Supporting Ukraine: guidance for hosts


Accommodation standards

The most important thing is that you’re able to provide at least six months of stable accommodation.  This can be anything from an empty room to an unoccupied home, if it’s safe, heated and free from health hazards, and gives your guests adequate access to bathroom and kitchen facilities.

What about a sofa bed in my sitting room?

We are asking for sponsors who can at least offer an empty room, to ensure the safety and privacy of guests.

A bed in a shared space would not be an appropriate offer of accommodation for six months.

Will my home or the property I have offered be checked?

In addition to checks prior to visas being issued, all households receiving guests from Ukraine will receive checks by Angus Council on the property and household.

All households will be visited to ensure the accommodation is fit for purpose and suitable to receive guests.

If the accommodation is self-contained or only adults without specific vulnerabilities (see below) are coming into the property, then Basic Disclosure checks are undertaken on all adult members in the sponsor household.

If children under the age of 18 are going to be accommodated in the household, or a member of the household is vulnerable (due to illness, disability or age) and has particular needs then an Enhanced Disclosure checks will be undertaken on all people in the sponsor’s household over 16.

What do I need to do to make sure my home is suitable for my guest?

All accommodation will be different and while there is no set expectation, your accommodation needs to be free from serious health and safety hazards. You should make sure your home is safe for your guests and that it is in a suitable condition.

You should also consider how many people you can accommodate so they have sufficient space.

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 over 10; two siblings regardless of gender if aged under 10.

Individuals who didn’t previously know each other should not be given the same room.

Alongside the above, the accommodation that you are offering must:

  • Be kept clean and in a reasonable state.
  • Have adequate kitchen and bathroom space.
  • Always have access to bathroom and kitchen facilities (day and night) and the use of these should not be restricted.
  • Have access to drinking water.
  • Have a working smoke detector on each floor of the property and other fire safety precautions suitable for the building e.g., fire doors or escape routes as appropriate (further information on making a home safe from fire.
  • Have a working carbon monoxide detector in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g., a coal fire, wood burning stove).
  • Have sufficient heating to keep the property at a comfortable temperature.
  • Have safe gas appliances, fittings and flues and have undertaken a Gas safety check within the last year (see more information).
  • Have safe and working electrics, which a qualified electrician can help with if you are unsure.
  • Have rooms provided with furniture which meets the necessary fire safety regulations.
  • Be almost entirely free of damp or mould.
  • Have doors and windows at entry level that lock properly.
  • Be easy and safe to move around in, without excessively steep staircases that may cause harm.

Will I be paid rent?

No. You should not charge any rent.

The UK Government know that there will be costs associated with helping, and so they are offering an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people who can accommodate one or more households (subject to the accommodation they have).

The ‘thank you’ payment is limited to one payment per residential address. You will continue to receive payments for as long as you sponsor somebody and for up to 12 months. This payment will be made in arrears.

The UK government is ensuring ‘thank you payments’ do not affect benefit entitlement and will remain tax-free.

All sponsors will need to go through disclosure checks and properties will be vetted.   The fee for these has been waived and a specialist team has been created in Disclosure Scotland to deal with the checks for sponsors with confirmed matches.  These checks will also have to be completed before the host payment of £350 is paid.

Am I expected to provide meals too or just accommodation?

Just accommodation. However, there is nothing stopping sponsors offering meals should they wish. You will not be expected to cover the costs of food and living expenses.

Every guest will be entitled to a £200 interim payment to help with subsistence costs. Contact should be made with the welfare rights service, who will assist. Note that visa checks will be required, and payment can only be made to the individual guest.

The Scottish Refugee Council is pulling together information for people in Scotland affected by the crisis in Ukraine and the No Accommodation Network has produced a guide on good practice for those interested in becoming host families.  It is important that you understand the commitment when offering to be a host.

You can also offer a room in your home to a refugee by registering at the Room For Refugees charity.