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Coronavirus: FAQs for homeowners

Last updated: 21st January 2021

FAQs about the Rated People service during the Coronavirus period

Should I invite a tradesperson into my home to do work during the coronavirus pandemic?

ENGLAND

The government’s advised that tradespeople in England can carry out work inside people’s homes during the national lockdown (in place from 5th January 2021). They are also exempt from the gatherings limit in a home, as long as they’re there for work. This is as long as you, the tradesperson and both your households are well and have no coronavirus symptoms. The tradesperson must also follow the COVID-Secure guidance.

A tradesperson shouldn’t carry out work in your home if anyone in your household is self-isolating, unless the work is to sort a problem which is a direct risk to your safety, like emergency plumbing or repairs, and if they’re willing to do so.

WALES

From Friday 20th December 2020, the whole of Wales is at alert level 4. The Welsh government has confirmed that tradespeople can legally enter your home for reasons such as carrying out repairs and maintenance, activities supporting a house move, gardening, domestic cleaning and construction work.

Tradespeople should only work in your home if they can do it safely and they, the homeowner and their respective households are well and have no coronavirus symptoms. They must also follow all the reasonable measures and the guidance on working in other people’s homes.

The government has recommended that no work is carried out in a household where someone is isolating, unless it is to repair a fault or to carry out an adaptation to allow you to stay in your property. Additional precautions should be taken in these instances, to keep both you and the tradesperson safe. Public Health Wales can advise you in these specific cases. Find out more about the regulations around having building, repair or maintenance work done in your home on Gov.wales.

NORTHERN IRELAND

From Saturday 26th December 2020, additional restrictions are in place in Northern Ireland. The government has confirmed that tradespeople can continue to enter people’s homes to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries, unless they are specifically required to close under the regulations.

The tradesperson should follow the public health advice and regulations whilst they’re in your home, including keeping a 2-metre distance from you. No tradesperson should enter your home if they, anyone in their household, or your household, has coronavirus symptoms. Read more about having work done in your home on NI Direct.

SCOTLAND

From 5th January 2021, mainland Scotland is in a temporary lockdown (some islands will remain at Level 3) meaning you can only leave your house or garden for an essential purpose. The Scottish government has confirmed that you can leave your home for work.

The Scottish government has also confirmed that tradespeople can enter other people’s homes to carry out essential work, such as:

  • Utility (electricity, gas, water, telephone, broadband) safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations (where they can’t be delayed).
  • Repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the health and safety of the household.
  • Deliveries, installation or repairs of key household appliances and furniture such as fridges, washing machines and cookers.
  • House move-related work, such as furniture removal.
  • Domestic cleaning for people in vulnerable circumstances and/or living with a disability, who are unable to clean their own home as a result of that circumstance or disability, in order to support a clean and safe living environment for them.

When working inside your home, tradespeople should follow the guidance on working safely, including wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing. Work can take place as long as you, the tradesperson and everyone in both of your households are well and have no coronavirus symptoms.


We’re really impressed by how vigilant tradespeople are being with their hygiene and safety, while they continue to help with home improvement work. Find more information on how to have work done safely in your home on our Homeowner Advice Centre.

Can I still post a job during the coronavirus pandemic?

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 sort out the garden! 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.

You should follow the guidance for your country and local area regarding which specific jobs you can have done in and around your home. Find out which types of work you can get done in your area, in our FAQ above.

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.

You should follow the guidance for your country and local area regarding which specific jobs you can have done in and around your home. Find out which types of work you can get done in your area, in our FAQ above.

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. However, we’re advising all our homeowners and tradespeople to take extra precautions.

Examples of the extra coronavirus precautions we’ve suggested our tradespeople take:

  • 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. Plus, 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. These include 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 due to coronavirus?

We’re all in this one together. 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 or you’re in lockdown. You can still attend house viewings (at the moment, initial viewings tend to be virtual and any in-person ones will be by appointment only), 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. This includes maintaining social distancing and wearing a face covering.


Note: You must follow the restrictions for your local area. Find out the local restriction tiers for each area in England on Gov.uk. You can also view the UK government guidelines on Gov.uk.

Note: Countries may approach the different phases of lockdown differently. This guidance is in line with the UK government’s advice and is being followed in England. See the specific government websites for any differences.

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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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