Shared and subletting

Sharing a home with other people can be great fun, but it’s important to choose carefully who you live with, and to check that you understand your rights.

Your rights will also be affected by the type of tenancy you have. See the sections on council tenancies, housing association tenancies and private tenancies for more information.


If you are living in shared accommodation you must tell those you live with if you:

  • feel unwell and think you may have coronavirus
  • have been told to self-isolate.

You must minimise visiting shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas as much as possible.

If you can, find suitable alternative self-contained space until you are fully recovered. This could be in the same building.

If there is no separate area, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of infecting others:

  • keep shared spaces well ventilated if possible
  • stay 2 metres from other people and not do not share a bed with another person
  • if the toilet or bathroom facilities are shared, you should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using regular cleaning products before being used by anyone else
  • if a separate bathroom is not available, consider drawing up a rota for washing or bathing, with the person who is unwell using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom themselves (if they are able or it is appropriate)
  • use separate body and hand towels from other people
  • avoid using shared kitchens whilst others are present
  • do not share crockery and cutlery
  • take your meals back to your room to eat and use a dishwasher (if available) to clean and dry crockery and cutlery.

For up to date Welsh Government guidance on self-isolating in shared accommodation, click here.

Choosing who to live with

Moving in with someone is a big step. Think carefully before you decide.

Whose name the agreement is in

Before you move in with someone, you will need to decide whose name the tenancy agreement is in. Whatever you decide will have a big affect on your rights.

Things to agree in advance

Whoever you decide to live with, it helps if everyone agrees on some ground rules before moving in together.


A lodger is someone who rents a room in her/his landlord’s home and who shares living space with her/him.


Subtenants rent from an intermediary tenant rather than the owner of the property.

Problems with housemates

Problems with housemates can be hard to resolve. What you can do usually depends on what the problem is and whose name the agreement is in.

Houses in multiple occupation

Some houses or flats that are occupied by more than one household are classed as houses in multiple occupation (or HMO).

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

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This page was last updated on: Rhagfyr 3, 2020

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.