Advice

Coronavirus: FAQs for homeowners

Last updated: 20th October 2020

FAQs about the Rated People service during the Coronavirus period

Should I invite a tradesperson into my home to do work?

ENGLAND

The government’s advised that tradespeople in England can carry out work in people’s homes as long as the tradesperson and anyone in their household is well and has no coronavirus symptoms, and they can stand 2 metres apart from anyone else in your house. They shouldn’t carry out work in any households that are self-isolating, unless the work is to sort a problem which is a direct risk to the safety of the household, like emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so.

The six-person limit on groups only applies to social gatherings, such as when you’re seeing friends and family. So, tradespeople can still work safely in and around your home without breaking the law, even if you have a household of six already.

The exception to the six-person rule for tradespeople includes homes in areas with a high or very high local COVID alert level.

WALES

From Friday 23rd October 2020 in Wales, a firebreak lockdown is starting. So, tradespeople will only be able to carry out work inside other people’s homes if it’s urgent or to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to safety. Unfinished work that was started before the 23rd October cannot be completed after this date, unless it’s urgent or if it would be unsafe to leave the work incomplete. The tradesperson can re-enter your home to make sure that the environment is safe for you, and to collect any belongings that they’ve left, such as tools. Read more about how the firebreak lockdown in Wales affects tradespeople on Gov.wales.

NORTHERN IRELAND

From Friday 16th October 2020, additional COVID-19 regulations have been introduced in Northern Ireland for four weeks. Households aren’t allowed to mix indoors, however there are some exceptions. Tradespeople are allowed to go into people’s homes to carry out work, such as repairs, installations and deliveries.

SCOTLAND

The Scottish government has confirmed that work can be carried out inside homes, as long as both the tradesperson and the homeowner are well and not showing any coronavirus symptoms, and that nobody inside either household is self-isolating. If the homeowner is self-isolating, then work can only be carried out in their home if it’s to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing. If you’re in this situation, then you can find more advice on the Health Protection Scotland website.


We’re really impressed by how vigilant tradespeople are being with their hygiene and safety, while they continue to help with home improvement work. You can find more information on how to have work done safely in your home in our Coronavirus: How to have work done safely in your home article.

Can I still post a job?

We’re accepting new job posts on Rated People and our tradespeople are still available to help with your work. We’re seeing more and more homeowners post jobs – from indoor work such as loft conversions, floor fitting and painting/decorating, to outdoor work to get the garden sorted! You might also need professional help for unexpected issues, like a burst or blocked pipe, or a broken heating system. Whatever you have in mind, getting work done where it’s safe to do so, can be a great way to show support for local businesses at a time where business is still slower overall and more challenging for the self-employed.

Have you still got tradespeople available to help with my job?

We’ve still got thousands of experts ready to help whenever you need them, whether that’s a cleaner to do a commercial or domestic deep clean, a pest controller to get rid of unwanted guests, or a driveway specialist to revamp your home’s exterior. Our tradespeople are on hand to help with your jobs, providing they can do so safely.

What measures have you put in place to protect homeowners and tradespeople?

Your wellbeing and the wellbeing of our tradespeople will always be the most important thing to us. We know it’s an uncertain time, but we want to reassure you that we’re following the latest coronavirus advice and recommendations from the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help keep you safe and well.

You can use Rated People to find a tradesperson just as you usually would, but we’re advising all our homeowners and tradespeople to take extra precautions, such as:

  • Don’t meet and allow work to go ahead if you have any of the symptoms associated with the virus, like a high temperature, a loss of sense of smell or taste, or a new, continuous cough – even if they seem mild. If anyone in your household has symptoms, stay at home for the appropriate length of time.
  • Consider ways to reduce contact, such as sending photos or a video to enable tradespeople to quote over the phone. Our Protected Payments service can be a useful service for you and a tradesperson to consider using during this time. It’s digital so you won’t need to meet to pay for work, and your money will be protected if a job needs to get put on hold. Read more info.

We’ve also asked our tradespeople to take additional hygiene precautions such as washing their hands more regularly, using hand sanitiser and bringing their own beverages to a job.

We’re staying on top of the daily government recommendations to make sure we’re communicating the latest advice. If you’re having home improvement work done during this time, please read our recommendations for having work done safely. This brings together the latest government advice and our top tips to help you protect yourself and any tradespeople carrying out work for you. We’ll continue to update this as more advice comes in. We’re also in frequent contact with our tradespeople to provide them with the latest recommendations for completing work safely too. You can read these on our Trade Advice Centre.

What happens if a tradesperson can’t complete my job because they’re self-isolating?

We’re all in this one together and so we’re asking all homeowners to be understanding if a job needs to get rescheduled over the coming weeks. Tradespeople are doing their best to keep their businesses running when it’s safe to do so, so if they need to self-isolate, they’ll be doing that to help keep you safe and well.

Can I move home during the coronavirus pandemic?

Yes. The government has confirmed that you can move home during the coronavirus pandemic, even if you live in a high alert level local area. You can still attend house viewings, and estate/letting agents and removal firms can continue to work.

Whatever stage you’re at in the house move process, you must follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes maintaining social distancing and wearing a face covering.

Note: If there’s a lockdown announced in the regional area(s) that you work or live in, in addition to the national lockdown, the government says that you must follow all instructions from the relevant local authority. Check which alert level your postcode is on using the government’s postcode checker. You can also find out more about how local COVID alert levels work on Gov.uk.

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One Comment

  1. Wow, Many thanks for emailing this Government advice on working safely from homes – I am waiting on a full flat renovation to start and the information therein is very helpful.

    I’ve haven’t seen any other organisation or media outlet publish this advice.

    Again thankyou

    Clive J Kendall

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