Housing Updates

Updated Tuesday 19 May 2020

Changes to Housing Options and Homeless service

The Housing Options Service provided by the council continues to operate. Due to the impact of COVID-19 and following government guidance there will be no face to face advice provided until further notice.

The following is now in place for people requiring urgent housing advice:

  • Anyone requiring housing advice should contact: 01506 280000 (Monday to Thursday 08.30am to 5.00pm, Friday 08.30am to 4.00pm).  For the out of hours service please contact 01506 280000/0800 032 3450. 
  • Alternatively get in touch via email: housingoptionsadvice@westlothian.gov.uk

Social distancing protects us all, including neighbours, friends and family. When you see people at the supermarket, or even outside while exercising, always stay at least two metres away.

This is the same if the council's Building Services team have to visit your home. It is important that the guidance is appropriately followed by all to ensure everyone is kept safe.  

For more information on social distancing, visit NHS Inform


Paying your Rent

With the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we are aware that many of our tenants may be concerned about paying their rent. We want to do all we can to support you at this time so if you are at all worried, please do not hesitate to get in touch at:

With the national guidance still in place to observe social distancing, the Council has ways for you to pay your rent that do not require you to risk travelling from your home. You can do this by paying online or over the phone on 01506 282407.

For more information about paying your rent, please visit: Paying my Rent 


Building Services

Due to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Building Services is continuing to review its activities in order to prioritise critical housing repairs.

The service is contacting tenants to make them aware of cancellations and further steps that may be required.

Work carried out by the service will include:

  • Emergency critical repairs including gas repairs
  • Gas Servicing
  • Voids

All other works will cease meantime. The position will be reviewed on Friday 29 May 2020

Emergency repairs include:

  • A serious water pipe leak
  • No heating, no hot water
  • Total failure of electrical supply
  • Insecure property

If you are a council tenant and require an emergency repair to your property please call 01506 280000.

If any follow up work is required following an emergency repair then the service will arrange for the follow up work to be carried out following the three-week period.

If the repair is of a non-emergency nature the service will advise tenants if they can contact us at a later date.

Gas Servicing

The latest guidance from the HSE states that Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants. This is a legal duty to repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition, to ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue, and to keep a record of each safety check. During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there is a balance between ensuring people, including the vulnerable, are protected from possibly fatal risks arising from carbon monoxide exposure or gas explosion, while doing what we can to protect people from COVID-19

Current guidance from HM Government states that work can still be carried out in people's homes where necessary, eg for reasons of safety, provided that the GOV.UK guidance on social distancing is followed. However there may be some occasions where the gas service cannot go ahead and the council can delay completing the landlords' gas safety check i.e. if tenants are deemed vulnerable or shielding. The council must arrange the gas service as soon as possible after the isolation period has ended. More details on this can be found on the Gas Safe website, you can view the full statement here.

If you are due a gas service Building Services will continue to notify you by letter or a phone call. If you receive a letter please contact our Customer Service Centre immediately on 01506 280000 to make an appointment or to discuss further.

Should there be a gas issue reported then gas repair engineers will be available to call back tenants to help identify any issue and, in some cases, identify a solution over the telephone.  Details of the gas maintenance work that the council is responsible for can be found on the Gas Servicing and Maintenance page.

A reminder that gas leaks are dealt with by Scottish Gas Network (SGN). Details of what you should do if you suspect a gas leak can be found on the Gas Escapes page.


Mutual Exchange Requests to be halted during COVID-19 outbreak

Given the current situation with Covid-19, Housing, Customer and Building Services are only carrying out the most critical visits at this time.

As a result the service will be unable to process any new request for Mutual Exchanges. All applications will be held until further notice.


Rent payment support for tenants

We are aware that our tenants may be concerned about their finances and ability to pay rent given the current situation with Covid-19.

We want to do all we can to support you at this time so if you are at all concerned about paying your rent, please do not hesitate to get in touch at: Contacting the Council

Please remember, you can pay you rent over the phone on 01506 282407 or Pay Online

For more information about paying your rent, please visit the Paying my Rent page.


Changes to Housing Options and Homeless service

The Housing Options Service provided by the council has been reduced due to the impact of Covid 19 following national guidelines. No face to face interviews will be carried out until further notice.

The following is now in place for people requiring urgent housing advice:

  • Anyone requiring to discuss emergency accommodation please contact: 01506 280000 (Monday to Thursday 08.30am to 5.00pm, Friday 08.30am to 4.00pm).  For the out of hours service please contact 01506 280000/0800 032 3450. 
  • For any urgent cases regarding: housing advice such as Notice to quits (NTQ), Notice to Leave (NTL) issues, please email: housingoptionsadvice@westlothian.gov.uk

These measures are in place on a temporary basis and will be kept under constant review to ensure a continued limited service is provided.


Landlord and Letting Agents FAQs

The Scottish Government has released a Q&A for private landlords and tenants given the situation with Covid-19. As you are aware, this is a rapidly evolving situation and the guidance will be updated as things change. Please see:


Tenant participation moves online

In line with national health guidance in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak, all face to face tenant participation work with our tenants and our Housing Network has ceased until further notice. We are inviting tenants to take part in E-Participation via our Facebook Page (just search for West Lothian Tenant Participation) or email TP@westlothian.gov.uk