UK Landlords – can you offer shelter for Ukrainian refugees?
Private UK landlords are being urged to consider what accommodation they might have available to house fleeing Ukrainian refugees. The ongoing war in Ukraine is having a devastating effect, and the UK government is responding by relaxing immigration laws. And just this week, Priti Patel announced 100,000 more Ukrainians refugees will be permitted to seek sanctuary in the UK. However, Landlords need more support if they are to help house fleeing Ukrainians, according to the National Residential Landlords Association.
How are UK laws changing for Ukrainian refugees?
In the announcement made by Priti Patel, she stated:
“Where family members of British nationals do not meet the usual eligibility criteria but pass security checks, UK Visas and Immigration will give them permission to enter the UK outside the rules for 12 months and is prioritising all applications to give British nationals and any person settled in the UK the ability to bring over their immediate Ukrainian family members.” She also added that the government was extending visas for Ukraine temporary workers in some sectors. These new changes will allow workers to stay until at least December 2022.
Homes for Ukraine Scheme
The UK Government has announced its Homes for Ukraine scheme, calling for sponsors to register their interest in providing accommodation to those fleeing the conflict. Sponsors are asked to provide homes or a spare room rent-free, for as long as they are able, with a minimum stay of six months. The government is offering a £350 per month ‘optional thank you payment’ to UK households who provide accommodation.
How can UK landlords help?
You can offer an empty property to the scheme, but you will not be able to charge rent. The £350 thank you payment cannot be used to top up any rent. And it’s unclear at the moment whether Ukrainians arriving in the UK under the sponsorship scheme would be eligible for Universal Credit.
Can tenants offer spare rooms to the scheme?
Tenants can offer spare rooms to the scheme, but they will need the landlord’s consent to take part. When refugees are being matched with available properties, there will be checks made to ensure the landlord has given permission.
Visit the homes for Ukraine page for more information.