Offering a privately let, self contained property
If you are interested in renting a property to a Syrian refugee household and would like to find out more information, you can contact Nighat Taimuri, Programme Manager, on Tel: 0208 547 4686 Email: [email protected] who will be able to advise you further.
Who are the Syrian refugees considered under this scheme?
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees identifies Syrian refugees to be put forward for the resettlement scheme. They are screened for security and assessed to meet the criteria including being
Victims of torture or violence,
Women and girls at risk, and
Having physical or medical needs
The vulnerable people resettled will fit into one or more of these categories. Their religious backgrounds will vary. Some will speak English and some will not. In the main, they will speak Arabic and have a good level of education.
What will they need?
A secure and self-contained property in the Royal Borough of Kingston with its own front door let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for at least 12 months. We would recommend up to a 2-3 year let as this provides more stability for the families.
How will their rent be paid?
The Council can pay an initial holding deposit to keep the property vacant for up to 2 months until the refugee household can take up their tenancy, this payment will be funded through the Home Office resettlement scheme. One month’s deposit can be provided as an advance upon the signing of the tenancy. Once the refugee household arrives, they will be entitled to claim housing benefit to meet the rent. The rent agreed on the tenancy must be within the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates applicable for a property in the Royal Borough of Kingston, limited to that appropriate to the size of property but not exceeding LHA levels for a two bedroom property. Please visit this website link for more information: http://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/search.aspx.
Rent levels under the scheme must be set within the relevant Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate, however, in order to avoid tenants being affected by the benefit cap, we cannot offer a rent any higher than that of a two-bedroom property.
LHA rates are set from April 2105 until March 2020 for two bedroom sized property at:
- £1,215 within Outer South West London Broad Rental Market Area
- £936 within Outer South London Broad Rental Market Area
To compensate for the lower rent levels, a ‘one off’ incentive payment of £1,750 can be made in the first year. There may be a further incentive payment for renewing a tenancy after 12 months.
Refugees will have a caseworker allocated to them on arrival who will support them to ensure their housing benefit claim is made immediately.
Will the property need to be furnished?
Refugees usually arrive with very little. They will not have money or knowledge of the systems to help furnish the property themselves, so it will help if basic furnishings are provided as part of the letting. White goods such as a fridge will also be required. However, if the property is unfurnished and there are no white goods, the cost of providing these will be met by the scheme and if required, can be arranged by the Council. It will help if the property is furnished (without any personal effects) as this will preserve the funding to be used to furnish other homes.
Please note any furnishings or white goods provided will need to comply with current safety standards. There is also a budget for decorating your property to bring it up to the required standard. The Council can advise further on this.
Who will I deal with in the Council if I have questions now or once they arrive?
Nighat Taimuri, Programme Manager, Tel: 0208 547 4686 will be able to advise you further. You will sign an agreement with the council confirming your participation in the scheme. This will trigger the £1,750 initial payment.
The Royal Borough of Kingston Housing department will act as facilitator on your behalf. You can liaise with the team case worker for any issues that may arise.