Advice for hosts matched with Ukrainian guests

Thank you for supporting the Homes for Ukraine scheme. 

We are working hard to process your application to provide accommodation as quickly as possible. There are some things we must do as part of that process, such as:  

  • Checking all accommodation provided is safe and doesn’t have any health and safety issues, regularly visiting while Ukrainian guests are staying with you to check there are no issues. 
  • Carrying out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background checks on everyone aged 16 or over living at the property, to see if anyone has any criminal convictions. We will contact you to arrange this.
  • Distributing the £200 welcome payment to each Ukrainian guest in the district. 
  • Making the £350 monthly thank you payment to hosts in the district. 

Here we explain in detail and offer guidance about what you need to do as a host. If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

We are required to check hosts' accommodation is safe and there are no health and safety issues.

To carry out these checks we will visit the property and this is what you can expect on the day:

  • Officer identification - the officer visiting the property will have official photo identification with them. You can always call us on 01883 722000 to verify their identification. The officer will not ask for any payment or financial information. 
  • Length of visit - the visit will take an hour, but it does depend on the size of your property. 
  • Access to the property - we will need to see the whole property. However, we are particularly interested in seeing the main shared living areas and the rooms being used by the Ukrainian guests such as, bathrooms, kitchen, living rooms and bedrooms. If more areas need to be seen, then we will explain this to you and record it on the paperwork. 
  • Amenities – we will want to see the property has a bathroom and kitchen which is in good order and able to meet the households needs. If we identify any improvements, we will discuss this with you. 
  • Fire safety - smoke alarms are required on each level of the property. You will need to show they are working properly. For further information on safety in the home.
  • Carbon Monoxide - if you have an open flue appliance, such as a log burner or an open fire then a carbon monoxide detector is needed and we will want to see it. 
  • Low windows (risk of falls from above ground floor height) - this is about the safety of small children and we will look at the windows and advise you if safety devices need to be fitted. 
  • Electrical safety - an electrical test certificate is not needed unless a significant safety issue is found. We will check some power points in the bedrooms and other shared living areas to make sure they work safely and we may take a photograph of the property fuse box/consumer unit. 
  • Room sizes and occupancy – we will check to ensure the bedroom/s are suitable for your guests, for example: 
    • Two people should not be in one room unless they are adult cohabiting partners, a parent and child, two siblings of the same gender if aged 10 and over, two siblings of any gender if under the age of 10.  
    • Individuals who do not know each other should not be given the same room. 
  • Animals - please let us know before we visit if you have any licensable animals (such as a dangerous wild animal) on the property. We may ask you about any animals you have, their behaviour and how they are safely managed in the home.  We have information if your guests are bringing their pet with them.

After the visit

We will send you an e-mail and let you know if the checks are successful, or if anything else needs to be done to the property before it can be a home for your Ukrainian guests too.

You are not obliged to carry out any work to the property and if you decide not to we may have to remove you from the sponsor register which means you won't be able to provide a home for Ukrainians.

Once your guests have arrived

We will regularly visit while your Ukrainian guests are staying with you to check there are no issues. 

Everyone aged 16 years and over in your home must have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background check to see if anyone has any criminal convictions. We will carry out the background check so please don't complete the form and make the payment independently as we cannot refund you and we will still need you to complete our process.

If your guests have children living with them, we will carry out an Enhanced DBS check (including a check of the children’s barred list), for all those who are 16 or over in your household who are not related to the guest.

We may ask for an Enhanced DBS check (including a check of the adults' barred list) to be done if an adult guest requires additional support due to age, disability or illness, which you as the host or any adult aged 16 or over in your household intends to provide.

Formal identification process

You will receive an appointment to visit the Council Offices in Oxted to carry out the formal identification process. Each person (aged 16 and over) needs to bring three different forms of identification showing name, address and date of birth.

You can find out what documents you will need to bring and our opening hours.

Online DBS application form

Once the formal identification part of the DBS background checks has been completed, you will receive a unique link by e-mail which each person, 16 years and over living in the same property as the Ukrainian’s, will need to complete to process their online DBS application.  

Please contact us to confirm: 

  • When all DBS applications have been submitted. 
  • When you receive the results, as we will need to see the document. The results will be sent directly to you and not to us.

There is a new webchat service which supports customers to submit their application.

Once your Ukrainian guests' UK visa have been issued they are now able to enter the UK. 

We fully appreciate your guests may travel to the UK and stay with you before the accommodation and background checks have been completed.

If your guests have already arrived, or you know their travel date please e-mail us with their arrival date.

We know how important keeping your personal data secure and safe is.

We only collect and keep personal information about you so we can manage the Homes for Ukraine scheme. We will only share your personal data with our partners Surrey County Council. For more information about our data protection policy.

Once all the checks have been completed and the guests have settled into their new home, as the host you are entitled to receive a monthly £350 payment while they are staying with you. 

Please bring your bank account details to your DBS appointment and we will set up the payment process. 

If your guest moves out of your home for any reason, you must let us know as you will no longer be eligible for the monthly payments.

The following applies:

  • For hosts who receive benefits, the government is ensuring thank you payments do not affect your benefit entitlement. 
  • Thank you payments will not affect any council tax discounts for single occupancy. 
  • The payments are tax free.

Adults and children coming to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme qualify for a £200 per person welcome payment. This is in the form of a payment card and can be collected by your Ukrainian guests from reception in the Council Offices in Oxted.

Please ask your Ukrainian guests to bring their passport and visa with them to the Council Offices in Oxted.  

Our office opening hours are Monday to Thursday 8.30am-5pm and Friday 8.30am-4.30pm. 

Companies making properties available to support the Homes for Ukraine scheme will be relieved from the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) and the 15% rise of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

As a host, we would like you to please support and help your guests to adapt to life in the UK.

The first thing to do will be to make sure they are comfortable in their accommodation and setup with the basics. They should have enough food and essential supplies like toiletries and it’s worth checking they’ve got access to a mobile phone and the internet so they can stay in touch with family and friends. Further information can be found on the Government's website.

You should try to help direct your guests to public services. For example, this could involve helping them:

Benefits

People fleeing Ukraine and arriving in the UK can claim Universal Credit immediately. They will also be eligible for:

  • Child benefit. Anyone coming to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine scheme is entitled to claim child benefit immediately.
  • Housing benefit.
  • Pension credit.
  • Personal independence payment.
  • Child disability living allowance.
  • Carers allowance.
  • Attendance allowance.

Employment

Ukrainians arriving in the UK can also access jobs support immediately. The Department for Works and Pensions is putting together support through the Jobcentres to help people:

  • Find work.
  • Provide advice on benefit eligibility.
  • Support them to claim benefits.

Rail operators will provide Ukrainian guests with a single onward journey via national rail free of charge on arrival in Great Britain to their final destination.

They have 48 hours to make their onward journey. They only need to show a Ukrainian passport and a boarding pass or ticket showing arrival into the country within the last 48 hours.

All the information is on National Rail Enquiries.

The Government is working with the wider transport industry to see what else can be offered for evacuees arriving in the country.

This guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK covers what you need to know in your first few days, getting used to life in the UK including how to find a home, access essential public services, healthcare, find work and childcare and education services.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency is providing quick license approvals and quarantine arrangements to avoid creating additional burdens or delays.

The government will also be covering their vaccination, microchipping and quarantine costs, recognising many individuals from Ukraine will not have been able to complete the full health preparations required for their pet on arrival.

Before arrival, people leaving the Ukraine or their carrier should e-mail the Animal and Plant Health Agency, or call +44 3000 200 301 option 2.

There is more information and guidance on the GOV.uk website.