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Coronavirus update

2020 - April, Latest news

We're continuing to follow official government guidelines in our response to Coronavirus and we will continue to provide our services to customers as normal and we will keep you updated if any advice changes. 

Our planning aims to minimise the impact the outbreak may have on the delivery of our services, as well as keeping you and your neighbours safe and well. We follow the news and the regular updates provided by Public Health England on the Government website.

We want to continue to deliver the best possible service during this pandemic and to minimise the risk of spreading the virus and protect everyone as best we can while continuing our work, we will be taking extra precautions.

Latest update 31 March

A reminder that during the current 'lock-down' we are only providing an emergency repairs service.  An explanation of what we're classing as an emergency repair is detailed below under the update from 25 March.

We're unable to take requests for routine or non-urgent repairs at this time.

We will review this approach again at the end of the three week 'lock-down' period or as further guidance from the Government comes out.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

Latest update 30 March

During this unprecedented period of 'lock-down' and movement restrictions, PA Housing have made the difficult decision to pause all re-lets of our general needs and independent living properties.

  • This is to ensure the health and safety of our customers, contractors and colleagues. It is also consistent with the government advice around essential travel and contact with others.  
  • We're continuing to work with our many local authority stakeholders, seeking solutions for emergency accommodation when it comes to those in the greatest need or those facing homelessness.
  • However the HomeMoves Team are open for business and we're here to take your calls should you have any re-housing queries, need advice on moving or whether you should end the tenancy on your current property.

Please get in touch if you have questions on 0300 123 2221.

Latest update 26 March

Our Tenancy Sustainment Team are working non-stop answering calls from customers concerned about missing rent payments. They can offer advice on money and debt management, as well as help with unclaimed benefits.

If you're worried or starting to struggle, remember to please get in touch with them.  Either text the word 'support' to 07903008003 or email them by using the button below.

Email us

Again, we will not be evicting anyone who falls into rent arrears because their own income has been affected by COVID-19. We will just need to discuss and agree circumstances with you, so please get in touch with one of the team.

Latest update 25 March 

Repairs and maintenance

We’re continuing to operate an emergency only repairs service for you to make sure you’re safe and we will continue to prioritise calls as they come in.  If you have repairs which are not an emergency, I ask for your patience and that you do not report these to us at this time.

We’re classifying an emergency repair as the following:

  • No electric power to the property. Please check this is not a power cut first
  • Dangerous electrical fault
  • Uncontainable flood in the property
  • Blocked drains resulting in sewage backing up in to the property
  • Gas leak, including the report of a carbon monoxide detector sounding or an incident
  • Unable to flush the toilet if there is just one toilet in the property
  • No heating if a resident is over 65 or vulnerable in terms of ill health
  • No heating at any time to all Independent Living Schemes
  • The property is insecure
  • Faulty mains wired or battery operated smoke alarm
  • Boarding up broken ground floor windows
  • No hot water
  • Trip hazard on communal walkway or stairwell
  • Defective banister or stair rail
  • Defective lighting in a communal hallway

Communal Areas and Fire Safety

We’ll aim to continue to carry out the cleaning of the communal areas and some grounds maintenance in order to keep the areas surrounding your homes clean, safe and clear of rubbish. Please do all you can to help us with this by disposing of waste and rubbish appropriately and using the bin stores if provided.

It’s especially important to keep internal hallways and landings clear of buggies, bikes and other items that could stop the evacuation of a building in the event of a fire. We appreciate your support in doing this and ask you to please report any items which are blocking hallways and landings so we can take steps to remove them.

Stay home, stay safe

We urge all of you to please follow the advice being issued by the Prime Minister and to stay at home as much as you can.  I know for some of you this may be hard due to other commitments and worries, but support is available either through us or in your local community. Staying at home can help save lives.

Latest update 24 March

We’re following the advice issued by the Prime Minister yesterday evening and have now closed our offices to the public. Most of our colleagues are also now working from home and will not be carrying out visits to your homes. But, this doesn’t mean we’re not still here to help when you need us, and we’re determined to support you through this.

We’re continuing to balance the health of our staff and the day-to-day services you need, but I hope you will understand this is an extremely challenging situation for us all meaning we’re having to scale back some of our services.  We'll keep this page updated as things develop and will be writing to all customers in the coming days.

Latest update 20 March

Following the government’s ongoing advice to fight COVID-19, we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close both our office receptions detailed below to our customers and visitors from 5.00 pm today. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we apologise any inconvenience this may cause.

PA Housing

3 Bede Island Road   



PA Housing

Case House

85-89 High Street


Surrey KT12 1DZ

We will be monitoring advice from the government with view to reopening at the first appropriate opportunity.

We appreciate that this is a worrying and difficult time given the unprecedented circumstances that the world faces with the current coronavirus pandemic and would like to thank you in advance for your understanding and support.


Latest update 18 March

Are your finances being affected by COVID-19? 

We will work with any customers who are facing financial hardship due to the current situation. Support is available to those who need it, and where appropriate we will agree temporary adjustments to rent payments. We will not be evicting anyone who falls into rent arrears because their own income has been affected by the Coronavirus. We will just need to discuss and agree your circumstances.

We understand that some of our customer's circumstances may have changed and our committed to working with and supporting customers that find themselves in financial hardship.  If you are struggling, we really want to hear from you.  Our Tenancy Sustainment Team are a dedicated team of experts who are on hand to assist you and can be contacted by emailing  or text support to 07903008003 or request assistance through My PA


Latest update 17 March:

Repair service

In light of the latest Government advice relating to Coronavirus (Covid-19), PA Housing will be delivering an emergency repair service only, from Wednesday 18 March, until further notice.

We continue to be committed to providing services to our customers, and while we appreciate this measure will cause a disruption to our repairs service and may inconvenience our customers, it is a necessary precaution at this time. 

If you already have a pre-booked appointment for a routine repair, we will be contacting you to confirm whether or not we are able to complete the repair at the organised time.

If you have an emergency repair, you should contact 0300 123 2221.


Thank you in advance for your patience and co-operation.


  • Please let us know if you are self-isolating

    If you have been advised by NHS 111 to self-isolate it's vital you notify us as soon as possible by calling 0116 204 4035.

    Please find below links to regularly-updated and official sources of public information.

    NHS Coronavirus Advice

    The best source of information about the symptoms of the virus and the precautions you can take to stay well can be found on the NHS Coronavirus website.

    Daily COVID-19 Updates from GOV.UK

    More information on the Coronavirus outbreak can be found on the GOV.UK website.

  • Visiting our offices

    Following the government’s ongoing advice to fight COVID-19, we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close both our office receptions detailed below to our customers and visitors from 20 March 5.00 pm . This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we apologise any inconvenience this may cause.

    PA Housing

    3 Bede Island Road   


    LE2 7EA

    PA Housing

    Case House

    85-89 High Street


    Surrey KT12 1DZ

    We will be monitoring advice from the government with view to reopening at the first appropriate opportunity.

    We appreciate that this is a worrying and difficult time given the unprecedented circumstances that the world faces with the current coronavirus pandemic and would like to thank you in advance for your understanding and support.

  • Repair advice
    • Tap washer replacement

      Step 1:
      To start, turn off the mains water supply by turning the main stopcock until your tap runs dry. If you are changing the washer on hot taps, you must also turn the immersion heater and boiler off.

      Step 2:
      Put the plug into the plug-hole of the sink to prevent losing the washer or any tap components when dismantling it. Unscrew the top plate of the tap. If you can’t do this by hand, use a wrench and protect the tap with a cloth first.

      Step 3:
      Some taps have a body cover, which you will need to remove before you can unscrew the top section (or stem) of the tap to access the washer underneath. Secure the tap with another wrench while you remove this section.

      Step 4:
      The washer is underneath this and it will either be pressed into place or held in position with a nut. Use a screwdriver to release it then clean the stem before fitting the new washer.

      Step 5:
      Reassemble the tap, take the plug out of the sink and turn on the water supply to test the tap.



    • Unblocking a basin or sink

      Step 1: Plunger
      Place the plunger over the plughole, and ensure a seal is formed, then drive the handle down and up in a pumping action. You’ll know the blockage is clear when you fill the sink up and it drains quickly.


      Step 2: Blast it out
      Sometimes a hard burst of water can push out whatever is blocking your sink. Take a plastic milk bottle or 2-litre drink bottle, fill it with hot water, tip it upside down with the bottle hole against the plughole, and squeeze as hard as you can. The fast, directed flow of water may well fix the problem.

      Step 3: Down the drain
      Sometimes a plunger can’t unblock the sink so you need to do something to break down the blockage. There are a lot of hardcore drain unblocking products on the market, and though they will often get the job done they’re pretty harsh, and can linger in the drain and around your sink too. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

      Step 4: Baking Soda and Vinegar
      A more friendly solution to unblocking a sink uses a simple mix of baking soda and vinegar. First, pour a load of baking powder down your plughole. Then tip in the vinegar. You’ll hear a lot of fizzing, and may even get some froth coming back up the plughole. Once the chemical reaction subsides tip some hot water down to flush the pipe through.

      Step 5: Bleach
      If that doesn’t work you can also use bleach to dissolve blockages. The best approach with bleach is to pour some through the plughole last thing at night and then flush with hot water in the morning.

      Step 6: U Bend Clearing
      Most blocked sinks happen because the U bend gets clogged up, and sometimes the only solution is to remove the U bend and clear it out by hand. To do this you’ll need: 

        • Small bucket or dish
        • Plumber’s tape (PTFE Tape)
        • Wire coat hanger

      Step 7:
      Look under your sink and find the U bend, it’s the first bend in the pipe immediately below the plughole. Put your bucket or dish under the U bend and carefully unscrew the section of pipe. The U bend has two sets of threads, one at either end. As you loosen them any backed up water will drain out, so take your time. Once the flow of water has stopped, remove the U bend and use the wire coat hanger to clean out the inside of the pipe, you can also use a dishcloth and warm water to help clean everything out.

      Step 8:
      Once it’s all clean, fix the U bend back into place, using plumber’s tape to make it watertight if needed. Run the tap to make sure the U bend is watertight.


    • Resetting a trip switch

      General Advice

      Modern electric circuits are fitted with circuit breakers called trip switches. If there’s a problem with your electrics, a switch is tripped and the circuit is broken.

      All of the fuses or trip switches are found in the consumer unit or fuse box.

      A trip switch or button usually operates because:

      • There are too many appliances on a circuit and it’s overloaded
      • an appliance is faulty or hasn’t been used properly, for example a kettle has been over-filled or a toaster not cleaned
      • water has leaked into a circuit
      • a light bulb has blown 
      • there’s a problem with your immersion heater

      Always have a torch handy in case you have a power failure.

      If there’s a problem with one of your electrical appliances, leave it unplugged and get a qualified electrician or service engineer to check it.

      If there’s a problem with your wall or ceiling light, keep it switched off (even put some tape over the switch) and let us know straight away.

      Make sure your hands are dry when you touch electrical fittings.


      Resetting the trip switch

      Step 1:

      Open the cover on the consumer unit so that you can get to the trip switches.

      Step 2:

      Check which switches have tripped to the OFF position and which rooms (circuits) have problems.

      Step 3:

      Put these switches back to the ON position.


    • Stop tap location

      Your internal stop tap is usually found near to where your water supply pipe enters into your home.

      Most common places to find your inside stop tap are:

      • Under the kitchen sink
      • Kitchen cupboard
      • Bathroom
      • WC or cloakroom
      • Garage or utility room
      • Cellar
      • Under the stairs

      It is important that you are aware of where your internal stop tap is in case there is an emergency and you need to turn off the water.

      Internal stop taps aren’t used very often so it is worth checking regularly to make sure it's working properly.

    • Replacing a toilet seat

      Step 1:
      Wearing gloves, remove the old seat and any old fittings. Every seat is different, but the release screws are usually found at the back of the seat or on the underside of the bowl rim.

      Step 2:
      Unscrew the old fittings (you may need a wrench and screwdriver to do this) and then remove the seat

      Step 3:
      Assemble the fittings for the new toilet seat. Because every seat is different, take time to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

      Step 4:
      Attach the new fittings through the bolt holes in the rim and hand tighten. Do not over tighten, as you will need to adjust them when the seat is on.

      Step 5:
      Click on the bolt caps and place the new seat in position. Line up with the bolts and ensure the seat is centred on the bowl before tightening.

      Step 6:
      Hand tighten the bolts or use a wrench if necessary.


    • Unblocking a toilet

      Step 1:
      Try pushing a flexible drain cleaning wire down the WC pan.

      Step 2:
      If possible, ask someone to observe the drain chamber while you are doing this to see if the item causing the blockage emerges. Anything emerging that may have caused the blockage should be removed.

      Step 3:
      It’s worth using a plunger.

      Step 4:
      A chemical drain cleaner or caustic soda may help, but you must follow the instructions carefully and remember these products need to be handled safely.

      Step 5:
      Always use rubber gloves.

      Using a Plunger

      • Try using a plunger to unblock the toilet. Most people have a cup shaped plunger but this does not always work and can be a bit messy. Toilets bowls benefit from a specialist flange shaped or a ball shaped plunger. Both these types of plunger have a bottom which is shaped to seal the opening in the bottom of the toilet bowl. This seal action as you plunge creates the necessary vacuum and pressure and is more effective.

      More Tips

      • Another useful tip is to consider draining water from your toilet pan. If the water level in the pan of your WC is high, try using any old container to bale out the water. You can also try pouring hot or boiling water down the pan as an alternative to using caustic soda. Often this can be helpful and will break down whatever is blocking your waste pipe.
    • Changing a tube light bulb

      Step 1:
      Before you start, cut off all power. You cannot ensure your safety by simply turning the switch off at the wall.

      Step 2:
      The first step in replacing a fluorescent bulb is knowing how to be safe. Fluorescent bulbs are fragile and become very brittle once burnt out, making them easy to break or shatter. If you do happen to break a bulb, be aware that it contains mercury. When cleaning up a broken bulb, use gloves and always wear shoes.

      Step 3:
      Measure the full length of the bulb from end to end with your measuring tape to determine the correct length of replacement bulb required. Since these bulbs come in many lengths, measuring before you purchase the new bulb can save a return trip to the shop.

      Step 4:
      Now that you know what length of bulb to buy, you also need to know which type of replacement bulb you need. To determine the type, look at the lamp to confirm if it is a bi-pin lamp or single-pin lamp. A bi-pin or two-pin lamp will have contact pins on each end of the fluorescent bulb. The pins extend from each end of the light bulb and fit into a socket on either end of the lamp. A single-pin lamp will only have one contact pin extending from one end of the bulb.

      Step 5:
      Installing the new bulb is simply the reverse of removing the old one. If the lamp is a bi-pin lamp, you will need to insert both contact pins to the end sockets and then rotate the fluorescent bulb clockwise to lock it into the lamp. If the lamp is a single-pin lamp, you will need to insert the contact pin into the socket and then push the fluorescent bulb upward to lock it into the lamp. After installation of the new bulb is complete, be sure to dispose of the old bulb properly and safely.

    • Changing a tube light starter

      If the tube light flickers, works intermittently or takes a long time to illuminate, then the issue is caused by faulty / old fluorescent starter and it will need to be replaced.

      Step 1:
      Determine the correct starter for the light. Check the existing starter wattage (You may need to remove the bulb to access the starter) to ensure the right replacement is purchased to suit the light fitting.

      Step 2:
      Once you have the correct replacement fluorescent starter, you will need to start by removing the bulb to replace it. The bulb will usually need to be removed because the starter is located directly above it. If your light has more than one bulb, you will find that each one has its own starter to make it work.

      Step 3:
      Withdraw the bulb by twisting it out of the sockets at either end and descending the ladder to carefully lay it in a safe place.

      Step 4:
      The existing starter can be twisted to remove it from its socket, which should be to the right, so twist and pull the starter to withdraw it completely.

      Step 5:
      The fluorescent starter which has been removed can be discarded. Install the new starter by reversing the removal method.

  • Coronavirus Scams

    Coronavirus Scams

    During this period of uncertainty regarding Covid-19, it appears that there are some people who are taking advantage of the situation and are targeting the most vulnerable. Although we appreciate the concern that is being caused by the outbreak, please continue to be cautious when dealing with callers at the door, unwanted phones calls and emails.

    There are people calling door to door proclaiming to be carrying out Coronavirus testing at your home for you on behalf of NHS or you GP.

    NHS  teams are NOT conducting any door to door testing for the Coronavirus - these are thieves trying to get into your home.

    Also, please be aware that the Red Cross are NOT doing door to door testing as has been suggested in some areas.

    If anyone knocks on your door claiming to be conducting the tests please call the police

    Scammers are also sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails which attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive information about themselves such as personal and financial details. In the same way that we have seen fake TV licensing and HMRC emails, we are now seeing phishing emails claiming to be from organisations affiliated with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). There have also been some variations on current scams with fake emails appearing to be from HMRC offering a tax rebate due to the Coronavirus.

    Please be aware of any suspicious emails and do not click on the links or attachments, and do not respond to any unsolicited messages or calls asking for your personal or financial details. If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to Action Fraud or by calling them on 0300 123 2040.

  • Community activities

    All community-based events, meetings and activities will be cancelled or postponed until further notice.


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