Information for customers

Find out about the latest updates and changes to our services.

What's our latest position?

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Please click on the image below for a brief overview of our latest operating situation.

Is this information available in another format?
Yes, you can call 0345 112 4466 to hear a recorded telephone message which will give you information on this page.

Staying safe

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I am ill / self-isolating. What should I do?
If you have contracted Coronavirus or are self-isolating, please let us know when we speak to you. To protect our staff and other customers, unless it is an emergency, we will not visit you in your home during a period of self-isolation. In an emergency, we’ll ask for your co-operation in taking sensible precautions.

Please follow the latest Government advice if you or a member of your household displays any potential symptoms of Coronavirus.

I am over 70 / have a pre-existing health condition. How does this affect me?
If you are 70 or over or with an existing health condition, the Government is recommending avoiding unnecessary social interaction for the time being. Our staff will be contacting you to identify what help you may have available and how we might be able to help you. 

How can I be sure that a member of staff or a contractor is not infected with Coronavirus if they visit my home?
We are ensuring that our staff and contractors have all of the latest information and guidance. Our employees and our contractors are following this guidance in the same way that everyone has been asked to and will take action to protect you as customers and themselves. 

I’m experiencing domestic abuse. What support is available?
For advice and support, please visit our dedicated website section here.

I am due a home visit from Riverside, will this still go ahead?
Where home visits are already scheduled or expected, for example a new tenancy visit or if you are experiencing ASB or other neighbourhood problems or if you’re scheduled to move, we may deliver services in a different way in order to minimise risk. If it is not an emergency, we may contact you to arrange phone calls rather than meet face-to-face.

If you have not done so already, please sign up to My Riverside to see your account, pay rent and charges and manage your contact information.

If a member of our team or one of our contractors does need to visit your property to carry out essential or emergency works, they will adhere to the following measures:

  • The team will sanitise their hands before entering and after leaving each property.
  • On entering a property, staff/contractors will ask customers to move to a different area of the property while they are working.
  • Our staff / contractors are always required to stay at least 2 metres away from the customer and will avoid contact with surfaces and items that they do not need to come into contact with.
  • If working externally, our staff / contractors will ask customers to avoid coming within 2 metres of them.

 

Repairs and maintenance

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Can I still report repairs?
Until further notice, we will only carry out emergency repairs and essential safety inspections so please only contact us about this kind of work until further notice. We’ll contact all customers with existing appointments for non-emergency repairs and book them back in as soon as the service can safely resume. This is in response to government advice, to protect you and our team members. The services we are continuing to prioritise are essential for keeping you and your household safe, so it’s important you give us access to your home. We will work with you to take all possible precautions to protect you, your household and our colleagues.

When will Riverside resume non-urgent repairs?
Over the next few weeks and months, we will begin to gradually resume some of our non-emergency repairs and planned investment services. We will do this in phases, based on careful risk assessments to ensure our customers and colleagues remain safe.

In each phase, we will resume specific types of work which can be carried out safely, while our teams continue to practise social distancing and other safety measures, in line with government advice.

We will start with existing repairs in our backlog, which means we will not be able to accept any new, non-urgent repairs for the first few weeks. However, customers will be able to report some types of non-urgent repairs to us towards the end of each phase.

If you have an existing repair that was cancelled prior to lockdown, we will be in touch with you directly to discuss next steps and agree if it’s safe for us to visit your home.

We also aim to resume non-urgent repairs in communal areas as part of this plan, and as we work towards resuming all repairs services for customers.

We will continue to prioritise emergency repairs and essential safety work, and will review our approach regularly in line with the latest government and Public Health England advice.

We will confirm which repairs services are resuming and when in the next few weeks. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Why isn’t Riverside accepting new repairs yet?
At this time, we cannot guarantee that all non-urgent repairs can be carried out safely, or in the near future. This means that we cannot accept new repairs just yet, but we can begin to work through some existing repairs that can be completed safely and ideally, in one visit. We understand that this may be frustrating but we ask you to bear with us so that we can work through this phased programme as quickly and safely as possible.

We hope to begin accepting some new repairs in the coming weeks.

I’m due for an annual gas safety check. Is it still happening?
Unless you or someone in your home is self-isolating, or you’ve been advised by the NHS to socially shield for 12 weeks, we’ll still visit your home for your gas safety check as normal.
We may need to reschedule your appointment if we need to prioritise emergency work, but if we do, please be assured that all Riverside gas appliances in your home have been well-maintained and serviced regularly, so should continue to work normally.
If you’re worried that a gas appliance in your home isn’t working as it should, call us immediately on 0345 111 0000.

I’m due to have a new kitchen/bathroom/roof/windows/heating system. Will this still go ahead?
We’re sorry but we have had to postpone planned works like new kitchen and bathroom installations, roof, window and heating system replacements, until further notice.

I’m due to have a new aid/adaptation in my home. What will happen now?
We have cancelled any ongoing work on adaptations, and any work that is yet to start on site has been postponed until further notice. We’ll still carry out urgent adaptations that support you or a member of your household to be discharged from hospital, wherever we can. We’ll also continue to log any referrals we receive during this time, and we’ll contact you directly to advise of next steps.

I live in a flat. Are communal area safety inspections still happening?
Yes, but some of them may happen less frequently than usual. This is to help us make the most of our resources, so we can support those most vulnerable, whilst continuing to keep you safe. You can still report any problems you see in communal areas to us in the usual ways.
Our teams are following the latest Government advice on social distancing, so please make sure you stay in your home while we carry out these checks.

Payment, money advice, rent and service charges

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Can I pay without leaving my home?
We have lots of ways to help you continue to pay your rent, even if you are unable to leave your home. It’s important you continue to pay your rent if you can, to prevent you falling into arrears.

  • Online – sign up for My Riverside to check your rent or charges account and make payment.
  • Direct Debit – call us on 0345 111 0000 and speak to an advisor. If you set up a Direct Debit, you don’t need to worry about paying us every month. We’ll take payment automatically and you can choose when the money comes out of your account.
  • Recurring card payment – call us on 0345 111 0000 and speak to an advisor. You can make a payment and set it to come out on a set date and for a set amount as agreed. Similar to a direct debit however you do not incur any charges and you are in control of amending at any time.
  • By phone – call us on 0345 111 0000 and pick the payment option.

I’m struggling to pay my rent due to Coronavirus, what should I do?
We’re here to help. Please get in touch as soon as you can and before things get on top of you. Fill in our simple online form. Someone will be in touch within 48 hours.

I’m concerned about benefits at this time. What should I do?
If you’re concerned about benefits and changes to them, please visit our dedicated advice page. We’ve also created a new page setting out information on key benefit changes which have come into force since April 2020.

Please remember, if you have made a benefits claim, it’s vital that you answer your phone, even if you don’t recognise the number as it may be the  Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) trying to contact you. The DWP say they have been working seven days a week to try to deal with the huge volume of claims during this period but are being hampered from finalising applications as they cannot get in touch with people to verify information. They say that if more customers answered the phone, they would be able to spend less time on the phone chasing people up and more time supporting people. These calls may sometimes come from withheld numbers or 0800 numbers depending on the application you have made, so please keep your phone close to you and, if you’ve made a claim, look out for their call.

How is Coronavirus affecting Riverside?
The Coronavirus has brought major challenges for individuals, families and businesses right across the country, and Riverside is no exception. We’re having to make significant changes so we can deliver essential services safely, keep customers and staff safe whilst facing staff shortages. This means we’ve had to reduce or delay services such as repairs but also provide additional support for vulnerable customers who are elderly, homeless or ill. We are also planning for the end of the crisis, when there is likely to be a large backlog of repairs and other services which will need to be tackled quickly.

Why is my rent increasing?
Recently, the Government changed the rules on how social housing rents are set. You can find out how we set our rent on our Rent review page. While we know this is a challenging time for everyone, your new rent will ensure we have the money to continue to provide essential services as well as get things back to normal at the end of the crisis. We will carefully monitor our costs and services to check we are providing the best value services we can.

How does this affect my service charges?

Your charge will remain the same as stated in the “Notice of your new charges” letter which we sent to you earlier this year. For customers who pay a variable service charge: if we don’t spend as much as we’ve estimated throughout the year (for example due to temporarily stopping some services), we will tell you in your Service Charge Statement next year and we will take it off your charge for the following year. We’ll tell you exactly what our costs are once we know what they are. You will only be charged for services you receive.

Contacting us

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Can I still contact Riverside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
Yes, but we anticipate a high volume of calls at this time and that, coupled with potential sickness amongst staff, may lead to longer than usual waiting times. So, please be patient and we will do our best to assist as soon as possible.

You could help us manage this by using our contact us page to find the information you need or by signing up to My Riverside.

I’m a member of Riverside Customer Voice and iCommunity. Are they affected?
All Riverside Customer Voice and Riverside Customer Voice Executive (RCVE) activities including the RCVE Launch event on 25 March have been postponed and will be rearranged for a later date. The RCVE will continue to meet online via video conference and their meeting highlights will be updated on the website. You can continue to make your voice heard on Riverside services via by joining our digital Voice iCommunity.

You can also follow Riverside Customer Voice on social media at @rcustomervoice on Facebook or Instagram and @VoiceRiverside on Twitter.

I’ve been in touch with Riverside to make a complaint about the service, will this still be looked into?
We are still continuing to investigate complaints in line with our procedure wherever possible and we will agree any actions and timescales based on your complaint query when we speak to you. We may need to put on hold some cases where we would need to carry out work but due to the current service provided we are unable to complete the work, we’ll discuss this with you when we contact you.

 

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