Private landlords have been urged to open up their properties to people fleeing civil war in Syria.

Cherwell District Council is working to resettle six families between now and 2020 and is emphasising the support available to those willing to offer accommodation.

The local authority wants private landlords willing to let three or four-bedroom properties for a minimum of 12 months at a reasonable rent level.

The council will support them by helping let their property, paying 12 month's rent in advance and a £1,000 finder's fee.

Council lead member for housing John Donaldson said: "Central Government has requested support from local authorities throughout the United Kingdom to help settle the Syrian refugees whose plight has moved so many of us in the district.

“The scheme is backed by Government funding, and by working with the private sector to resettle them, we will ensure that we can accommodate these vulnerable people without affecting the availability of social housing for others in need in the district.

“As part of the programme the tenants will receive a support package for the duration of their humanitarian visa.

"In the first year, this will include support to help them settle into the local community and assistance with translation and language.

"There is also considerable support offered to landlords, who will have the security of a year’s rent paid in advance, and a larger-than-usual deposit.”

The resettlement programme prioritises the needs of the most vulnerable groups, including women and children at risk, survivors of violence and those with severe medical needs.

Other benefits to landlords include a deposit equivalent to eight weeks' rent available at local housing allowance rate, the opportunity to apply for home improvement grants and ongoing support managing the tenancy.

For more information contact the council on 01295 227968, 01295 227004 or