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Covid-19 advice and information for houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

Information for landlords

As well as a responsibility for yourself and any family, you also have a duty of care to your tenants as an (HMO) landlord.

As a landlord, it is important for you to make your own decisions and arrangements related to your 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
Tenants should advise you if they have any symptoms and they must follow the current guidance

If a tenant is showing symptoms of COVID-19 advise all other tenants in the house by email or text. All tenants of your HMO will need to social distance and avoid entering other tenants rooms.

As a landlord or agent you should take steps to limit the possibility of transmission and help make tenants feel safer.

Examples of what you can do as a landlord to protect tenants.

  • 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. This can be achieved by providing cleaning products and disposable cloths for the tenants to use
  • 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. Please provide cleaning products and cloths in communal areas.
  • 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 the HMO 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
  • Provide paper towels and a bin for each wash had basin used for handwashing
  • 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
  • Make sure that 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

Keep in mind that your residents will be looking to you for advice on what to do, especially in extreme circumstances. One of the best things you can do is stay calm, be prepared, and help educate your tenants.