HMO, Bedsits and common areas Coronavirus infection Guide

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?   

With a rising number of confirmed coronavirus cases, so far, about 6.19 Million worldwide. The public is anxious about how to protect the spaces they move in, like the tube, office cubicles or apartment buildings.

The most common symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) maybe a recent onset of a continuous cough and a high temperature. Anyone with even a mild symptom is now advised, to self-isolate for seven days.

Coronavirus NHS guideline is based, on evidence that the virus is transmitted primarily, through respiratory droplets — the large, sometimes visible droplets. They are expelled when someone coughs or sneezes. The recommendation is to cover your coughs, wash your hands after sneezing, clean surfaces and maintain social distancing.

The Government has released detailed guidance for anyone who needs to self-isolate. The guide includes advice for those sharing households with others.

Coronavirus Resources

Landlords are encouraged to read and watch the following material;

Work carried out in peoples homes

Official Government guidance 

NHS guidance 

Decontamination in non-healthcare settings 

Guidance on Self Isolation  detailed guidance 

Download – Coronavirus poster

Watch Video Regularly Updated – Coronavirus

Public Health England (PHE) has also now released posters which landlords, managers who have control of buildings with a common area including HMO’s.

Coronavirus Self-isolating

It is vital to stay at home to stop coronavirus from spreading.

  • Keep a minimum of 2 metres (3 steps) from other people in your home. Older people or those with long-term health conditions are at most risk.
  • Stay at home, ask friends, family or delivery services to deliver food shopping and medicines. You will need to avoid contact with them.
  • Sleep alone if possible.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water for at 20 seconds or more.
  • Stay away from older people and those with long-term health conditions.
  • Keep hydrated, take painkillers, if required, if advised like paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help with your virus symptoms.

Coronavirus – Face Mask

If you have to go into another room, where there are people while you are self-isolating, you must wash your hands and wear a face mask. If you don’t have a face mask, stay at least 2 metres away from other people. 

Ideally, anyone in a room with you should also wear a face mask. Please do not touch the front of the mask when you are removing it. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after you take it off.

You do not need to wear a face mask when there is no one else in the room with you.

Coronavirus – Ending self-isolation

The NHS is advising you to remain at home for seven days after the incipience of your symptoms. If you feel better after seven days and no longer have a high temperature, you can return to your normal routine. If you have not had any signs of improvement you should seek medical advice, you should contact NHS online at or call NHS on 111.

Repairs to the property?

The Government has published guidance on “work carried out in peoples home” We have placed a link above under resources. If a tenant or anyone in their household is self-isolating, you should delay all none essential urgent repairs.  

Landlords who wish to organise repairs or Safe Gas inspections should communicate with the tenant by email. 

If the tenant is self-isolating, ask them to confirm this by email. After the self-isolation period, you should organise the inspection and or repairs. 

You should send the environmental officer at your local authority an email that you are unable to complete the inspection and explain the circumstances.

If repairs or inspection is urgent, then you will have to attempt to complete the repair, but seek advice from the council environmental officer and or NHS 111. 


Do not shake dirty laundry; this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.

If you do not have a washing machine, then wait a further 72 hours after your seven day isolation period has ended when you can then take your laundry to a public launderette. 

Landlords with HMO’S and Bedsits 

Buildings are efficient at spreading disease, experts see common areas, like lobbies and hallways, as low-risk areas. This is because you are rarely in close contact for a prolonged period with your neighbours. There is a better chance of contracting the virus from a co-worker who sits three feet away, or a family member or roommate.

Experts believe the risk in building common areas as casual, at best. Evidence suggests that the virus is not transmitted through ventilation systems. This is not an illness that can be easily spread through casual contact with family members. However, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Landlords, building managers running HMO’s, Bedsits or serviced offices should clean more often and use disinfectant cleaning products.

Landlords of (HMO’s) should advise their tenants, of the importance of following the hygiene practices, outlined on this page.

Landlords and building managers should take steps to limit the possibility of transmission and make their tenants feel safer. They should be cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic surfaces like front-door handles and elevator buttons, as well as common rooms and laundry rooms. They can also station hand-sanitizer around the building, which could be particularly useful with supplies running low in stores. 

1. Ventilate kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas that are shared as much as possible. 

2. If you can, use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. 

3. use different towels from other people in your house. 

4. All residents in the home, need to clean the bathroom, kitchen after each use by wiping surfaces you have come in contact with.

Landlords should post signs encouraging residents to be vigilant about keeping their homes disinfected. 

Any members who are affected can contact us by completing our enquiry form, and our advice team will contact you promptly. This page will be updated daily if and when necessary.

The British Landlords Association is a Free national landlords association. It takes 80 seconds to sign up and become a member. Join us now.

Author: Marc Attwater

Date: 3rd of June 2020 (updated 03/06/20)


This post is for general use only and is not intended to offer legal, tax, or investment advice; it may be out of date, incorrect, or maybe a guest post. You are required to seek legal advice from a solicitor before acting on anything written hereinabove.

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