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Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Who can apply for properties through Leicestershire Choice Based Lettings?

Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the housing register.

However, there are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register.  These are:

  • People who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act
  • 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) whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to be a tenant.

2.  What is CBL (Choice Based Lettings)?

Instead of the Council or Housing Association choosing the property, we will advertise all the properties which we have vacant.  It is then up to the homeseeker (applicant) to decide if they want to be considered for the particular property, as long as they meet the lettings criteria ie a single person will not be able to bid for a 3 bed house.

Vacant Council and Housing Association properties will be  - a one stop shop for social housing.

3.  Which Landlords are participating in CBL?

The 7 Leicestershire District Councils (but not Leicester City Council - they have a separate CBL 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 District Council

Also all the housing associations that have property in the County of Leicestershire (but not Leicester City)

4.  What do we mean by bidding for property? 

This is about expressing an interest in an advertised property, it does not involve money in any way.

5.  How many bids do you get?

You are allowed to bid for up to 2 properties per advertising cycle.

6.  How often are the advertising cycles?

These are every week.  The bidding cycle opens at midnight on a Wednesday and closes at midnight the following Tuesday.  No bidding cycle on a Wednesday.  As the cycle is open for a week, there is no advantage in bidding early.  It is NOT first come first served.  If anything, bidding later in the cycle will give a more accurate idea of your final position in the queue.

7.  Where are properties advertised?

Properties are advertised:

  • Online on the web site: www.leicestershire-homes.org.uk
  • In the Council offices
  • A limited number of newsletters will be posted out eg to the housebound or vulnerable

Please remember that if you are using a computer in a public place you must remember to LOG OFF otherwise the next person will be able to see your details.

8.  How can I join the Housing Register?

In order to join the housing register you will need to complete an application.  You can do this online on this website - www.melton-homes.org.uk.

Tenants with one of the Councils or Housing Associations wanting to transfer should also complete an application.

You only need to complete one application, if you want housing anywhere in the Leicestershire subregion. 

9.  If I only want a housing association property, how do I apply?

You will need to complete the same application that is used to apply for a council property.  Most of the housing associations have closed their housing registers so people need only complete this form.

You don't need to fill in multiple applications with each different landlord. (De Montfort HA are the only one keeping theirs for the time being).  Nearly all of the housing association properties will be advertised through the CBL scheme anyway.

10.  What do I do if I only want a Mutual Exchange?

You should apply on line at www.homeswapper.co.uk

11.  What other documents do I need to provide?

WE DO NOT NEED ORIGINALS

When you have completed your application you will need to provide the following:

  • Proof of identity for all household members (e.g. passports, driving licence with photo ID, birth certificates)
  • Proof of current address (e.g. recent utility bill, tenancy agreement)
  • Proof of income (e.g. 2 months or 5 weekly wage slip, benefit award letters or  2 months bank statements showing all entries)
  • Proof of children living with you (e.g. copy of child benefit payment and/or child tax credits award letters or 2 months bank statement showing all entries)
  • Proof of pregnancy (e.g. copy of NHS confirmation of due date)
  • Proof of equity - If you are a home owner - proof of outstanding mortgage and current property valuation
  • If you are not a British Citizen - Evidence of your right to reside in the UK, (e.g.passport, visa & other relevant Home Office Information)

We will contact you if we need additional proofs or clarification.

Until all the proofs are provided you will not be accepted on the register or allowed to bid.

12.  What happens if I do not provide the required documents?

Should you not provide the documents requested within 14 days then your application will be cancelled.

13.  How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Housing Register?

You will receive a letter giving you details of your reference number, the band you have been place in, the date you have been registered from and the sizes of property that you are able to bid for.

14.  What are Priority Bands?

This is a way of recording your housing need.  Applications will be assessed according to their circumstances and placed in one of 4 bands, Priority, High, Medium and Low.  Within each band applications are placed in date order.

15.  What do I do if there is a change in my circumstances?

Should there be a change of circumstances, it is your responsibility to notify us.  You can up date your own details online, by updating your online application or by going to the  'contact us' section on the top menu bar.

When you make an amendment, a 'pencil' symbol will appear next to that section of the application.  It will remain there until the back office has acknowledged this change.  If proofs eg birth certificates are required, the amendment will not be confirmed and the application updated until this is received.

16.  Do I need to renew my application each year?

Yes, once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application you will asked to update your application.  If you do not return the form we will write and tell you that you application has been cancelled.

17.  What if someone in my household has a medical condition?

You can fill in a medical/mobility form online or we can send you a paper copy.

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.

18.  What information will the property adverts contain?

The adverts will give 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, if your are viewing on line, you will be able to access information about the local area (up your street) and facilities.

The icons (pictures) in the advert will tell you if there are any age requirements or other restrictions on who can bid.  The advert may also indicate if preference will be given to applications from certain types of household.

19.  How do I apply for a property?

You can express your interest or bid, as it is also known, in the following ways:

You will need your housing registration number and memorable date in order to bid.

  • Online through our website: www.melton-homes.org.uk 
  • Through our 24hr automated telephone service on 0300 011 0129

20.  How do I know how many other people are interested in the same property?

You will be told your position in the queue for a particular property at the time of bidding.  This is likely to change as other people bid for the same property.  It could vary continually up until the closing time of that advertising cycle.

You can phone the bidding line or go online at anytime during the advertising cycle to get your up to date position.

The total number of bidders is only published once the property has been let.

21.  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 restrictions stated in the advert details for that property. The highest place applicant (home seeker) will normally be offered the property.

The shortlist is ordered by highest band first - ie Priority band then High, then Medium then Low band.

Within each band it is ordered by the earliest effective date first.

22.  Can the Landlord refuse to make the offer to highest placed homeseeker?

Yes.  Landlords work their way from top to bottom on the shortlist.  There may be reasons why the homeseeker is bypassed for an offer eg.

  • The homeseeker owes rent or has other housing related debts and cannot reach an agreement on how to repay them.
  • When the homeseeker has failed a credit check - for housing association properties.
  • They are a Council or housing association tenant and legal action has been taken against them because the homeseeker has broken their tenancy conditions.
  • They have not provided the required documentary evidence to support their application by the date given.
  • Their circumstances have changed and they no longer meet the criteria for the property.
  • They have provided incorrect or misleading information.

23.  How may offers do I get?

Two.  You will be given an opportunity to view the property first before you decide whether you would like to accept it or not.  If you refuse the offer, fail to respond to an offer letter, or miss a pre-arranged viewing appointment, then this will be counted as one of your offers.

24.  Results of lettings

Information about homes that have been successfully let is published on the website and in the property newsletter. 

The result shows the address, property type, the number of applicants that bid for the property and the band and registration date of the successful homeseeker. To see the results of properties that have been let click Recent Lets.  This information will help to 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.

25.  Are carpets and appliances provided?

No.  You will normally have to provide your own carpets and appliances.

26.  How do I request a review of a decision?

If you disagree with any of the following decisions you can request a review:

  • Why you are not eligible to join the housing register
  • Why you are not eligible for an offer
  • Why 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 Options Team Leader 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.

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