How do I apply to join the Housing Register?
You will need to complete an application form. These are available from the Housing Register Team, from the Council's Help Shops in Banstead, Reigate, Redhill or Horley or from local Citizen's Advice Bureau. Click How to Contact Us for contact details and opening hours.
What other documents do I need to provide?
Along with your application form you will need to provide the following:
Before you are offered a property will will undertake an Experian check and will undertake further checks of the original up to date and valid documents such as those listed above.
What happens if I do not provide the required documents?
Your housing register application will not be processed until you have completed the form correctly and provided all the necessary supporting documents. If your form is incomplete it will be returned to you. Your priority date will be the date that all completed form and required supporting information is supplied.
How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Housing Register?
You will receive a letter confirming that you have been accepted onto the Housing Register. This will tell you the band you have been placed, the date your application has been registered from and the size of property you are eligible for.
Can you refuse to accept me onto the Housing Register?
There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register. These are:
For more detailed information contact our Housing Register Team.
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council works in partnership with most housing associations operating in the area. The Council has nomination rights to most housing association properties in the Borough and nominates applicants from the Housing Register to any vacancies. The housing associations themselves tend not to hold their own registers and rely mostly on council nominations. In effect by applying to the Housing Register you are applying for both council and housing association properties. However, Raven Housing Trust does maintain a transfer list. Please contact the Trust directly for more information.
Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed in one of 5 bands, A to E. Key Workers will also be placed in band K. We will also take into account whether you have a local connection with Reigate and Banstead and the extent of this and whether you are able to afford to resolve your own housing problems. Within each band applications are placed in date order.
You will remain in the same band unless your circumstances change and your application is awarded a different level of priority.
It is very 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 or bedroom need. If you move up or down a band or bedroom need the date used will be the date you move into that band or bedroom need.
Yes, once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application you will be sent a declaration form, which you must complete and return within 28 days. If you fail to return the form we will write and tell you that your application has been cancelled.
If someone in your household has a medical condition you will be asked to provide details, which may then be considered by the Council’s Medical Advisor, who will put forward a recommendation. You can continue to choose which properties to express an interest in but must be mindful of your condition and only express interest in suitable properties such as ground floor flat or bungalow if you cannot climb stairs.
Properties available for rent are advertised each week. As soon as we are given formal notice that a property is due to become vacant we will advertise it. Available properties are advertised from midnight on a Thursday until 23.59 pm the following Wednesday. For more details click Step Two-Choosing, part of our step-by-step guide to using the service.
Properties are advertised in the following ways:
- On our website www.rbbc-homechoice.org.uk
- By telephoning our Property Information Line on 01737 276677
- In a newsletter available Council’s Help Shops in Reigate Town Hall, Horley, Redhill and Banstead, local Citizen Advice Bureaux and librariesOther locations may be added in the future.
The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, size, rent and other features of the property. Where available a photograph of the property or a similar house type will be provided and you will be able to access information about the local area and facilities. The advert will also tell you if there are any special requirements that the applicant must meet, such as age requirements, which bands may bid for the property and which will be given priority for the property. It also tells you the number of bedrooms that applicants applying for the property need to be entitled to. If your bedroom entitlement is different to this you will not be able to bid for that property. You will not be able to bid for a property if it has been prioritised for a Transfer applicant and you are a Rented applicant or visa versa.
You can express your interest or bid, as it is also known, in the following ways:
- Online through our website, www.rbbc-homechoice.org.uk
- Through our 24hr automated telephone service on 0845 270 1908
- By contacting the Housing Register Team or visiting a Help Shop
You will be able to express an interest in a maximum of three properties each time properties are advertised. However, you will only be able to express interest in properties that are suitable for your household's needs.
Properties will be advertised from midnight on a Wednesday and you will be able to register your interest in properties up until midnight the following Thursday.
Yes, when you bid for a property you will be told where you are in the queue. This is likely to change frequently due to other people bidding for the same property. Please be aware that this information may not be accurate because the Council operates a lettings plan. This means all bands can bid for properties but we prioritise for a single band. For example, a property may be prioritised for band C, but band A and B applicants can also bid. We will consider bids by Band C applicants first and only if there is no suitable band C applicant we will consider bids from other bands.
You can use information about your queue position to decide to withdraw your bid for one property and bid for a different property for which you are higher placed in the queue. You can do this at any time before the closing date. But please beware that your queue position may not be a true reflection of your position.
Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is drawn up. The shortlist is in order of eligibility according to the criteria stated in the advert details for that property. Subject to checks including an Experian check, the applicant at the top of the list will normally be offered the property. Click Step Three-Offer for more details.
Yes. Housing associations undertake their own checks and you may not be invited to view the property for the following reasons:
- 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 resources 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.
Yes. You will be given an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you would like to accept it.
You will not normally be penalised for refusing a property that you have been offered and will still be able to express interest in properties that become available. However, special conditions apply to band A applicants and Rented band B see below for more information.
Band A applicants will be expected to bid for advertised homes that meet their housing need. Applicants will be entitled to bid for up to three homes a week. If their bid is successful, they will be expected to accept the property offered provided it is considered to be a reasonable offer.
If a Rented band A applicant wishes to refuse a property offered via Reigate & Banstead Home Choice, they will need to give written reasons why the property does not constitute a reasonable offer. The Housing Needs Manager will review the offer. If it is decided that the offer is reasonable, the Rented band A applicant will be given a final opportunity to accept the offer. Normally a maximum of two reasonable offers will be made to band A applicants.
If such a band A applicant fails to make bids via Home Choice, after a period of 6 months the Council will review their position on the register and may reduce their preference.
Band B applicants for whom the Council has accepted a homeless duty or has facilitated a Short Term Tenancy in order to prevent homelessness can bid for up to three properties per week. If your bid is successful, you will be expected to accept the offer provided it is reasonable.
If such a Rented band B applicant fails to make bids via Home Choice, after a period of 12 months the Council reserves the right to make bids on the applicant’s behalf. If a second reasonable offer is refused the Council will have discharged its duty towards you and if you are occupying temporary accommodation or a short-term tenancy arranged by the Council you will be evicted. You will then have to find your own accommodation privately.
Information about homes that have been successfully let is published. We tell you the number of applicants that expressed an interest in each property, the band and the registration date of each property. To see the results of properties that have been let click Recent Lets.
It 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.
You will normally have to provide your own carpets and appliances.
There is a severe shortage of homes in the Reigate & Banstead area. Most applicants on the Housing Register will have to wait a long time for re-housing and many of those in the lower bands will still have little chance of re-housing in the local area. Depending on your circumstances you may wish to consider other options such as renting in the private sector. Please contact the Housing Options Team to discuss your housing options, appointment are available.
Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness will be dealt with outside the scheme. You should contact the Housing Options Team to arrange an interview to discuss your circumstances. We will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you. You may still express an interest in properties through Reigate & Banstead Home Choice, providing your application has been accepted on the Housing Register.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse you should seek specialist help and / or contact the Housing Options Team. Go to www.womensaid.org.uk for more information on services available.
If you disagree with any of the following decisions you can request a review:
- You are not eligible to join the housing register
- You are not eligible for an offer
- Your application has been cancelled other than at your own request
- You think that you have been placed in the wrong band or given the wrong priority date
To request a review you must contact the Housing Advice Centre within 21 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 8 weeks. You may not request a further review.