A cyber ‘incident’ has caused massive disruption for thousands of former council house tenants in Fenland trying to contact landlord Clarion Housing.

“We’re very sorry, but we are experiencing IT system issues,” said a Clarion spokesperson.

“This disruption has been caused by a cyber security incident and we are working urgently to restore our systems.”

It is asking residents nationwide – including their 4,000 Fenland tenants - to contact them only if they have an emergency repair.

And tenants can do that by calling 0300 500 8000 or contacting Clarion through its live chat system.

“Some of our emails, IT systems and phone lines are not working as normal,” said the spokesperson.

“We are working urgently with our cyber security partner to restore our systems as soon as we can.”

The spokesperson said: “We rapidly engaged the help of our cyber security partner and they have been helping us to investigate what happened and get us back up and running, but we can’t say for sure when this will be.

“It may take some time to bring our systems fully back online, as it’s important that we do so in a safe and secure way”

Tenants have been advised to still log into their online account to make payments.

But Clarion advises that “the balances displayed on your account may not be up to date and therefore be incorrect.

“The majority of our systems for making rent payments are unaffected by the incident.

“However, if you pay by direct debit, it is possible your payment might not be taken at the usual time.

“We are working to resolve this and ask that you leave your current arrangement in place.

“We will provide an update as soon as we can.”

Many tenants – some of whom have contacted this newspaper – are worried about a data breach.

The Clarion spokesperson said: “A key priority for us is to understand if any data may have been impacted as part of this incident, but at this stage of our investigations, it is just too early to say.

“We take data protection very seriously and once we have established what has happened, we will advise if you need to do anything.”