Scottish govt. issues pandemic hygiene guidelines following tenants’ union intervention

The tenants’ union Living Rent has been conducting a campaign called Hygiene Kills The Virus, demanding that landlords resume block cleaning operations that have been suspended during the lockdown

May 31, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Living Rent demanded that the government intervene to ensure that landlords resume block cleaning services.

On May 29, Friday, Scotland’s ministry of housing issued guidelines for appropriate pandemic hygiene measures to all landlords. The government made such an intervention following a campaign by the tenants’ union, Living Rent, from Glasgow demanding the resumption of block cleaning operations. These operations had been halted by many landlords during the period of the lockdown. The tenants’ union had initiated a campaign called ‘Hygiene Kills The Virus’ to press this demand.

On Friday, Living Rent said, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, people living in high-density housing across Scotland have seen vital block cleaning services being withdrawn from their communities by their landlords. Living Rent members in these blocks have been organizing to tackle this serious problem, and the threat to their health it has posed”.

“Today we’re delighted to announce that Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has done the right thing and issued clear guidance on appropriate pandemic hygiene measures to all social landlords,” the organization said. It added that its social and council tenants had worked hard to document evidence, negotiate the reinstatement of cleaning with individual landlords, and pressurized the Scottish Government to issue across the board guidance on how to keep tenants and cleaning workers safe.

The recently published government guideline states that (1) It is essential that there is *at least daily* cleaning of touchpoints, and deep cleaning of lifts, and regular cleaning of stairwells. (2) There need for clear and prominent posters on the ‘one in the lift’ policy. (3) The need for social distancing, encouraged by clear markings. (4) Workers must be supplied with PPE as per government guidance. (5) Tenants must be informed of any change in service.

The Living Rent group said that volunteer groups will make sure that these guidelines are properly implemented by landlords across Glasgow.

Scotland has recorded over 15,000 cases of COVID-19 and reported over 2,350 hospital deaths.