Coronavirus – HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd – Service Delivery Update

Further to the governments initial 3 week lockdown period, which is continuing for the foreseeable future, and following discussions with Harlow Council, we are required to continue to provide services to tenants and residents as safely as possible and this needs to be balanced against the safety of HTS and Harlow Council staff along with the tenants and residents of Harlow.

We are also mindful that in some cases tenants/residents may not want certain services provided due to either a real or perceived risk to them, or non-essential.

In view of the above, we are proposing a risk assessed increase to what are jointly (Harlow Council/HTS) considered as essential services for the health and wellbeing of the tenants and residents of Harlow and our employees during these unprecedented times.

These are in addition to those we have been providing over the first 3 weeks of the government lockdown period.

We would appreciate your support on these, should you see our operatives, vehicles or green fleet working within the town.

Therefore, HTS will be undertaking the following essential/prioritised activities, working in partnership with Harlow Council colleagues:


  • Essential building cleaning- prioritised activities
  • Bins in public areas – prioritised activities
  • Street cleansing – Scarab road sweepers/cleaners
  • Essential fly tip clearances – prioritised activities
  • Waste transfer station – prioritised activities
  • Emergency fleet back up
  • Tree felling – prioritised activities by safety reasons i.e. injury or property damage
  • Grass cutting:
    • Cutting of highway verges to be a priority to ensure that we do not get into the position of having safety issues in terms of visibility. This is a low risk activity for staff as there are likely to be limited opportunities for interaction with members of the public and therefore social distancing is maintained.
    • In addition, areas of potential, or actual, pest infestation should also be prioritised.
    • Finally, cutting and maintaining wide walking tracks around playing fields, open spaces, town park etc. to enable people to have access to areas to walk but without providing attractive areas for people to do things that we are not looking to encourage e.g. sunbathing, picnics etc.

 Responsive Repairs

  •  24/7 Customer Services/Call Centre.
  • All emergency heating, hot water and plumbing breakdown issues will be responded to.
  • Gas and Electrical Compliance – All statutory gas servicing and electrical compliance services will be maintained.
  • Voids – empty property repairs

HTS Working in People Properties – Tenant Information

Please be aware that as part of our support to our operatives who may be required to work in your council property and to you as council tenants, we are working under the guidance below and would be greatly appreciated if all tenants adhere to this guidance in order to help maintain the health and wellbeing of everyone.


Our call centre will prepare tenants prior to any emergency repair appointments to make sure that they are clear about the requirements for keeping everyone safe.

All council tenants are required to:

  • Advise if any person in the household is in self-isolation due to Coronavirus
  • Open the door to the operative and remain at least 2 metres away (social distancing)
  • Explain the problem and which room it is in
  • Remove themselves from the area and close themselves and any family in a separate room

The work can then be completed away from the tenant/s.   The operative is then able to explain through internal doors that they’ve finished and left the place safe, before leaving.

What will our operatives do?

They should make sure that anyone in the property is strictly following the above guidance.   If for any reason tenant(s) will not social distance as requested, after being explained again, the operative will leave the property and report back to their supervisor / team leader.

They will use PPE as suitable and follow government guidance on social distancing, cleanliness and self-isolation.

  1. When entering a property, they should be wearing disposable / cleanable gloves. If no declaration of self-isolation is made (as above) and a tenant is clearly unwell/showing symptoms of Coronavirus, they will leave the property.
  2. Prior to work on an area, they should ensure that is cleaned down, where possible, with gorilla wipes / similar
  3. They should not touch their faces and may use facemasks / safety glasses if they think they are required
  4. They will complete the work (safely!)
  5. They should wipe down any areas they have had contact within their work area
  6. When they leave your property, they should clean their hands / face – ideally using water and soap, but use wipes / hand sanitiser if this is not possible, prior to attending the next property

We will continue to review these services with our Harlow Council colleagues in line with any government guidelines or instructions.

If you are a tenant or resident and would like to report an emergency, please contact 01279 446666.

Please keep safe, keep well!

John Phillips

Managing Director

On behalf of HTS board and directors