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Homes for Ukraine pitfalls worth an intermediary double-check – Wilson

by: Stuart Wilson, CEO at Air Group
  • 09/05/2022
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Homes for Ukraine pitfalls worth an intermediary double-check – Wilson
When the government announced its Homes for Ukraine scheme, there was an immediate groundswell of support and interest from thousands of Brits all wanting to house those fleeing the war.


We would perhaps have suspected nothing less and I hope that the administrative problems and issues which appear to have blighted the scheme are starting to be sorted out, and that refugees are beginning to be housed here in order to give them the stability and safety they need and deserve.

I’m led to believe that the numbers are rising – although probably still not fast enough – and that progress is being made.


Implications for equity release and later life clients

You might wonder why I’m raising this in an article which is normally about the equity release and later life market, and for an adviser audience, and the reason is that the Homes for Ukraine scheme does have implications for equity release and later life customers who are opening up their homes to refugees.

It’s something that advisers, and clients, need to be aware of because just as lenders and providers would want to know if a customer of theirs had new adult residents in their property, this might also be the case with the Ukraine scheme.

Of course, lenders and providers are obviously sympathetic to what is happening in this situation and the decision the homeowner is making, so there may not be a major concern here, however advisers should still make their existing and new clients aware of this.

For members of the Equity Release Council, there is already a document available – helpfully put together by the council – which covers how all equity release and later life lenders and providers are approaching this issue. It can be accessed via the members section of the council website.


It could affect clients’ insurance

However, one further aspect which I’m not sure has been covered and may be as relevant in the residential borrower space as the later life one, is how insurers might approach new people being resident in the home?

I’m not fear-mongering here, but as a worst-case scenario, accepting refugees into a residential home might invalidate some insurance policies, although again I’m sure there will be sufficient flexibility provided by the insurer.

Clearly, we don’t want to put off any family or organisation that wants to shelter refugees. But we might suggest they double-check just to understand how they might view this, and whether there are any potential ramifications for such a decision on existing policies, particularly in terms of contents insurance and the like.

Opening one’s home to those fleeing such a terrible situation is a wonderful thing to do, and it’s my sincere hope that more people will continue to do this, and our government goes the extra mile to make the most of this generosity.

If you, or an organisation you represent, want to record your interest to take part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme, you can do so here.

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