Skip to content | Thursday, 24-Apr-2014 | Text Only View | Site Map | Text size: A A A

East Surrey Subregional - Reigate & Banstead

Frequently Asked Questions

 These are some frequently asked questions which you may find of use. If you have further questions which are not listed here please call the Housing Register Team on 01737 276790.

  •  Who can apply for properties through Home Choice in Reigate & Banstead?

You must have been accepted onto Reigate & Banstead's Housing Register to be able to apply for social rented properties through Reigate & Banstead Home Choice. Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register.

  • How do I apply to join the Housing Register?

Firstly, you will need to contact the Housing Register Team. Details on how to get in touch with us can be found here. We will need to establish whether you qualify for housing by asking a few questions. If you are likely to be accepted onto the housing register you will need to complete an application form. This will be sent to you in the post.
 

  • What other documents do I need to provide?

Along with your completed application form you will need to provide the following: 

  • Proof of identity for all household members (e.g. passports, birth certificates for children).
  • Proof of current address (e.g. recent utility bill).
  • Evidence of your right to reside in the UK if you are not a British Citizen (e.g. passport & other relevant Home Office documentation).
  • Proof of your income for all household
  • Proof of income; in the form of 3 months bank statements, and any benefit letters if in receipt of any.
  • 2 months recent payslips
  • Proof of child benefit; either the letter or payments clearly showing on bank statements

Each year on the anniversary of your application you will be invited to renew your application. You will need to provide proof of your household’s income at this stage. If your circumstances change throughout your application (birth of new baby etc.) then we will request the relevant documents as shown above. Before you are offered a property we may ask you to provide up to date copies of the above documents.

  • What happens if I do not provide the required documents?

If we require further documents in order to process your application we will request these in writing. You will be given 28 days to send these documents to us. Failure to provide the necessary documents within the time frame will result in your application being shredded and you will then need to re-apply. Your housing register application will not be processed until you have completed the form correctly and provided all the necessary supporting documents. Your effective date will be the date that your 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 in which 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?

All applicants accepted onto the housing register must qualify under our Housing Register and Allocations Policy. The following are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register: 

  • Certain people who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act.
  • Certain people from abroad 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 (including members of their household) who have been guilty of unacceptable behaviour that makes them unsuitable to be a tenant.

To see if you are eligible to join the Housing Register get in touch with us – How To Contact Us

  • Can I apply to housing associations to go on their registers? 

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.

  • What are The Priority Bands?

Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed in one of 4 bands, A to D. We will take into account your current property, situation and your reasons for wanting a move when placing you in the correct band. For more information on the criteria for each band click here.

  • How long will I stay in the same band?

You will remain in the same band unless your circumstances change and your application is awarded a different level of priority.

  • What do I do if my circumstances change?

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 there is a change in your bedroom need the date used will be the date the change occurs.

  • Do I need to renew my application each year?

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 fail to return the form we will be assume you no longer require housing and your application will be cancelled accordingly. You will be notified of this in writing.

  • What if someone in my household has a medical condition?

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.

  • How often are properties advertised?

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 Friday until 23.59 the following Wednesday.

  • Where are properties advertised?

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 from our Help Desk’s, the local Citizen Advice Bureaux and libraries.
  • What information will the property adverts contain?

The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, rent and other features of the property. Where available a photograph of the property or a similar house type will be provided. The advert will also tell you if there are any special requirements that the applicant must meet, such as age requirements and which band the property is prioritised for. It also tells you the number of bedrooms available at the property. 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 if you are a Waiting List applicant and visa versa. 

  • How do I apply for a property?

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 on 01737 276790

For more information on how to bid click here

  •  How many properties can I express an interest in?

You will be able to express an interest in a maximum of three properties each week. However, you will only be able to express interest in properties that are suitable for your household's needs.

  • How long will I have to bid for a property?

Properties will be advertised from midnight on a Friday and you will be able to register your interest in properties up until 23.59 pm the following Wednesday.

  • Will I know how many other people are interested in the same property?

Yes, when you bid for a property you will be told where you are in the queue. This is likely to change over the course of the cycle 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.

  • How do you decide who is offered a property?

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, the applicant at the top of the list will normally be offered the property.  Click Step Three-Offer for more details.

  • If I successfully bid for a property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me?

Yes. Housing associations undertake their own checks and you may not be invited to view the property for the following reasons:

  • You have outstanding rent arrears 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.
  • The housing association feel that the property is unsuitable for you due to support needs etc.

 

  • If I am offered a property, will I be able to view it before making up my mind?

Yes. You will be given an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you would like to accept it.

  • What if I don’t like the property when I have seen it?

If after viewing the property you decide to refuse it, it will be offered to the next person on the priority list. If a reasonable explanation for refusal is not given this will be considered one reasonable offer. Applicants should be aware that the Council has placed a limit of two reasonable offers on all applicants. This means if an applicant bids for a property and refuses a second reasonable offer their application will be removed from the Register.

  • How will I know what has happened to the properties advertised?

Information about homes that have been successfully let is published. This information can be used to help you decide which properties to bid for, by giving you a better idea 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.

 To see the results of properties that have been let click Recent Lets.

  • Are carpets and appliances provided?

You will normally have to provide your own carpets and appliances. This should be confirmed at the viewing with the Housing Association.

  • What other options are there for housing?

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. Depending on your circumstances you may wish to consider other options such as renting in the private sector. 

The Housing Wizard is our on-line Housing Advice Service. Use the Housing Options Wizard to get practical advice about your housing options.  Please be aware that you must use the Wizard before requesting a Housing Options appointment.

  •  What if I become homeless?

Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness will be dealt with outside the scheme. You should contact the Housing Options Team on 01737 276790 for practical advise and if necessary a Housing options appointment will be booked. 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.

  • What help can you offer people experiencing domestic abuse?

If you are experiencing domestic abuse you should seek specialist help and / or contact the Housing Options Team. We would advise you to contact East Surrey Domestic Abuse Service (ESDAS) for more information on services available.

  • How do I request a review of a decision?

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 of a property
  • 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 submit a letter of appeal within 21 days of the date you are notified of the decision and the reason for it. You may provide additional information 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 6 weeks. You may not request a further review if you disagree with the outcome of your appeal.

Site powered by Abritas  |  Cookie policy
Click here to download the browsealoud software