Staying Safe in Shared Housing

Staying safe when you live in shared housing and preventing the spread of coronavirus can be even more difficult when you’re living closely with others, especially if there are vulnerable people in the house.

We have put together some tips and safety advice, which can help you if you are living with your family, friends, housemates or in a bedsit.

Staying safe in shared housing

Staying safe in multigenerational households

What to do if you have COVID symptoms


Stay safe in shared housing

Live in a house share or bedsit (HMO)? Be extra careful as you are more at risk from COVID-19.

Preventing the spread of coronavirus can be more difficult when living in close proximity to other people.

There is a new strain of COVID-19 which spreads even faster, and the number of cases is worryingly high in London. Around 1 in 3 people have no symptoms, so will be spreading it without realising.

It’s really important that you keep following public health advice to keep yourself and others safe:

  • If you have symptoms, do not use shared facilities at the same time as other people
  • Do not invite visitors into your home
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Clean the bathroom and kitchen with household cleaning products more frequently
  • Clean things people touch the most such as taps, tables, door handles, light switches and remote controls
  • Open windows regularly

Support and advice

If you are living in university accommodation, and need support or advice on anything coronavirus-related, speak to you university's Welfare Office.

We know that this is a challenging time for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re struggling to cope with the death of a loved one, you’re worried about staff or students not following public health advice, you’re concerned about someone’s physical or mental health, or you need support to self-isolate, please speak to the welfare office.

For more information:

Stay safe in multigenerational households

In a large family who all live together it may be more difficult to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to those that are vulnerable.

It’s really important that you keep following public health advice to keep yourself and others safe:

  • If you have symptoms, do not use the kitchen and bathroom at the same time as other people
  • Use separate towels for bathing and wiping your hands
  • Do not invite visitors into your home
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap, for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean the bathroom and kitchen with household cleaning products more frequently
  • Clean things people touch the most such as taps, tables, door handles, light switches and remote controls
  • Open windows regularly

Further advice on looking after those with symptoms of COVID-19:

Where possible one person should carry out essential tasks outside the home. When returning home from essential travel (grocery shopping and medical appointments only) ensure you follow these basic rules:

  • Remove gloves or other protective clothing.
  • Leave your outdoor clothes in a place away from living areas.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly on arrival before touching any surfaces or mixing with others in the house.
  • Whilst out of the house maintain all social distancing rules and do no not come into close contact with anyone outside your household.

What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms

If you've got COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and book a free COVID test. Everyone in your house will have to self-isolate for 14 days as well.

If you are worried about symptoms, or someone you live with, call NHS 111. In an emergency, dial 999.