As well as a responsibility for yourself and any family, you also have a duty of care to your tenants as a houses in multiple occupation (HMO) landlord.
As a landlord, it is important for you to make your own decisions and arrangements related to your own situation, the characteristics of your tenants and service users and local circumstances. You should take a risk-based approach as the situation develops and you should monitor the situation closely. Any actions and services that relate to the health and safety of your tenants should be your top priority.
Buildings are a hub for spreading disease. If you are a landlord or managing agent running a HMO or bedsit, you should clean more often than usual and use disinfectant cleaning products. For more information on cleaning see GOV.UK: COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings
Tenants should advise you if they have any symptoms and the whole household will need to self-isolate for 10 days.
As a landlord or agent you should take steps to limit the possibility of transmission and help make tenants feel safer:
You should make arrangements for the cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces like front-door handles, as well as common rooms and laundry rooms. You could also have hand-sanitizer located around the property
Ventilate shared kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas as much as possible
Consider the use of a rota system for using all shared facilities
All residents in the house need to clean the bathroom and kitchen after each use by wiping surfaces they have come in contact with
Post the Public Health England self-isolation poster in common areas of your HMOs
Make sure tenants have sufficient WiFi and that the service can support additional usage
Familiarise yourself with the Public Health England guidance on decontaminating your HMOs should tenants become sick with COVID-19
If you need to cancel cleaning services due to a tenant self-isolating, supply tenants with additional cleaning materials
Make sure your tenants have comfortable work stations in their rooms if they are working from home
Make sure that there are adequate arrangements in place for waste collection with either the Council's waste collection service or by a specialist clinical waste contractor
Tenants have been advised on how to treat and store suspect waste from persons in the house showing symptoms - waste should be double bagged and stored for 72hrs and not in a communal area
If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, then either you or the tenant who is displaying symptoms should arrange for this to be collected as a Category B infectious waste, either by the Council if they currently collect your waste or otherwise by a specialist clinical waste contractor
You will be supplied with orange clinical waste bags to place the bags into so the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment
Make sure that all statutory legislation is applied as much as it can be
Keep in mind that your residents will be looking to you for advice on what to do, especially in extreme circumstances like quarantine. One of the best things you can do is stay calm, be prepared, and help educate your tenants.
If you are unable to deliver a particular service, such as a gas service and safety check or undertake an emergency repair, because of staff shortages, you can suspend the Right to Repair in circumstances which you / your contractor has no control over and makes it impossible to do the repair within the maximum time set out. You must advise your tenants if you are suspending Right to Repair.
Waste (including disposable cloths and tissues) from anyone living in the house who are / have been showing symptoms recently should:
put it in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full
place it in a second bin bag and tied
This can then be put it with the normal waste after at least 72 hours.
If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, arrange for collection as a Category B infectious waste, either by your local council or by a specialist clinical waste contractor. They will give orange clinical waste bags to put your bags into so the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment.
Rooms and lounges
Do not let people into your rooms and keep a safe distance from other people in your building when moving around the house
Do not allow visitors into the building without the permission of the landlord or property manager
Please do not hang around or congregate in the hallways, front of building, lounges or kitchens - you must keep a safe distance from people at all times
If you are in any other social housing please contact your housing provider directly for further assistance.
If you are in private rented accommodation and are struggling to pay the rent please contact your landlord in the first instance. If you are worried about not being able to pay the rent and need further specialist advice providers such as Shelter, Citizens Advice and The Money Advice Service will be able to help.
There are a number of financial support options the Council has set up to help residents if they are experiencing financial difficulty. For more information see crisis support