Frequently Asked Questions

You must have been accepted onto the housing register to be able to apply for properties through HomeChoice. Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the housing register.
The register is split into those waiting to move into the social rented sector (‘the waiting list’) and those who already have a social tenancy in this borough but wish to transfer (‘the transfer list’). Your application will be placed on the list that corresponds to your situation.
There is no definitive answer to this as it will depend on the number of properties available and the number of people who bid for them. In general, there is a very limited supply of social housing in the borough and demand for it far outstrips supply. This means waiting times are usually long, often a number of years.
Given the long waiting times for social housing you may wish to consider other options such as renting in the private sector. Affordable home ownership through Help to Buy schemes may also be an option. If you are already a social housing tenant, you can register for a mutual exchange. More information can be found on the housing advice pages of the Council’s website. If you are threatened with homelessness see the Council’s website or contact our advice team on 01737 276790.
You will need to complete an application form online by clicking on the blue ‘Apply’ button in the top right of the screen. If you have difficulty applying online, please contact us
The homes we advertise are mainly provided by Registered Social Housing Providers/Landlords. By law, we have to check that you are eligible to apply for housing. We also have to make sure we allocate tenancies fairly. We will use the information you provide to make sure that those who have the greatest need are given priority for housing, in accordance with government guidance.

You will need to provide documents as follows within 21 days of submitting your application:

 
  • Proof of identity (for everyone included in the application)
  • Proof of current address (for everyone included in the application)
  • Proof of eligibility (for everyone included in the application who is not a British citizen)
  • Proof of employment (for everyone included in the application)
  • Proof of other income/savings (for everyone included in the application)
  • Proof of pregnancy (if applicable)
  • Proof of responsibility for children (if applicable)
  • Proof of ownership, past and present, of a property (if applicable)
  • Supporting information about any medical issues or support you receive (if applicable)
If documents are not received within 21 days of making an application, your application will be cancelled, and you will need to make a new one. If you have a problem getting the requested information within this timeframe (e.g. you are waiting for a new passport or birth certificate), please let us know.
This will be done in line with the Council’s Housing Register & Allocations Policy. There are strict criteria to determine eligibility and qualification for the register, such as having a local connection to the borough, thresholds on income, history of arrears or ASB. Full details can be found in the policy.
In most cases you will hear from us within 28 working days of submitting your application and all supporting documents. You may be asked for more supporting information before a decision can be made on your application. When a decision has been made you will receive an email or letter from us containing the outcome. Please only contact us if you have not heard from us within this timeframe.
Yes. To make a successful application you must be eligible, qualify and have a housing need. Further detail can be found in our Housing Register & Allocations Policy. The most common reasons for rejecting applications include:


No local connection

Home ownership

Rent or Council Tax arrears

Income and/or savings above threshold

History of Anti-Social Behaviour

Being subject to immigration control

To be accepted onto the housing register, applicants need to demonstrate that they have a ‘local connection’ to Reigate and Banstead. According to our Housing Register & Allocations Policy, this means having lived in the borough continuously for at least 3 years at the time of application, or having worked here continuously for at least 12 months prior to applying. In exceptional circumstances, other applications may be considered.
Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed accordingly into a priority band. The bands are:

 

A (urgent)
B (high)
C (medium)
D (low)

 

Within each band applications are placed in date order and according to bedroom need.

 

If someone in your household has a medical or welfare condition you will be asked to provide details and supporting evidence where necessary.

 

We will consider whether this affects your priority for housing and may consult our medical advisor about this. Additional priority can only be granted where the issues are made worse by your current accommodation and would be alleviated by moving home.

 

We will also consider the type of properties that are suitable for you and your household, for example such as whether ground floor accommodation is required. If you bid for properties that have been assessed as unsuitable for you, your bid will not be considered.
It is important that you tell us as soon as possible of any changes to your circumstances that may affect your application, for example moving home or changes to your income or household composition. You can do this by logging in to your account. After you submit a change of circumstances form you may not be able to bid on vacant homes whilst we reconsider your eligibility and priority. You will be notified of any changes to your application status.
Yes, once a year. We will let you know when your renewal is due. You may need to submit further information and/or documents with your renewal. If you fail to renew your application within 28 days it will be closed. We will let you know if your application status changes as a result of your renewal.
You can place bids on a maximum of 3 properties each week.
This will depend on your household composition and circumstances. When you are accepted onto the register, we will tell you what type of properties you can bid on, including property type (house/flat etc.), and number of bedrooms as well as any considerations in place due to medical/welfare need.
Each week any available properties will be advertised on HomeChoice. Bids can be placed any time between 00:01 on Friday until 23:59 the following Wednesday. It does not matter when within this time the bid is placed.
The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, number of bedrooms, rent and other features of the property. Where available a photograph of the property, or a similar property 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 you must meet, such as age requirements and whether certain people will be given priority for the property.
Only those who have been accepted on to the Council’s housing register will be able to bid on a home. You can only bid via HomeChoice by logging into your account using your email address and password.

 

In certain circumstances where it is necessary, the system can be set up to place bids automatically on your behalf. This is called Auto Bid.
The Home page displays all properties that are being advertised - this means across both the waiting and transfer lists and all bands. You will only be eligible to bid on those properties advertised to your list and band, and you can see these specific properties once you log into your HomeChoice account.
Once bidding has closed for the week, shortlists of those who have shown interest in each property are created. The homes will usually be offered to the applicants who have waited the longest in the band that the properties were prioritised for. If this nomination does not proceed for any reason, the next person on the shortlist will be contacted, and so on. Certain properties may not be subject to the usual shortlisting process in order to ensure the most appropriate use of the accommodation. The successful applicant will be contacted. There is no need to contact us.
Yes. Most social housing properties in the borough are owned and managed by housing associations, not by the Council. These landlords will apply their own policies when deciding whether to accept a nomination from the Council.
Yes, however applicants should think carefully before placing bids on advertised properties because offers are limited to 2 per active application. If a second offer is refused, and the property is deemed suitable by the Council, applications will be closed and the applicant will need to re-apply. This also applies to offers made to those on Auto Bid.
It is likely that you will have to pay some rent when you sign the tenancy agreement. Most landlords now ask for rent in advance but the amount can vary. You should ensure you have this available before bidding.
Yes, you will need to pay all the usual costs associated with moving home such as removals. You will also normally have to provide your own carpets, curtains and appliances.
Information about homes that have been successfully let is published on the website. We tell you the number of applicants that expressed an interest in each property, the band and the registration date of the successful applicant for each property. To see the results of properties that have been let, click on ‘Recent Lets' at the bottom of the page.
Occasionally a housing provider may request that a property is allocated as a ‘sensitive let’. This may, for example, be due to a need to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour in a particular area, or to ensure that vulnerable people are not housed in an inappropriate area. In these instances, in order to ensure a property is let sensitively, the Council may not adhere to the usual shortlisting process and the successful applicant may not be the applicant with the earliest effective date (as would normally be the case).