We at Homesure Property regularly house asylum seekers, often at very short notice, providing them with clean, safe, and suitable accommodation at the relevant local authority housing rate.
We support the local authority who lean on us heavily as they know that we work quickly to house their clients, especially when other agents and/or landlords will not help due to the risks involved.
The main risk, although there are many, is receiving the rent. It seems that each Government department is incapable of liaising with each other.
One example (although there are many) is that we housed a family of 4 asylum seekers within 24 hours. The Home Office pressured the local authority to get the family housed, and we managed to turn all the paperwork round quickly.
The family have now been in the property for 4 months, however, we are yet to receive a penny in rent.
Most agents/landlords would have served a 2-week eviction notice (Section 8) after 32 days of not having received the rent. We have chosen not to do this as the family is vulnerable; has already had to leave their home & country; and it is simply not their fault.
The civil servants who brought them into the country, cannot help.
The civil servants who sought out a home for them, moved them in, and continue to provide support, cannot help.
The Housing Benefit department refuse to help because the asylum seekers have not received certain documents from HMRC.
We are now in the position where we are owed nearly £3,000 in rent with absolutely no guarantees that this money will come.
I must stress that this particular property is owned by our company and NOT by one of our landlords. If it was, we would’ve had to evict the family on the Landlord’s behalf, and thrown them back into the same system that has caused them so much stress already.
We desperately need to have better communication between Government departments as well as guarantees for landlords who provide accommodation for these types of the tenants.
It very much feels as though the UK has let the asylum seekers through the front door and then pushed them straight out of the back door and left them to fend for themselves.