Social Landlords
General Duties

The government has published guidance for private and social landlords covering possession proceedings, rent arrears and property access during the crisis, as well as some associated issues.

It calls for landlords and tenants to reach agreements over rents and says access to properties should be restricted to “serious and urgent” repairs issues. It also says that landlords’ obligations on repairs have not changed.(published 28 March).

Click here to read the full guidance

Local authorities have also been issued with new guidance covering the enforcement of standards in the rented sector during the outbreak. They have been told to take a pragmatic approach and assess all issues in line with the risk. In particular, on gas and electrical checks they have been reminded that where landlords have taken all reasonable steps to carry out checks they are not in breach of the law.


The Welsh government has provided guidance specifically for social landlords, which can be found here. It includes advice on what to do if a tenant has a confirmed case of coronavirus and advice around entering properties (updated on 31 March).

The Scottish government has issued coronavirus-related frequently asked questions for social landlords, which can be found here. It advises landlords on how and when to carry out repairs, as well as what to do if there is a significant disruption to service delivery (last updated on 14 April).

The guidance on shielding an estimated 1.5 million people with specific health conditions is available here (updated on 17 April).

Possession and evictions

From 27 March, the courts have suspended all ongoing housing possession action for an initial period of 90 days. This means new cases, as well as those already in the system, cannot result in an eviction. Technical guidance on evictions is available here. Further guidance on seeking possession is available below.

This measure will not apply to tenants in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, the Scottish government has published its own Coronavirus Bill, which extends the eviction notice period for evictions to six months, depending on the grounds used. The Scottish Coronavirus Bill can be found here and Inside Housing’s explainer can be found here.

Northern Ireland’s government announced on 16 April that it intends to introduce legislation to extend the eviction notice period in the private rented sector to three months, while courts are not currently registering evictions cases. Social landlords in the region have pledged not to evict anyone for arrears during the crisis – details are available here.


Non-government guidance

The National Housing Federation (NHF) has published information on what housing associations have been doing in response to the outbreak and what the priorities are. Included in the briefing note is the NHF’s key ask from government. The full publication can be found here (published on 24 March). The NHF has also set out the sector’s three main commitments here.

The Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations has published a coronavirus FAQs page aimed at housing association tenants, workers and sector partners, which can be found here.

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations regularly publishes briefings on a variety of coronavirus-related issues, which can be found here.

Community Housing Cymru has a list of coronavirus resources for Welsh housing associations, which can be found here.

click here to read the full guidance

Residential care and supported living

Residential care

This guidance is for care homes, local health protection teams, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and registered providers of accommodation for people who need personal or nursing care. It sets out how to admit and care for residents safely and how to protect care home staff. This now includes the government’s ‘COVID-19: action plan for adult social care’, which outlines plans for increasing PPE for staff, ramping up testing and allowing people to see dying relatives.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates the care sector, wrote to providers on 16 March, available here, announcing a halt to routine inspections and a shift towards more remote measures.

It has since published updated guidance which includes a special COVID-19 framework for providers of health and social care. Information on the framework can be found here. The CQC’s adult social care advice is here and advice for other providers is here.

Additional advice for care providers is available from the Social Care Institute for Excellence website here.

click here to read the full government action plan

Supported living

This separate piece of guidance is aimed at providers of care and support delivered in an individual’s home.

It lays out steps that can be taken to keep services running, alongside advice on what to do if someone in supported living has symptoms of the virus. This includes information on personal protective equipment, cleaning and laundry.

The Scottish government has provided guidance for social or community care and residential settings here. It includes information on cleaning, visitors and caring for someone with the virus (published on 23 March).

The Welsh government’s guidance for social or community care and residential settings can be found here. It includes information on how to provide care to individuals who are self-isolating (published on 17 March).

Northern Ireland’s government has now published guidance for its domiciliary care providers, which can be found here. It includes information about planning and preparation for the outbreak, supply of PPE equipment and advice for care workers concerned about the disease (published on 17 March).

The Northern Irish government has also published advice for nursing and residential care providers, which can be found here. This includes guidance on infection control and advice about visitations to care homes (published on 17 March).

click here to read the full guidance