If you need help regarding housing urgently, Birmingham City Council has an emergency housing team available out of hours. You can contact them on the following number:-
If you need to find another sponsor, then contact us through the link below and we will try to match you with another host. You should also speak to your caseworker with the Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC).
Renting an Apartment or House in North Birmingham
After arriving in the UK, you have the right to rent a property. Almost all Ukrainians will initially stay in people’s houses under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. For many Ukrainians this means six months or more free accommodation. However, eventually you will need to find your own place to live.
It’s very important to start to plan the move to independent living several months before the time with your host ends. There is intense competition for rental properties and you need to fulfil several requirements for the landlord (owner) of the property to consider you as a tenant.
In our experience in North Birmingham there is very limited social (council funded) housing available, so you should assume you will need to rent in the private sector.
Issues to be aware of
When renting in the UK, one of the main requirements set by the landlords and estate agents is your ability to afford the rent. Estate agents use what’s called an ‘affordability test’ to assess if you are suitable for a property.
We have spoken to estate agents in North Birmingham and they all usually need the potential tenant to have an income of 30x the monthly rent. For example, an apartment that costs £625 a month will require a tenant to have an income of £18, 750 a year to pass the affordability test.
What can you do if you don’t have a job or earn enough money?
Firstly, when you reach the point when you need to rent your own property, talk to your host and contact us to see if we know anyone who has property to rent.
Start to search on one of the websites listed below to get an idea of the cost of renting a property by area. The rental costs are generally cheaper in Erdington than Sutton Coldfield for example. You will also need to look at public transport if you have children at school, so that they can continue in the school they are settled in.
Consider offering to pay 3 – 6 months rent in advance. We have found that if a potential tenant can offer 6 months rent in advance then the landlord is more likely to agree to let their property to someone who has failed the affordability test.
Once you have found some properties you are interested in, contact us and one of our advisors will come with you to the estate agents to negotiate on your behalf.
Financial Help available to you:
The Moving on Grant
For Ukrainians living in Birmingham, there is an additional support package called the Moving on Grant
You can access this money after you have found a property you would like to rent. Through this scheme, a grant of between £3,000 and £4,000 will be available to you.
After you have decided on a property to rent speak to us or contact Spring Housing and we will help you with the process of applying.
Alternatively, you could complete the application form on the Birmingham City Council website:
You can use this money to pay the deposit or for the rent in advance. You can also use it to pay for furniture and utility bills in the first few months. When talking to estate agents, you should tell them about this financial package.
The best way to start your search is through one of the following websites and then to contact the estate agents directly.
This site is used by landlords advertising directly; they don’t use an agent and so reduce the fees involved:
This site advertises rooms in properties; you share facilities with others.
After Finding Your Dream Home,
What Happens Next?
Firstly, you may be asked to pay a deposit called the holding deposit. This reserves the property for you while checks are done.
After paying the holding deposit – typically 1 week of the cost of the rent – the estate agent will carry out a check on your right to rent. You may need to show the estate agent your original BRP card.
The estate agent will also carry out the affordability test. If you have a job, show the estate agent your last 3 pay slips. If you can’t fulfil this requirement, or you don’t have enough income, consider offering to pay rent in advance.
You may be able to get help through the Nadiya charity if you need a guarantor. Contact us below if you need advice.
We can help you acquire some of the pieces of furniture for your new home. Residents across Birmingham continue to donate household items from curtains to beds.
When you have secured your apartment or house, contact us and we will try to source the household goods to make your accommodation feel like home. If we can’t find what you need, we’ll take note of your request and contact you when we have found a donation.