November 2020 – LOCKDOWN 2.0
The new lockdown is hard on us all but 500 people are now dying per day and the hospitals are at risk of overflowing again. It is for this that the government has taken action. There is a 28 day delay from infection to hospitalisation . So it is not today’s hospital capacity that is a concern, it is the capacity on the 28th of November that is the worry. Scientifically 4 weeks is the perfect amount of time required (assuming a lockdown reduces the R value to below 1.0).
We have already (this week – 02 November) delivered a full two months worth of cleaning supplies and toilet paper. Therefore there will be NO second delivery in December. PLEASE use the supplies at the regular rate and do not give them away – they have to last.
In December we will attempt to buy 3 months of supply (assuming there are no quantity restrictions) to make sure we are not impacted by teething issues caused due to our departure from the EU trading bloc on the 1st of January (aka. Brexit).
This is part of our commitment to making sure we can deliver the best service to you. Kindly note that unfortunately we do not provide hand wash as standard, this was provided once for the initial lockdown as the media kept going on about washing hands. We now know that the biggest transmission vector is via small droplets and not by touching things. The cleaning products are already 30% over budget due to increases in the underlying prices and I don’t expect it will ever go down as we leave the EU and there will be new additional import/export administrative costs. Therefore please make sure to buy your own hand wash/ hand sanitiser.
In the spirit of the lockdown we are pausing the cleaners for a period for the next 2 weeks. This is very much for their own protection and for yours. These will give us the required time to catch all covid cases because the incubation period is 5.1 days on average (mean) and up to 14 days for outliers. We anticipate to resume cleaning on 23rd of November.
This very much protects all of our customers. Kindly let us know if your house has a positive test case. We are also able to assist with food deliveries and other means. The financial savings of this missed cleaning will be put towards our energy fund, meaning during this lock down time when more people are at home we are able to run the heating for longer (see below).
Kindly also note cleaning does not happen 21 December to 3 January as we send the cleaners off on annual leave during this time, giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy Christmas without interruption.
Pre-covid our customers mostly left the house during work hours to commute to their place of work. Due to this we have historically (for over 12 years), always run the heating in the morning and the evening (5am to 9am and 5pm to 12 midnight).
This has to change with immediate effect. Heating will now run from 5am until 1pm, and from 3pm to midnight. This significant increase is roughly the same thing as running the heating on constant/permanent (due to how heat loss of a house works). Those houses on HiveHome will be increased remotely, and for the rest we will have to attend the property to make an adjustment.
We expect gas bills to increase by 20-35% for the months November to February at a cost of £600 per property. The savings on the missed cleaning service mentioned above will offset literally only £60 per property and we are not in a position to offer refunds or pay for alternative cleaning during these weeks.
Kingdom Houses’ Priorities
During this lockdown we now have new priorities as a company. We want to look after our customers and the way we are going to do this is by tacking priorities in this order.
- Emergency repairs
(Heating, hot water, roof leaks)
- Internet & existing WiFi coverage
(Your ability to work from home is critical)
- WiFi coverage upgrades
(If we need to install more access points to remove WiFi dead spots)
- Urgent repairs
(Facilities like fridges/freezers, ovens, etc… anything where there is not a backup)
- Important repairs
(Such as leaks or things that impact everyone’s standard of life)
- Other repairs & Upgrades
Cleaning resumes after the two week period. All our team are available, and while some may go on furlough soon it will be done in such a way as to not impact the service level.
Government Support for workers
- New ability to claim a one-off support https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-increases-support-for-self-employed-across-the-uk
- Furlough scheme extended until March
- Ability for companies to rehire anyone they fired in October, and put them on furlough instead. Call your employer if this is you.
- The temporary increase of £20 per week has been extended (honestly they should just extend it indefinitely)
- Let us know if you have lost your job and need help claiming universal credit. Most tenants have done it without a problem but we are able to help.
- We can investigate transferring you to a room that falls at the universal credit level of £620 per month so that you have the maximum amount of money left at the end of the month.
Low income (ALL)
- Those on very low incomes are entitled to £500 support payments.
Unemployed and not qualifying for universal credit
- Let us know if you do not qualify for universal credit or the self employed support scheme, in other words let us know if the government gives you n help at all. We likely can’t help you with the rent but perhaps can suggest a cheaper room, or direct you at a charity or other.
- Can also talk about transferring you to a cheaper room.