Last reviewed 15th January 2021
The health, welfare and safety of our residents and staff is our highest priority during this difficult time. We are watching the situation closely and monitoring the latest government advice in relation to our services. The situation is rapidly changing, and we are doing our utmost to keep residents updated as things unfold. You can find our most up to date information on this page, which we will review regularly.
You can access the latest accurate information on Coronavirus, including the current situation in the UK and details about the virus and its symptoms at:
- How ELM Group is Responding
- Head Office Staff
- Advice for Residents
- Service Charge Payments
- Advice for Contractors
- Helpful Information & Resources
In light of the current situation, we are putting into place measures on our estates to reduce the risk to both residents and staff. We would like to thank all our residents and their families for their co-operation during this time. We will continue to do our utmost to support our residents and provide the necessary guidance.
The measures we would like to make you aware of are as follows:
- We have deemed the Estate Manager role as essential to the running of your development. Your Estate Manager will continue to be present on site, observing good hand hygiene practices and keeping at least 2 meters away during face-to-face contact. We encourage you to get in contact by email or phone where possible.
- All staff to strictly follow the 3-steps issued by the Government, ‘Hands, Face and Space’:
➢ Hands - regular and thorough hand-washing, ‘Catch it. Bin it. Kill it’.
➢ Face - wearing a face mask in enclosed spaces/if a 2-metre distance not possible.
➢ Space - keeping a 2-metre distance during face-to-face contact or wearing a face mask if a 2-metre distance is not possible.
- Estate Managers are cleaning the high-touch areas on a regular basis such as keypads, door handles, bannisters etc.
- Pull cord checks are to be carried out remotely by contacting each resident via your mobile unit (if you have this facility) and asking them to pull the pull cord.
- Lifts will remain in service but limited to one person at a time wherever possible (we understand some residents may need a Carer or family member with them).
- All guest suite facilities remain closed
- Communal Kitchen and communal WC – these facilities are closed at all estates
- Laundry Room – these facilities will remain operational until further notice but restricted to one resident at a time. Your estate manager will provide a rota and cleaning instructions.
- Hair Salons/Chiropodists/Swimming Pools - these facilities have been closed until further notice.
- Communal Lounge must be closed until further notice.
- In person resident meetings arranged by Head Office (e.g., budget and accounts meetings) have been cancelled until further notice. Alternative arrangements will be made such as a conference calls or paper-based consultations.
- Estate Visits by Area Managers will be carried out virtually using MS Teams. Area Manager visits will only take place when absolutely necessary such as a first day induction or risk assessment. For estates without an Estate Manager, Area Managers will carry out an inspection of the external areas only.
- Major external decorations and repairs will continue as planned. Projects which require entry into individual resident apartments (such as window replacements) will be assessed on a case by basis to determine if they can safely continue but are unlikely to proceed at this time.
- Regular contractors such as cleaners, window cleaners, gardeners, lift engineers etc. should continue. As above, contractors must observe social distancing guidelines and any other measures identified in their updated risk assessment and method statement.
- Major internal decorations and works to the common parts are postponed until further notice. Any urgent/emergency repairs should still be arranged with contractors observing social distancing guidelines and any other measures as identified in their risk assessment and method statement.
- Residents remain responsible for contractors within their apartments (such as for repairs, their regular cleaner, or carers) and we would recommend any non-urgent works are postponed.
Following recent government advice regarding the spread of Coronavirus Covid-19, ELM Group/RLHA has put in place the necessary arrangements for some of the head office team to begin working remotely. All staff members will continue to be available via their normal telephone numbers and emails.
Opening hours remain 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, but due to the current situation we have had to reduce our active call hours to 10am-3pm. Our Customer Services team will be checking the answerphone regularly outside of these hours.
For non-urgent matters we encourage you to email email@example.com and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.
We are aware that residents will be understandably concerned about the news on the spread of coronavirus or Covid-19.
Any resident requiring information regarding coronavirus is advised to follow guidance issued by the government and its agencies which is updated regularly. This can be found here:
You can also gain up to date information by listening regularly to TV or radio news and via this page which we will update regularly
Please be wary of information spread on social media or through non-government or non-NHS websites, as this may be misleading.
If you need more specific advice, you should call NHS 111 and follow any advice provided. If you have been advised to stay at home, please get in touch with Customer Services by phone on 01252 356000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us of your situation.
NHS Test and Trace:
We have recently been made aware of some scam calls from people claiming to be calling from NHS Test and Trace. We ask that you remain vigilant and if you receive a call that you do not believe to be genuine, please ask them for some form of proof of identity or a phone number that you can verify as authentic to call them back on.
If you are unsure, please refer to a family member or contact your estate manager for advice.
Further information on the NHS Test & Trace Teams can be found here:
An overview of the NHS test and trace service, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.
Vaccine Scams warning
We have recently been made aware of a new scam where a person receives a text saying they need to book a vaccination appointment. The link then directs them to a fake NHS form which asks for bank details to prove their identity. The NHS will never ask for a person’s banking information so please do not provide as it will be a scam.
Please remain vigilant and if you receive a call or message that you do not believe to be genuine, please ask them for some form of proof of identity or a phone number that you can verify as authentic to call them back on.
Please read the Government advice poster below:
Service charge payment obligations during Coronavirus period
Since the government introduced the strict social distancing measures, we have received a few requests asking if ELM Group have put anything in place for leaseholders who may be experiencing financial difficulty.
The short answer, at present, is unfortunately there is nothing in place that means we could offer a holiday from paying service charges. The obligation within the lease to make this payment is clear and the costs of managing the building will not change. Advice does not support allowing a breach of non-payment to be permitted although we will be taking guidance from our lawyers if this situation changes.
As a not for profit organisation, RLHA and ELM, simply do not have surplus funds to call upon.
In circumstances of hardship resulting in non-payment the credit control process will come into effect and the Credit Control Adviser will contact the leaseholder and look at payment plan options.
We understand and appreciate that the current situation will raise concerns about financial security, for free advice and guidance regarding your leasehold property and service charges please visit www.lease-advice.org
We will continue to review this situation and if anything changes, will provide an update accordingly.
Following the ongoing extended coverage surrounding Corona Virus (Covid-19), ELM Group are taking this issue extremely seriously and have generated procedures for our contractors to adopt and implement.
The advice below is in line with Government, NHS and World Health Organisation guidance:
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE
We kindly request that any of your employees attending our estates adhere to the following points on every visit:
- All contractors must provide an updated risk assessment and method statement which includes measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a minimum, we expect contractors to wear a face mask indoors, to follow ‘Hands, Space and Face’ guidance, and to clean high touch points before they leave their work area.
- All contractors must adhere to Gov.uk advice and take reasonable measures to prevent any staff at risk from Covid-19 from attending ELM Group estates: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public#information-about-the-virus. This includes any staff who are returning from specified (high risk) locations, or those who are required to self-isolate.
- All contractors must report on arrival and departure to the Estate Manager. This is to assist in tracing persons should we experience a case of Covid-19. Where there is no Estate Manager, please report your attendance to the Customer Services Team on 01252 356000 or email CustomerServicesTeam@elmgroup.org.uk
- All contractors must strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines and general hygiene guidance that can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- All contractors must report immediately by phone the details of any employee who is confirmed positive for Covid-19 and has been working at an ELM Group estate by calling our Customer Services Team on 01252 356000
Should you have any queries in regard to these procedures, please contact me directly using the details below or email to CustomerServicesTeam@elmgroup.org.uk
Please pass this information on to all relevant staff within your organisation that work on ELM Group estates.
We thank you for your co-operation with following these simple processes which we hope will prevent Covid-19 entering our estates.
NHS Guidance on Reducing the Spread of COVID-19
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds, wash your hands as soon as you get back home
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze, put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Government Guidance on Social Distancing and 'Hands, Face, Space'
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
- stay at home as much as possible
- work from home if you can
- limit contact with other people
- keep your distance from people not in your household (2 metres apart where possible)
- wash your hands regularly
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
Hands, Face, Space
Washing your hands
While coronavirus is not likely to survive for long periods of time on outdoor surfaces in sunlight, it can live for more than 24 hours in indoor environments. Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer, regularly throughout the day will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.
Covering your face
Coronavirus is carried in the air by tiny respiratory droplets that carry the virus. Larger droplets can land on other people or on surfaces they touch while smaller droplets can stay in the air indoors for at least 5 minutes, and often much longer if there is no ventilation. Face coverings reduce the dispersion of these droplets, meaning if you’re carrying the virus you’re less likely to spread it when you exhale.
Transmission of the virus is most likely to happen within 2 metres, with risk increasing exponentially at shorter distances. While keeping this exact distance isn’t always possible, remaining mindful of surroundings and continuing to make space has a powerful impact when it comes to containing the spread.
More information can be found at www.gov.uk/handsfacespace
We've put together some useful links and resources to help you stay positive and keep in touch during this difficult time.
Adults who live by themselves can join up with one other household to create a support bubble, you can read more about the rules at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household
Mutual Aid Groups
There are now thousands of local groups of volunteers all over the UK, helping people to cope while in lock down. They can assist with food shopping, picking up prescriptions, or even walking the dog. You can find your local groups on Facebook through the below link:
Please exercise caution, while the majority of people have pure intentions and only wish to help, sadly there may be people who might try and take advantage of the current situation. We ask that you remain vigilant when using the volunteer networks, and only allow people access if you are expecting them.
We are approaching a huge milestone in March 2021 - RLHA will be turning 50 years old and celebrating its Golden Anniversary! The company was founded 50 years ago in 1971 by a group of volunteers with a shared vision; ‘to pioneer the development of sheltered housing for sale to people of retirement age’. Since then, we have had aRead more