operation and mutual help is essential. Thank you for reading this and digesting this information.
 


GENERAL CORONAVIRUS INFOMRATION
 
As you will be aware the threat of catching the coronavirus (COVID19) has increased in the past week in the UK. As you share the property with other tenants, this may mean a higher risk of an infection spreading.  The official advice is for tenants to remain in their own room as much as possible, avoiding communal areas and ensuring your room is well ventilated.

We take the welfare of our tenants very seriously and have compiled the below Q&A list to help you and your fellow tenants.

1. What hygiene measures should we take?
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser if soap and water are unavailable. Cough/sneeze into tissues and dispose of in a closed bin. Wipe down surfaces regularly with an antibacterial spray/wipes. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

2. I’m self-isolating; what should I do?
Firstly, you must inform the other tenants of your situation so that they are aware. Secondly, advise SU Living so that they can advise contractors such as cleaners and tradespeople of a self-isolating tenant.

3. We share the kitchen facilities – is it safe for others to use these facilities while I’m
self-isolating?
You should avoid using it while others are present. Take your meals back to your room to eat. You should use separate cutlery and crockery, clean your own dishes in hot water and ideally use kitchen roll or use a separate tea towel to dry them thoroughly.

4. We share the bathroom/toilet facilities – is it safe for others to use these facilities while I’m self-isolating?
Where possible you should try to schedule routines so that the person self-isolating uses the bathroom last, uses separate towels and cloths, and cleans surfaces thoroughly when finished. Consider introducing a rota for washing with your fellow tenants.

5. Can I go for a walk if I’m self-isolating?
No, you should confine yourself to your room as much as possible. This is to help control the spread of the virus in the wider community.

6. Can I go shopping if I’m self-isolating?
No, for the same reasons as above. You should ask your fellow tenants, family and friends to assist you to purchase shopping and medication. You may also want to consider using on-line shopping.

7. Are family and friends allowed to visit me if I’m self-isolating?

No, you should confine yourself to your room as much as possible. This is to help control the spread of the virus in the wider community.
 
This is advice is current as of 16th March 2020. However, the situation is extremely fluid, and you should keep up to date with the current situation and requirements at trusted sources such as nhs.uk/coronavirus or bbc.co.uk  

KEEP WELL AND STAY IN CONTACT. 
SU Living will be here to support you and your household throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.