Thousand of Ukrainian Refugees Apply to UK Landlords

Landlords are being urged to let their tenants sign up for the Homes for Ukraine scheme and shelter thousands of refugees from Ukraine.

More than 3.3 million people have been displaced and the Guild of Property Professionals says a growing number of enquiries are coming in from tenants who are unsure about the rules.

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Despite a similar scheme for supporting Afghan refugees last year, letting agents are also asking for guidance about the scheme, which launched on Friday. 

Under the new scheme, if a tenant wants to offer accommodation, the property needs to have an available spare room and the property’s landlord needs to give their consent, explains compliance officer Paul Offley:

[It’s] encouraging to see the number of people who are stepping forward with offers of help at this difficult time. 

Offley states that the advice they’re giving is per the instructions received from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities:

  • Where a tenant would like to offer a room, they will firstly need to have an extra room available in their property
  • They would also then also require the consent of the landlord before they go ahead with the process of taking part in the initiative
  • Sponsors will be asked to offer a minimum of six months’ accommodation, which would need to be taken into consideration by both the tenant and the landlord before agreeing to be a host

Ukraine

Could this cause problems for landlords?

If the tenant wants to end their tenancy before the minimum six months is up, this could pose a problem for landlords. 

The Guild said it was expecting more detailed guidance from the government to come through shortly, including:

  • Information around the status of the arrangement
  • Required accommodation standards
  • Checks that will be done on the sponsor, as well as the person they will be hosting

Offley added:

It is important to remember that the sponsor will have to be matched to the person they are hosting.

The government will give out an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to hosts, as tenants will not be able to charge rent to the refugees.

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