Frequently asked questions
A complete FAQ sheet is available to download here.
1) Why do landlords need to offer their properties at Local Housing Allowance rates?
This ensures that the let is sustainable and affordable for tenants arriving under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. This is also due to welfare benefit capping restrictions. Rent levels under the scheme must be set within the relevant Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. The rate is dependent on the size of accommodation provided, but cannot exceed that of a two-bedroom property. This ensures the household occupying your property is not subject to the Welfare Benefit cap and can afford to rent your property. LHA rates are currently set until March 2020. LHA rates vary depending on where in the borough your property is located.
- £1,215 within Outer South West London Broad Rental Market Area
- £936 within Outer South London Broad Rental Market Area
2) Can I offer my property if it is bigger than a 2 bedroom sized property?
Yes, but we can only accept the property if the landlord is willing to rent the accommodation at Local Housing Allowance rates applicable to a two bed property as stated in question 1.
3) What is the financial package offered to landlords?
One-off payment of £1,750 before the tenants arrive. This is provided following the signing of an agreement between the council and the landlord.
One month’s deposit to be held in a Government-approved deposit scheme.
One month’s rent in advance.
Budget to bring the property up to the required standard, if needed. This will be carried out by Kingston Council.
Budget to furnish the property if it unfurnished. This will be carried out by Kingston Council
An additional one-off payment may be available if the tenancy is extended by a year.
The project team will help with the letting. They will help to agree the benefit rates and terms for the letting. The team will write a tenancy agreement and a Schedule of Inventory and Condition (number of items and the condition of your property). The project team will also deal with any enquiries in the first twelve months of the let.
All costs incurred while the property is empty will be paid by the council. This is from the date the keys are given to the council and the agreement is signed.
4) Why should I consider the financial package that the council are offering under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme?
Some costs are paid before the tenants arrive to ensure that the landlord is not out of pocket. For example, the Landlord Premium, which is £1,750. This is followed by further payments once the tenancy agreement is signed. The offer, also provides a guarantee by the council that rent will be paid on time. For this scheme, we have arranged that all rent payments are made directly from the council to the landlord.
There may be a further Landlord Premium available if the property is let out for a further year. The project team will be in touch with the landlord before the let is due to expire. This is normally within the last 6 months of the let.
5) How and when will I be paid the Landlord Premium?
This will be paid once the landlord has signed an agreement with the council setting out payments, what help the council can offer, as well as the confidentiality and data protection guidance.
The landlord will also need to be set up as a supplier at the council. To do this, the landlord will need to provide their bank account details.
6) When can I expect to be paid the first month’s rent and deposit?
This will be paid once the tenancy agreement has been signed between the landlord and the tenant. This process will be facilitated by the project team. The tenancy agreement is normally signed within the first week of the tenants arriving. It is not undertaken on the first day, as the tenants will be tired from travelling and adjusting to their new environment. On the same day, the project team will make a list of the furniture in the property and its current condition (Schedule of Inventory and Condition). A copy given to both landlord and tenant and this will be reviewed at the end of the tenancy.
7) Will I be able to claim back any costs, such as loss of rent, Council Tax or utility bills?
Yes. Landlords can claim back costs dating back to the date the property was made available to the council under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme until the date the family moves out of the property. Landlords must provide evidence that these costs were incurred. Please let the project team know, providing paper copies of costs incurred and any receipts that show that these have been paid by the landlord.
8) How can we find out more about the profiles of the families who may come to Kingston?
We are unable to confirm the profiles of families that are currently under United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) protection. We are only able to provide information on the size of family unit and their profiles once the landlord has offered their property. The type of property offered is then relayed to the Home Office and the UNHCR. With this information, the UNHCR are able to select the right type of family to move into the property. Once the family is selected, case data of the family unit is sent through. Therefore, it is only once the landlord confirms the property is available that we can trigger the receipt of the family profile. Family units can take many shapes, including two adults, adults with elderly parents, a single parent with one or more children. The council’s first Syrian family consisted of 3 individuals; 2 parents and a child.
9) What support can I expect from Kingston Council?
The project team will be assigned to the landlord. The team will be the central point of contact for any issues or queries during the first twelve months. As the tenants will be Arabic speaking, a copy of the tenancy agreement is provided translated into Arabic. If the landlord requires an interpreter to communicate with the tenant, this can be arranged via the dedicated team. There is also an integration package delivered by Refugee Action Kingston. The landlord may also need to speak with the council’s refugee case worker.
10) What can I expect when I offer my property to the scheme?
An example timeline of how the process would progress can be found in the FAQ document here. This will depend on how swiftly both parties communicate to progress matters.