Honourable and personal residential letting experts

It is clear there is a great desire to help house Ukrainian refugees where we can. The initiative from the Government was very welcome. However it was not designed for people who rent their home, where there are added complexities due to housing law, risks and responsibilities.

We asked our lawyers to produce suitable arrangements to ensure everyone is clear and properly protected.

Essentially there are two documents:

A formal “Licence to Share Occupancy” for our tenants to sign to act as a supplement to the tenancy. This would require the tenant to:

  • Take full legal responsibility for all costs as a result of housing the refugees
  • Ensure the landlord has vacant possession at the end of the tenancy – in other words, the tenant needs to take legal responsibility for ensuring the Ukrainians do not stay in the property
  • Undertake to meet any costs the landlord may incur as a result, e.g. damage or legal costs
  • Take responsibility for ensuring the landlord does not breach any of their legal obligations e.g. overcrowding
  • Agree the legal status of any payment made by the Government to the tenant

This would also require the tenancy end date is adjusted so the tenant does not leave before the refugees.

A formal “Licence to Occupy” for the refugees to sign with the tenant. This clarifies the basis of their occupancy and responsibilities. We would also require identification details of the refugees, including proof of their Visa status.

Before these documents can be agreed a landlord may decide they do not wish to allow such a change as:

  • They may not be prepared to take the risks that remain, even with these formal Licences, which could leave them with significant costs and challenges.
  • Their insurer may restrict what they do which is not a “normal” tenancy
  • Their mortgage provider may restrict what they do which is not a “normal” tenancy
  • They may have other plans for the property

Where a landlord agrees to this arrangement we charge them £350 to prepare the Licences, handle the discussions and process the identification records. The landlord would reasonably seek compensation from the tenant for those costs.