On 18 March 2022 the Government opened the Homes for Ukraine Scheme for visa applications from individuals from Ukraine who had named people in the UK willing to sponsor them.

The scheme was open to Ukrainian nationals who were residents in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022, and included their immediate family members and family members of such Ukrainian nationals: a spouse, a civil partner, an unmarried partner (must have lived together in a relationship for two years), children under-18, parent if you are under-18, fiancé(e) or a proposed civil partner, irrelevant of nationality.

Eligible Ukrainian nationals who were granted a visa meant they could live, work and claim benefits in the UK for three years.

The government passed regulations to protect council tax payers whose bills might have increased as a result of helping out under the scheme.

Council Tax discounts and exemption

Sandwell Council disregarded relevant Ukrainian persons when:

  • calculating the number of adults living in a property, which protects any of your current discounts
  • assessing whether properties are exempt from council tax under exemption classes B, D, E, F, H, I, J, K, L, Q and T

Changes were also made to the definitions of exemption classes N, S and U to include anyone who was in occupation under this scheme.

Second Homes and Annexes

If a second home, or an annexe to a main property, is occupied by relevant Ukrainian persons, they will be disregarded when calculating the bill, leaving 50% to pay.

Council Tax Legislation states such bills should be in the name of the occupier(s) of the property, but those providing the accommodation may wish to make the payment on their behalf.

Renting private accommodation

If you move out of sponsored accommodation into a privately rented property or a home of your own, you will become liable for paying Council Tax. If you, and everyone else in your household, received a visa through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, you will need to pay 50% of the overall Council Tax bill.

This is a set amount for the financial year which runs from April to March, and you can pay this monthly. Council Tax is a tax which goes to the local authority for local services such as care, social services, police, and local facilities.

A 50% discount will apply if you match all of the following criteria:

Apply for a discount

To apply for a discount, please contact us providing the following details:

  • address of the property
  • date you moved in
  • date the tenancy started / date of purchase
  • full name of all adults at the property

After you’ve applied

After you’ve applied, we will check that you are eligible under the Homes for Ukraine scheme and will issue you with an updated bill.

You can contact us regarding your Council Tax account and find further information regarding renting your own accommodation on the Government website