Housing repairs, upgrades and maintenance during coronavirus

On this page you can find out about housing repairs, upgrades and maintenance during coronavirus:

Delays to planned works due to supply chain shortages

If you are due an upgrade or repair to your home, it may be that the works will be delayed due to global supply chain issues outside the council’s control. We are finding that building materials, normally readily available in Aberdeenshire, are in short supply, or in some cases not available at all. It is also costing us more to buy some of those products that are available. 

There are several reasons contributing towards this situation:

  • COVID-19 is affecting manufacturing output, due to loss of labour and social distancing and this leads to longer ordering periods
  • there are supply chain bottlenecks due to a sharp rise in construction demand that started in the second half of 2020
  • there is increased administration at UK ports affecting the import of materials because of the UK EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement after Brexit

If alternative suitable products are available, we are doing what we can to allow our contractors to use these for a short period of time until supplies are back to normal levels.

We fully expect this disruption to continue for some time and are monitoring the supply of all components over the following months and will continue to take mitigation actions where possible to lessen disruption.

Thank you for your patience if contractor's work programmes and the install dates for your home need to be changed because of this situation.

Housing Repairs and Planned Maintenance

With effect from 9th August, Scotland has moved out of the COVID-19 levels system. As restrictions are eased, the emphasis will continue to be on precautionary measures, personal responsibility, good practice and informed judgement with physical distancing where possible. The Housing Repairs Team will carry out routine repair works in accordance with Scottish Government guidelines. We will continue to update our position on advice from the Scottish Government.

Please bear in mind that although restrictions are being lifted, there is a backlog of repairs. This may lead to delays in non-emergency repairs being carried out, so we thank you for patience. Please be assured that the Housing Repairs Teams are working as hard as possible to return to a normal repairs service as quickly as possible.

To reduce any unnecessary visits, if a Clerk of Works inspection is required the contact centre will book a telephone appointment with a technical member of staff. If this is not suitable, then a visit will be booked but only if the risk assessment allows us to do so, which will be discussed at your telephone appointment.

While social distancing is no longer a legal requirement, staff will physical distance while visiting your property (where possible) and would request you keep your distance, if possible, while a staff member is in your home. This may mean trades need to be scheduled to visit your property one after the other. Work may also be disrupted if tenants or any of our staff develop symptoms of COVID-19, or if a household member develops symptoms or is asked to self-isolate as part of the ongoing Test and Protect procedure. Please advise us if anything changes before your appointment.

Void properties

The Scottish Government have been clear, and the council will continue to fulfil its statutory duty with void properties. In the context of homelessness, the flow of properties is seen as both vital and essential works. Risk Assessments have been carried out and physical distancing measures are in place, to ensure safety at all times.

Gas servicing

During the current COVID-19 situation, the Scottish Government has advised that local councils are required to use their best efforts to undertake gas safety checks, and if unable to do so, to retry as soon as is possible and appropriate, while having full regard for advice on self-isolation, hygiene and distancing.

If tenants receive a Gas Servicing notification letter, and are self-isolating or have been confirmed with COVID-19 they are asked to inform FES on 01224 766692, and no service will be undertaken until after the relevant isolation period.

Once the self-isolation period is completed, please call FES on 01224 766692 to arrange a suitable time for the service to be carried out.

However, if you smell gas or if you have concerns about the safety of your appliances, you should call the gas emergency service provider on 0800 111 999, and switch off appliances until the gas emergency supplier or a registered gas engineer, has attended and advised that the appliances are safe to use.

Scottish Government tolerable standard: satisfactory fire and carbon monoxide detection

The council has to fulfil its statutory duty to undertake the new fire detection enhancements required by the Scottish Government by February 2022. To do this essential work we will need to continue to enter homes, even during those times when lockdown restrictions apply within Aberdeenshire. You may therefore be contacted by one of our 2 contractor FES, (when they service your gas), or by Everwarm.

Housing Improvement Programme

Since 26th April 2021 our contractors have been carrying out internal upgrades again in line with Scottish Government guidelines. The contractors will work within Aberdeenshire in line with the COVID-19 guidance that is set by the Scottish Government for the different levels and 'beyond zero'.

Generally, non-essential works like those on the HIP can only be undertaken in a tenant’s homes when Aberdeenshire is at Level 3 or below. Only external works, that do not involve entering a tenant’s home, can be progressed during any 'lockdown'.