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Homes for Ukraine scheme

Published: 05/05/2022 By Matthew Hunt

Updated guidance for landlords and tenants.
 
The UK government announced on the 14 march 2022 that UK individuals, community groups, business and charities can register their interest in supporting Ukrainians fleeing their country via the governments new Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Under the scheme people who are kind enough and able to sponsor refugees are required to commit to the scheme for a minimum period of 6 months and provide rooms or a whole property for individuals or families to stay in. If a sponsor has given accommodation and thereon does not wish to continue, plenty of notice should be given, i.e. 2 or so months so suitable arrangements can be made.
 
If a Landlord wishes to use a rental property under the scheme, then the current guidance is unclear as to whether right to rent checks will need to be done. Propertymark has outlined that no checks need to be done and no rent is being charged. This however has not be confirmed by the government.

Landlords or individuals who wish to provide accommodation rent free for a minimum of 6 months will be entitled to a payment of £350 per month for up to 12 months.

If a tenant of a property wishes to provide accommodation under the scheme, they will need the consent of the Landlord/letting agent. The Government will also carry out checks that the landlords permission has been granted. If accommodation is given then landlords and lettings agents need to be aware of the legal requirements around the tenancy, a top up of the £350 would grant tenancy rights and could create a tenancy resulting in compliance to all the legal requirements of a tenancy agreement. Legal interpretation means rent does not always have to be ‘money’ and can be accepted as ‘monies worth’ ie. Gardening or redecorating (treated as a rental payment).
 
Finally the accommodation must be fit for purpose, suitable for people to live in.