14 Jan 2021

New Covid-19 restrictions: impact on the housing sector in Scotland

In this new post, Callum Chomczuk, National director at CIH Scotland clarifies the impact of the latest Covid-19 restrictions announced by the First Minister on 13 January.


Yesterday the First Minister announced further restrictions to slow down the spread of Covid-19, including the move to put current guidance on work within people’s homes (that this should only be taking place where essential) onto a legal footing.


Following this announcement, some CIH members have been in touch to ask whether this move has any impact on landlords’ operational activities.


After speaking with the Scottish Government, they have confirmed that the change should have no material impact on housing providers that were working under previous level 4 guidance. This change however codifies the current practice and gives it a legal basis.


Throughout the pandemic, CIH members have continued to work to the highest level of compliance to ensure the safety of tenants, residents and colleagues. The move to place the guidance on a legal basis underscores the importance of landlords maintaining the correct protocols and procedures, but no change in practice will be required from practitioners, so long as the previous guidance with regards to level 4 areas was being followed.


For clarity, this means work is only permitted within a private dwelling if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household (including stopping more serious problems developing). This includes emergency repairs, safety checks and essential maintenance of occupied and unoccupied properties. Of course, where work is required to take place within a home, all precautions should be taken to ensure this does not put you, your colleagues or any tenants at risk of COVID-19.


New guidance from the Scottish Government, published on Wednesday 13 January, has a section on ‘Tradespeople, home repairs, and working in someone else’s home’ which sets out that essential works can continue with appropriate safeguards. This includes supporting tenants in moving home.


If you have any questions about this announcement or anything else, please do get in touch at scotland@cih.org