Shared accommodation - Stop the spread at Home


What is shared housing?


There are a number of different types of shared accommodation. These include:

    • Flats or apartment buildings where each person or family has a contained living area including bathroom and kitchen, but where they may share stairs or lifts and hallways.
    • A house in multiple occupation (HMO) where each person or family has a room of their own, but use of communal kitchens, bathrooms, halls and stairs.
    • A hotel or hostel where there are shared facilities including lounges, halls and stairs.


How do I minimise the risk?


For those living in shared housing, social distancing may be different for your household as it is these communal and shared areas where coronavirus is most likely to be spread. There are a number of things that you can do to reduce the risk to you, and the people that share your living space.

    • Limit social contact with your housemates, neighbours, or others living in your building
    • Follow the Government guidelines to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or hand sanitizer. Always wash your hands immediately before going out, and as soon as you return
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue.
    • Do not invite visitors into your home unless they are essential carers, who should always ware the appropriate PPE.
    • If you want to speak to family members or friends who do not live with you, then use social media or your phone.
    • If you need to use a shared laundry facility, or laundrette, do not shake dirty laundry and clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products.
    • If you have been isolating, wait a further 72 hours after your isolation period has ended to use a public laundrette.
      Household waste can be disposed of normally, however if in the family that you live with has had covid-19, or might have, any personal waste (such as tissues) should be double bagged and store for 72 hours before throwing away with the regular rubbish.
    • Avoid communal areas if possible, and do not share cutlery or crockery, kitchen utensils or towels, especially if you are vulnerable or self-isolating.
    • Try and keep shared, communal areas well ventilated.
    • Keep all shared areas well cleaned. Consider setting up a rota for use, and ensure that everyone cleans after they have had their turn
    • If someone is having to self-isolate and must share a bathroom or kitchen, request that they use the space after everyone else has been, that they thoroughly clean the space and that they eat in their own room. They should also wear a mask when in a communal area.


What do I do if I feel unwell?


If you live and shared home with others, you must tell the manager, landlord and other people that you live with if you:

    • Feel unwell and think you have may have coronavirus
    • Have been contacted to self-isolate

For a HMO, the whole building is usually treated as one household for the purposes of self-isolation, meaning everyone needs to follow the self-isolation rules if someone in the building has symptoms. However, this can depend on the layout of the HMO and your landlord will be able to get more advice on how best to self-isolate to reduce the spread of infection in the building.


You should follow the government guidance


Where can I get some support?

You can contact the Huntingdonshire Community Hub to search for, ask for, or to offer help in your local area.

Monday - Thursday 08:45 to 17:00
Friday: 08:45 to 16:30

Phone: 01480 388388