• Contact Us

Making Premises COVID-Secure - What Should Charities Consider?

on Wednesday, 29 July 2020.

What are some of the practical considerations from a landlord/tenant perspective that charities should bear in mind when assessing whether their premises are COVID-secure?

In addition to carrying out a coronavirus (COVID-19) risk assessment to comply with health and safety law, charities also need to think about putting in place arrangements to make their premises Covid-secure for staff and visitors in accordance with government guidance.

Physical Alterations to Workplaces

Measures are likely to require physical changes to workplaces, such as new screens, dividers and floor markings to comply with social distancing guidelines. Some changes may be more substantial, such as the installation of partitioning walls, or the redirection of conduits to create separated workstations. Charity tenants will need to consider what consents they need to make any of these changes, and also whether they can be undone in the future without the need for further consent.

Division of Common Areas

Many buildings include common areas, such as waiting rooms, lobbies, lifts and stairs. Charity tenants will need to consider with their landlords whether conditions can be imposed or agreed for the use of these common areas to preserve social distancing. For example, this may include reserving certain staircases for certain groups, setting up dividers in other common areas, introducing a one-way system or banning the use of certain areas entirely.


The public has become accustomed to more regular hand washing. It is likely that workplaces will also need to be cleaned more frequently to tackle the spread of coronavirus, including deep cleans at regular intervals and more frequent rubbish and refuse collection. Charity tenants will need to agree with their landlords who should be responsible for any additional hygiene and who should bear the costs.

Hours of Use

The Government has suggested that workers stagger their times of work, to minimise contact between individuals. Charity tenants will need to consider with their landlords whether agreed hours of use need to be extended and other services (such as cleaning) rearranged to accommodate. All parties will need to make sure that any changes to working patterns do not breach any planning conditions or covenants affecting the land.

Mandatory Measures and Recommendations

Many leases require parties to comply with regulations or recommendations made by public authorities or by insurers. In such cases, charity tenants will need to make sure that they follow those recommendations. In the case of conflict between requirements and other terms of the lease, the parties will need to consider (and if unclear, agree) which will prevail.

Other Measures

Many leases also allow landlords to impose other measures on use of the property, often in line with good estate management. Charity tenants should consider whether any other measures, such as the mandatory use of masks within the building, should be agreed for the mutual benefit of all.

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to work together to find ways to keep workers safe on their return. Where lease terms need to be relaxed, landlords and tenants should be realistic about what they can expect and for how long those measures may continue. It is good practice to record any agreements reached or measures imposed, and the reasons for them, so that they remain clear when in force and can be undone or explained in the future.

If you are a charity landlord or a tenant and would like to discuss changes which need to be made to a workplace to help workers return to work, please contact Katie Hickman in our Real Estate team on 07557 528 936, or complete the form below.

Get in Touch

First name(*)
Please enter your first name.

Last name(*)
Invalid Input

Email address(*)
Please enter a valid email address

Please insert your telephone number.

How would you like us to contact you?

Invalid Input

How can we help you?(*)
Please limit text to alphanumeric and the following special characters: £.%,'"?!£$%^&*()_-=+:;@#`

See our privacy page to find out how we use and protect your data.

Invalid Input