Skip to main content

Background

Please note that as this situation is rapidly changing and is led by the UK government. Please check Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do on GOV.UK for announcements.

The Public Health Wales Coronavirus page gives a daily statement which is updated daily at 12pm.
  
Further information can be found on:

This guidance document is designed to provide specific guidance for private sector tenants across Wales.

This document will be updated regularly as further information, guidance and support is made available.

Stay at home

The latest advice is to stay at home, and only leave the house for essential reasons including:

  • only go outside for food, exercise, health reasons or essential work
  • stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Self-isolating

Alongside adhering to the most current public health guidance, it is important to consider maintaining communication with your landlord and/or managing agent.

If you have to self-isolate, then we would suggest that you make your landlord and/or managing agent aware. This is of particular importance where your landlord and/or managing agent may have:

  • arranged and/or due to arrange a viewing on the property
  • arranged and/or due to arrange a repair at the property
  • arranged and/or due to arrange maintenance on the property
  • arranged a visit to the property for any other reason.

We suggest that you should make your landlord and/or managing agent aware of alternative arrangements to get in contact with you through email, telephone or by text or where this isn’t possible, through a family member or a friend.

If you live in accommodation where you share spaces such as a kitchen, bathroom or living space, you should let the others that you live with know that you are self-isolating and follow the guidance on isolation: Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Shared living spaces

If you have read the medical advice, and have decided and/or been advised to self-isolate, wherever possible, you should separate yourself from other people in your household.

Some of you will live in shared spaces which makes this particularly challenging. You should minimise the time you spend in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas as much as possible and keep shared spaces well ventilated. Ensure regular cleaning of shared spaces including all surfaces.

If you do share a toilet and/or bathroom, it is important that you clean them after you have used them every time (e.g. wiping surfaces you have come in contact with). You could consider drawing up a rota for showering/bathing, with the tenant self-isolating using the facilities last, before they thoroughly clean the shower, bath, sink and toilet.

If you share a kitchen with others, avoid using it whilst others are present. Take your meals back to your room to eat. If you have one, use a dishwasher to clean and dry your used crockery and cutlery. If this is not possible, wash them using your usual washing up liquid and warm water and dry them thoroughly, remembering to use a separate tea towel.

You should only use your own toothbrush, and use separate eating and drinking utensils (including cups and glasses in the bathroom and bedroom), dishes, drinks, towels, washcloths and bedlinen. You should not share these items with other members of your household, and make sure that you thoroughly clean the area you have used with an anti-bacterial cleaning fluid.

If you have your own garden it is fine to use it as long as you keep 2 metres away from other members of your household and neighbours. If possible they should use the outside area separately.

Caring responsibilities

If you are employed, you are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on you (a ‘dependant’) in an unexpected event or emergency. This would apply to situations related to coronavirus (COVID-19). For example:

  • if you have children that you need to look after or arrange childcare for because their school has closed
  • to help your child or another dependant if they’re sick, or need to go into isolation or hospital

There’s no statutory right to pay for this time off, but some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or workplace policy. You may be entitled to Universal Credit during this time, and can find out here: Universal Credit on GOV.UK

If you are co-parenting, further advice can be found here: COVID-19 guidance for children and families on Cafcass website.

Mental wellbeing whilst self-isolating

We understand that for some people self-isolation can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings being affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping.

There are simple things you can do that may help, such as staying in touch with friends and relatives on the phone or by social media. It is also important to keep active and exercise, even if self-isolating within your home.

There are also resources you can use, including Every Mind Matters and Good Thinking. Some people who have self-isolated have found it useful to re-connect with a hobby or learn a new skill through an online course.

Change in legislation: evictions

The Welsh Government is doing all it can to support people who rent in Wales. UK government’s Covid Bill will provide additional protection to tenants by extending the period in which a notice of eviction can be served to 3 months. These measures will also come into force in Wales.

The provision will protect tenants in Wales from eviction for a reasonable and specified period of time, in recognition of the uncertainty arising from the coronavirus pandemic. These measures will delay when a landlord can start court proceedings to seek possession of a property, by requiring them to provide tenants with 3 months’ notice of their intention to possess.

These changes will apply to secure, assured, assured shorthold, introductory and demoted tenancies and tenancies under the Rents Act 1977, thereby covering most tenants in the private and social rented sectors.

These measures have been designed as a temporary change, to provide tenants with additional support at this time. Accordingly, the provision proposes that the measures will be in place for 6 months, until the 30 September this year.

To enable the Welsh Ministers to continue to respond quickly, powers are included to extend by secondary legislation the notice period to up to 6 months and to extend the period of time for which it is applicable.

Financial difficulty and rent arrears

If you have to self-isolate and as a direct result will experience difficulties paying your rent, talk to your landlord and/or managing agent at the earliest opportunity to make them aware of the challenges you face, as they may be able to put a plan in place to help you repay any money owed or provide you with a rent holiday (if they are receiving a mortgage holiday themselves). Separate landlord and managing agent guidance which can be found under the Housing section.

If you are entitled to Universal Credit with housing costs then you may be entitled to make a claim for Discretionary Housing Payments. Further information can be found here: Claiming Discretionary Housing Payments on GOV.UK

For those eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and self-isolating as result of Coronavirus – COVID 19, you will be able to get SSP from the first day you’re self-isolating and cannot work. More information can be found here: Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) on GOV.UK

The latest advice from the UK government about making a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance, can be found here: Support for those affected by COVID-19 on GOV.UK

Guidance to help you make a claim for Universal Credit can be found here Universal Credit on GOV.UK

If you have concerns around losing your job, or have been made redundant, information on support that may be available to you can be found on the Working Wales website.

You may also want to contact the Job Centre Plus, you can find your local office here: Contact Jobcentre Plus on GOV.UK

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, or have been served with a notice to leave your property, you should contact your local authority. Enter your postcode to find details about your local authority here: Find your local council on GOV.UK

Further resources

For help and further advice contact Shelter Cymru on 08000 495 495 or Citizens Advice Bureau Wales on 03444 77 2020.

For information to support tenants during this pandemic, see Housing advice: coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Shelter Cymru website.

Share this page