For many years a tenancy with a social housing provider (Council or Housing Association) was usually thought of as a tenancy for life. Your need for housing was assessed when you applied for a home and the type and size of accommodation was allocated accordingly. If you paid your rent and followed the terms of your tenancy you were able to stay for as long as you wanted, even though throughout the duration of the tenancy the number of family members could change. As a result you could have an older couple living alone in a three bed house whilst a young family with children could be overcrowded in a one bed flat.
The current Government think that social landlords should make better use of their housing to enable them to help as many people as possible live in housing that meets their needs. As a result they are allowing them to introduce fixed term tenancies that they think will last for at least 2 years and in most cases will be granted for five years at a time. At the end of the fixed term the landlord will make sure that the home is still suitable and needed by the people living there. If it is then another tenancy will be granted, if not then tenants will be helped to find something that is more appropriate.
The Government have also introduced a new type of tenancy called 'affordable rent'. Affordable rented properties can be offered by some social housing providers who are developing new housing. In most cases the rent charged will be more than the usual rent for social housing and can be up to 80% of rents that are charged for similar privately rented properties. The rents can be charged on both new properties and some existing properties when they are re-let.
As part of these changes Council’s are being asked to produce a tenancy strategy. This is a document that tells landlords what sort of things they need to think about when deciding what length and what type of tenancy to grant, and how they should manage the review at the end of the fixed term.
To help develop the strategy it is important to understand what those on the housing register think. We recently carried out a survey of housing register applicants which will now feed into the Council's tenancy strategy.
The new strategy will be considered by Cabinet in early June and the draft strategy will be available within the Cabinet papers shortly.
There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register.
- People who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum & Immigration Act•
- People who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland
- People whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to be a tenant (this can apply if any member of a homeseeker’s household is guilty of such behaviour)
For more detailed information, contact Housing Needs.
You can express your interest or ‘bid’ in the following ways:
Online through the website
Through our 24 hour automated telephone service
You will need to complete an application form. You can get a copy online from www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/how_do_i_apply_for_a_council_home or contact Housing Needs for a printed copy.
Housing Needs, Charnwood Borough Council, Southfield Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 2TT
Tel: 01509 63 4567
The same form is to be used by:
- people who want to rent
- people interested in shared ownership and other home purchase options
- tenants who want to transfer
You will receive a letter telling you that you have been accepted onto the Housing Register. This will tell you the band you have been placed in, the date you have been registered from, and the type and size of properties you can bid for.
You will be able to express an interest in a maximum of 3 rented properties each time properties are advertised. However, you will only be able to express interest in properties that are suitable for your household.
Properties available for rent are advertised each fortnight. Homeseekers will have one week to make their bids.
Further details will be available before the new scheme commences.
Information about homes that have been successfully let will be published on the website and in the property newsletter. We will tell you the number of homeseekers that expressed an interest in each property, the successful homeseeker’s band and their registration date.
This will give you a better idea of how popular a particular property or area is and how long you would normally have to wait. You can then decide whether to look for other types of property or areas where you may not have to wait as long.
If you disagree with any of the following decisions you can request a review:
- You are not eligible to join the Housing Register
- You believe that you have been placed in the wrong housing need band
- You wish to be considered for a particular property type but have been told you are not eligible for it
- Your application has been cancelled other than at your own request
To request a review you must contact Housing Needs within 28 days of the date you are notified of the decision and the reason for it.
You may provide additional information in writing that you wish to be taken into account when the review is carried out. You will normally be advised of the outcome of the review within 28 days.
Before you appeal against a decision, you are advised to read the relevant section of the council's Allocations Policy. This is available on the Charnwood Borough Council website or can be requested by contacting Housing Needs.
Once the closing date for bids has passed, a shortlist of interested homeseekers is drawn up. The shortlist is usually in order of local connection, followed by band, and then by the date that the homeseeker became eligible for this band.
Other criteria may apply according to the restrictions stated in the advert details for that property. The highest placed homeseeker will normally be offered the property.
Yes, you will be given an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you would like to accept it.
Before you are formally offered a property, you will be required to provide up to date proofs to verify your current circumstances. You may not be offered the property if any of the following applies at the point of offer:
- You owe rent or have other housing related debts
- You are a council or Housing Association tenant and legal action has been taken against you because you have broken your tenancy conditions
- You have sufficient money or property to solve your own housing problems
- You have not provided the required documentary evidence to support your application by the date given
- Your circumstances have changed and this results in a reduction in your level of priority
- You have provided incorrect or misleading information, which has resulted in your application being awarded a higher priority than it deserves
This is not an exhaustive list and differt landlords may have different criteria.
Your application will be assessed according to your circumstances and placed into one of 4 bands. We will also take into account whether you have a local connection with either the district of Charnwood or other districts in the Leicestershire sub region, and whether you are able to afford to resolve your own housing problems. Within each band, applications are placed in date order.
HOW LONG WILL I STAY IN THE SAME BAND?
You will stay in the same band for as long as you are living in the same circumstances. If your circumstances change, then you may be placed into a higher or lower band as a result.
Along with your application form, you will need to provide the following:
- Proof of identity for all household members (e.g. passports, birth certificates)
- Proof of current address (e.g. recent utility bill)
- Proof of income or benefits (e.g. copies of recent wage slips or benefit entitlement letters)
- Proof of children living with you (e.g. copy of child benefit payment and/or child tax credits)
- Proof of pregnancy, if applicable (e.g. copy of NHS confirmation of due date)
- Evidence of your right to live in the UK if you are not a British citizen (e.g. passport and other relevant Home Office documentation)
Your application form will list the proofs required when you apply.
Before you are offered a property, you may need to provide additional documents to support your application. We will tell you what documents to provide and when to provide them. All documents provided must be up to date and valid.
It is important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances so that we can amend your application. We will tell you if this results in your application moving to a different band.
If a change results in you moving to a higher band, your effective date will change to the date you move into the higher band. If the change results in you moving to a lower band, the effective date will revert to the date you previously went into that band OR, if you had not previously been in that band, your original registration date.
If you have not told us about changes that affect your priority, then this may delay you getting an offer of accommodation. We will make checks before confirming an offer and if your circumstances are different to those on your application form, the offer may be withdrawn and your application will be suspended until you have provided proof of the relevant changes.
Providing you have properly completed your application form, and proved your ID and eligibility, your application will be processed but may be placed in the lowest band, untilthe other documents are received. The date of registration will be the date your fully completed form is received. If you are then moved into a higher band, your effective date will be the date the proofs were received. If your application form is incomplete, it will be returned to you.
If an applicant refuses 2 reasonable offers of accommodation (see the council’s for more detailed information), you will lose your 100 priority points for 12 months. During this time you are unlikely to get another offer of accommodation
If you have been accepted as homeless and you refuse a reasonable offer of accommodation, the council will no longer have a duty to house you and will make no further offers of accommodation.
However, you will be placed on the council’s Housing Register and will receive further offers of accommodation subject to the council’s .
Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness should contact the Housing Needs section as soon as possible to arrange an interview to discuss their circumstances.
We will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you.
If someone in your household has a medical condition which is affected by their housing, you will be asked to provide details. The council may decide to give additional priority because of these medical reasons. If additional priority is given for medical reasons, then priority will only apply when you bid for properties that are suitable. For example, if priority is given because someone has difficulty climbing stairs, they will not have priority if they bid for a house or a first floor flat where there is no lift.
The adverts will tell you:
- Who the landlord is
- Size of the property and other features (e.g. adaptations)
- Age and other requirements – the icons (pictures) in the advert will tell you if there any age requirements or other restrictions about who can bid for the property
- Preference – the advert may indicate if preference will be given to applications from certain types of households
- Bedroom requirement – homeseekers with a bedroom requirement smaller or larger than this will not be able to bid
Where available, a photograph of the property or a similar house type will be provided. If you are viewing online, you will be able to access information about the local area and facilities.
The following Housing Associations have low cost home ownership (shared ownership) schemes in Charnwood:
- Advance Housing & Support
- De Montfort Housing Society Ltd
- East Midlands Housing Association
- Metropolitan Housing Trust
- Nottingham Community Housing Association
Click on the following link for more information Low Cost Home Ownership.
If you have already been made an offer of a property, this offer will stand.
However, if the offer does not progress for any reason(s) and you are not re-housed, you will need to bid for properties using the choice based lettings scheme.
All vacant properties require essential repairs and maintenance to get them ready for the new tenant/s. Some repairs may take longer than others so we are unable to say how long applicants will have to wait but Charnwood Neighbourhood Housing will let applicants know as soon the property is ready to let.
Properties are advertised:
- At the council offices
- In a property newsletter available at a wide range of locations around the district
- Where there are exceptional circumstances, we may post a copy of the property newsletter direct to a homeseeker.
The authorities in the scheme are:
- Blaby District Council
- Charnwood Borough Council
- Harborough District Council
- Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council
- Melton Borough Council
- North West Leicestershire District Council
- Oadby & Wigston Borough Council
You must have been accepted onto the Housing Register for one of the councils named above to be able to apply for either rented or low cost home ownership properties. Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register.
We do not normally redecorate homes before new tenants move in, although we may make an exception for tenants that are disabled or pensioners. However, you may be entitled to a decorating allowance in the form of decorating vouchers. The housing officer will discuss this with you when you sign up for your new tenancy.
Yes, when you bid for a property online or by phone, you will be told your position in the shortlist (e.g. 4 th or 27TH). This position is likely to change as other people bid for the property.
Using this information you may decide to withdraw your bid for one property and bid for a different property where you are placed higher in the queue. You can do this at any time before the closing date.
When you bid by text, you will receive a text confirming your position in the shortlist – but you will not be able to undo a text bid and change it to another property.
Yes, once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application, you will be sent a renewal form, which you must complete and return within 28 days. If you do not return the form, we will write and tell you that your application has been cancelled.
Last updated: Tue 15th May, 2012 @ 12:33