How COVID-19 is impacting housing services

Housing update

All Housing offices are closed to the public - you can still attend Brunton Hall (Musselburgh), John Muir House (Haddington) or and the George Johnstone Centre (Tranent). To protect yourself and our teams only visit if it is essential (by appointment only) and contact us by phone, email or online instead.

In April 2020 a number of temporary protective measures were introduced - to protect all tenants from eviction. These were reviewed every six months and extensions were provided by the Scottish Government. These protections stopped from 30 March 2022. Any notice served on a tenant up to this date, will continue to be protected by the extended notice periods, and the regulations prevent the landlord withdrawing or superseding a pre-existing notice by serving a fresh notice after this date.

From 31 March 2022 the notice periods for eviction will change back to the original requirements in place before the pandemic.

Rent arrears

If you are struggling to pay your rent, council tenants can call a dedicated helpline on 01620 827528 or email rentincome@eastlothian.gov.uk.  We have also pulled together a dedicated leaflet on all financial support available during the Covid-19 Crisis. 

COVID-19 safety measures

Watch our video about the steps we are taking to keep you and our staff safe. With thanks to Employers in Voluntary Housing (EVH).

Review of Housing Applications

Due to the current Coronavirus situation, we have decided to contact housing applicants who are due to have their yearly housing application review via telephone rather than posting out the usual review packs.   The staff in Review Team will ask you if there are any changes that you would like made to your areas of choice or house types and if there have been any changes in your circumstances in the last year.   You will receive a confirmation letter after your application has been reviewed. 

Home Energy Scotland

Home Energy Scotland is offering advice to individuals who may be struggling to pay for energy bills during coronavirus outbreak.

Property maintenance 

Council tenants should continue to report repairs in the normal way using East Lothian Council's Repair Line on 01875 824311. For repairs inside occupied properties, we will continue to follow strict hygiene and physical distancing guidelines. We kindly request tenants to assist in this by following all instructions provided by work schedulers when making the appointment and our operatives when on site. Our call handlers will continue to screen tenants for Covid-19. Where any tenant is self-isolating, we will only conduct essential emergency works with strict protection measures in place.

We continue to carry out external routine repairs and planned maintenance such as roof repairs, external paint work and colourwash. With all external work, staff will also follow strict hygiene and physical distancing guidelines.

We also continue carrying out repairs and maintenance in empty properties so that we can re-let them to new tenants - again carefully following Scottish Government guidance.

House moves

For tenants seeking to move home The Scottish Government has indicated that house moves, including mutual exchanges, can still take place, with safety measures in place. We have developed processes that limit the amount of face to face interactions during a house move, which your Community Housing Officer will explain to you.

Travelling community information

A Facebook page has been set up for the Gypsy/Traveller community with information about COVID-19.  A framework is also available to support Gyspy/Traveller communities. 

We appreciate your understanding at this time.

Information on our housing services and local housing offices is available online.