Renting your property out to Asylum Seekers and refugees, particularly through local councils or Community Sponsorship Groups, is something that a lot of landlords don’t know much about. The lack of information around this kind of rental often leaves room for misinformation, myths or assumptions that can be harmful to the programs when really, the reality is very different.
Renting to refugees and asylum seekers doesn’t mean giving your property up for free. It provides a safe, stable place for a family in need to live. Making a difference in your community can start right here – so we’ve gathered together some key points that you may want or need to know before you get started.
You Will Still Get Rent Payments
Renting out your property to Asylum Seekers and Refugees through dedicated programs will ensure that not only are they housed safely, but that you, as a landlord, still receive the rent payments you need for the property. You won’t lose out on income and you can provide a stable home for a family who needs one most.
Refugee families are entitled to apply for Universal Credit and various other support financially and in some cases, you may even get rent payments paid directly to you from the government or community support group. The amount that they’ll receive will depend on the Local Housing Allowance, and often you will need to ensure that your rent each month is no more than this amount in order to be eligible to rent to refugees.
You Can Still Get Insurance
When renting your property to asylum seekers and refugees, you should ensure that your home is appropriately insured not only for your protection but for the protection of the tenants too. It can be difficult to get the right insurance policies, however, the team at Ashburnham Insurance are on hand to help you find the perfect one for your property.
- Buildings cover – this covers the cost of repairing any structural damage to a property, both accidental and malicious.
- Rent Guarantee – this covers any loss of rent to you for a maximum of 6 months in the event that a tenant may be unable to pay.
- Contents – This is recommended for any furnished housing, as this will cover any repairs, replacements or loss of furniture that has been damaged or stolen.
- Public Liability – This protects the property owner financially against any liability claims if a tenant or guest is injured on the premises.
- Malicious Damage – This covers any intentional damage caused by the tenant or any other persons on the property.
- Legal Expenses – Most insurance policies will cover any legal expenses associated with a claim or dispute.
You May Need To Make Some Changes To The Property
Each council or community group that you go through will require different things from the property you’re looking to rent out. You can usually get a list of requirements from each group or the website for each relevant council, but some common requirements include:
- At least two bedrooms
- Self-contained property
- Fully furnished
- Private Let
- Within a certain borough/area
- Health And Safety requirements, including fire doors, lockable windows etc.
Will I Need To Provide Support?
When renting through a Community Support group, in particular, there is likely to be very little you need to do as a Landlord for day-to-day support. Your duties will usually remain the same as with any other rental agreement, including keeping the property hazard-free and safe, maintaining gas and electrical safety and more. The Community group will likely provide any other daily support for the family, including helping them manage finances, learn English, maintain a home, apply for benefits, get to know the local area and more.
Do I Need To Inform Neighbours?
You have no obligation nor legal responsibility to inform neighbours of the nature of the rental agreement, however, the police and other relevant groups may investigate the property and the surrounding area before you can rent it out to refugees to ensure that the area is safe for them. For this reason, informing your neighbours of your plans to rent out and ensuring they stay updated can help to create a friendlier, more understanding environment for the family that will be moving in.
How Do I Get Started?
If you want to get started in renting your property, the first step is to find a Community Sponsorship group or local council programme. Each one will have its own requirements or starting process, so it’s best to do your research locally to find the best options available to you and the property you have.
For more information about Landlord Insurance for renting to asylum seekers and refugees, feel free to get in touch with Ashburnham Insurance on freephone 0800 1696137.