Before council home upgrades

We will write to you at least 3 months before the start of the 12 month period in which your home is due for an upgrade. We will send you information including our guides to upgrade covering what’s involved and what you need to do. The guides have important information in them about how your upgrades will be affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

If, when you get our letter, you are worried about coping with the level of disturbance, please contact us immediately and ask for the Stock Condition Surveyor for your area.

We may be able to provide you with assistance and support to help you prepare your home for the works and manage during the works to minimise any disturbance to you.

The same contractor carries out the works while you remain in your home. The physical distancing restrictions of COVID-19 mean that it will take longer for the team working in a home to carry out each upgrade. Also, it may not be possible to do several upgrades at the same time; they will have to be done one after the other. The contractors work may also be disrupted should any member of their team develop symptoms of COVID-19, or if a household member develops symptoms or is asked to self-isolate as part of the ongoing Trace and Protect procedure.

One of our contractors will contact you at least 10 weeks before works are due to start in your home to arrange survey visit with you. The contractor will ask if you or any members of your household have symptoms of, or are confirmed as having, COVID-19, are self-isolating, are shielding or are aware of any other reason why works should not start in your home.

Surveys and tenant choices

The contractor will need to survey your home to find out exactly what they need to do to complete the upgrades you are getting. Please ask the contractor for their identity card before letting them in. 

If you are getting a new kitchen, we will offer you a choice of worktops, kitchen units and vinyl floor coverings. If you are getting a new bathroom, we will offer you a choice of vinyl floor coverings and wall panelling. If you are getting a new door, you can choose from a range of different designs.

The surveyor will find out if you might benefit from being assessed by a Housing Occupational Therapist (OT) who can then advise if you need any adaptations as part of the upgrade. For example, if you have a disability or long-term medical condition, we may modify the design or layout to adapt the upgrades to your needs.

If you are not in at that time and the contractor is unable to do the survey, they will leave you a note asking you to contact them to make a new appointment. 

A different contractor may need to do an asbestos survey to make sure that your home complies with the current regulations. Doing this survey doesn’t necessarily mean that your home contains asbestos.

Zero Tolerance Policy

The council, and our contractors, are committed to a policy of Zero Tolerance of aggression towards our employees. Conversations and visits with you will be terminated if the employee, dealing with you, believes that you were acting in a manner that humiliated, frightened or made them or a colleague feel unsafe or vulnerable. We recognise that problems arise from only a small minority of individuals. Often situations arise for genuine reasons and these must be resolved quickly, professionally and sensitively for all concerned. Please help us, by considering the feelings of the employees that are working with you or, unfortunately, it may not be possible for us to upgrade your home.