The Application Process
Who can apply for properties through My Social Home?
You must have been accepted onto My Social Home Housing Register to be able to apply for properties for rent. Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register. PLEASE NOTE: if you are under 18 and do not have a child, or are not expecting a child, you may not be eligible to bid for properties. Please speak to the relevant housing advisor advertising the property before placing your bid.
How do I apply to join the Housing Register?
You will need to complete an on-line application form.
How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Housing Register?
Once you have submitted your application, you will receive confirmation of acceptance on the housing register within 24 hours. You will also be able to see the band you have been placed on, 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?
You may not be accepted for a home if for example;
- 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.
- People that have refused two offers of accommodation will be suspended for 12 months.
- People who do not turn up to viewings without a good reason.
- People who do not respond to offers of accommodation.
Do I need to renew my application each year?
Yes, once a year, usually on the anniversary of your application, you will be sent a renewal reminder. You must renew your application within 28 days of this reminder message. If you do not renew your application within 28 days, your application will be closed, and you will have to create a new social housing application using your existing login details.
Applying for a property
How do I apply for a property?
You can express your interest or bid, as it is also known, online through our website, www.mysocialhome.co.uk
How many bedrooms am I entitled to?
You may be entitled to one bedroom per child.
Does my child qualify for his/her own bedroom?
If you share responsibility for your child/children with a former partner, only the parent/guardian that is the recipient of the child related benefits will be allocated the number of bedrooms needed for that household. If you are a parent/guardian and have access to children but you do not receive child related benefits, you will not be eligible for any additional bedrooms to accommodate your children.
How many properties can I express an interest in?
There is no limit to the number of properties you can express an interest in. However, you will only be able to express interest in properties that are suitable for your family.
How long will I have to bid for a property?
Properties will be advertised until they are Let.
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 frequently due to other people bidding for the same property. Using this information, you may decide to withdraw your bid for one property and bid for a different property for which you are higher placed in the queue.
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. The applicant at the top of the list will normally be offered the property.
If I successfully bid for a rented property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me?
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.
If I successfully bid for a rented 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.
Are there any fees?
Yes, with most housing options you will need to pay a fee. My social Home only charge a one-off fee of £30 per application. A deposit may also be required depending on the property, all details of fees will be listed with the property on the website.
What if I don’t like the property when I have seen 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, if you are a Band A because you are statutory homeless, you will only be able to receive one offer of a home. If you refuse this, you will no longer be eligible to remain in Band A.
How often are properties advertised?
Properties available for rent are advertised each day. As soon as we are given formal notice that a property is due to become vacant we will advertise it.
Where are properties advertised?
Properties are advertised in the following ways:
Online at www.mysocialhome.co.uk, www.rightmove.co.uk, www.zoopla.co.uk, www.primelocation.com
Other locations may be added in the future.
What information will the property adverts contain?
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.
I can't find a property?
There are several different reasons why you may not see any properties to bid for.
- There may not be any empty properties advertised that week in the area you are looking for.
- You may already be matched to a property (in which case you would need to be unmatched before you can bid for another property).
- There may be some incorrect information on your application that needs to be amended before you can see any properties to bid for.
- Your application may have been closed because you did not complete your yearly update or your application may be suspended for some reason.
- You may not match the requirements of a property that is advertised (for example, you may be too young, or not have a medical need or local connection to the area).
Housing Priority Bands
What are 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 also consider your personal and housing circumstances in deciding the band you are placed in. Within each band applications are placed in date order.
How long will I stay in the same band?
You will remain in the same band until your circumstances change.
What do I do if my circumstances change?
You are responsible for updating your own housing circumstances. If your details change, it is very important that you update these directly onto your online application. If this results in your application moving to a different band the system will automatically notify you. If you move up a band the date used will be the date you move into that band. If you move down a band the date used will be the date that applied when you were previously in that band or any earlier date when you were in a higher band.
Circumstances affecting your housing need
What if someone in my household has a medical condition?
If someone in your household has a medical condition you will need to be able to provide evidence of this at shortlisting stage. 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.
What if I become homeless?
You should contact your local council office in the first instance. They will arrange an interview with you to discuss your circumstances. They will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you. If this is unsuccessful you may be offered temporary housing. You may still express an interest in properties through My Social Homes, providing your application has been accepted on the Housing Register, but in most cases it is unlikely that this will be in time to resolve your homelessness, as most applicants will have to wait some time before being successful.
Other documents to support your application and tenancy
What other documents do I need to provide?
If you are offered a property, 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).
- Evidence of your right to reside in the UK if you are not a British Citizen (e.g. passport & other relevant Home Office documentation).
- Evidence of your personal and housing circumstances.
You will also 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 originals, up to date and valid. For a full list of acceptable documents contact the landlord who has successfully shortlisted you for a property.
The following information shows some examples of acceptable ID.
LIST A – Information from either Group 1 or 2 can be used to evidence an ‘UNLIMITED RIGHT TO RENT’
LIST A GROUP 1: Any Single item from this list can be accepted:
- A passport (current or expired) showing that the holder is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
- A passport or national identity card (current or expired) showing that the holder is a national of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
- A registration certificate or document (current or expired) certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home Office, to a national of a European Union, European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
- A permanent residence card, indefinite leave to remain, indefinite leave to enter or no time limit card issued by the Home Office (current or expired), to a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA or Swiss national.
- A biometric immigration document issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK. The document must be valid (not expired) at the time the right to rent check is made.
- A passport or other travel document (current or expired) endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
- A current immigration status document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is permitted to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK. The document must be valid (not expired) at the time the right to rent check is made.
- A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.
LIST A GROUP 2: Any two of the following documents when produced in any combination can be accepted:
- A full birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents or adoptive parents.
- A letter issued within the last 3 months confirming the holder’s name, issued by a UK government department or local authority and signed by a named official (giving their name and professional address), or signed by a British passport holder (giving their name, address and passport number), or issued by a person who employs the holder (giving their name and company address) confirming the holder’s status as an employee.
- A letter from a UK police force confirming the holder is a victim of crime and personal documents have been stolen, stating the crime reference number, issued within the last 3 months.
- Evidence (identity card, document of confirmation issued by one of HM forces, confirmation letter issued by the Secretary of State) of the holder’s previous or current service in any of HM’s UK armed forces.
- A letter from HM Prison Service, the Scottish Prison Service or the Northern Ireland Prison Service confirming the holder’s name, date of birth, and that they have been released from custody of that service in the past 6 months; or a letter from an officer of the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales, an officer of a local authority in Scotland or an officer of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland confirming that the holder is the subject of an order requiring supervision by that officer.
- Letter from a UK further or higher education institution confirming the holder’s acceptance on a current course of studies.
- A current full or provisional UK driving licence (both the photo card and paper counterpart must be shown).
- A current UK firearm or shotgun certificate.
- Disclosure and Barring Service certificate issued within the last 3 months.
- Benefits paperwork issued by HMRC, Local Authority or a Job Centre Plus, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions or the Northern Ireland Department for Social Development, within the 3 months prior to commencement of tenancy.
LIST B – For evidencing a ‘LIMITED RIGHT TO RENT’
LIST B: ANY ONE ITEM FROM THIS LIST CAN BE USED AS EVIDENCE OF A TIME LIMITED RIGHT TO RENT.
Documents where a time-limited statutory excuse is established
- A valid passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK for a time-limited period.
- A current biometric immigration document issued by the Home Office to the holder, which indicates that the named person is permitted to stay in the UK for a time limited period.
- A current residence card (including an accession residence card or a derivative residence card) issued by the Home Office to a non-EEA national who is either a family member of an EEA or Swiss national or has a derivative right of residence.
- A current immigration status document issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK for a time-limited period.
- In the case that the person has an ongoing application with the Home Office, or their documents are with the Home Office, or they claim to have Home Office permission to rent, an email from the Landlords Checking Service providing a “yes” response to a right to rent request. This will only be sent to the landlord by the Landlords Checking Service.
What happens if I do not provide the required documents?
If you do not provide the required documents, then you will not be made an offer of accommodation or any offer of accommodation that you have been made will be withdrawn and you will be moved into a lower band. If you are found to have deliberately provided false or mis-leading information in your housing application, then your application will be suspended.
Requesting a review
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
- 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
- You have been given the wrong bedroom entitlement
To request a review, you must contact one of the housing providers within 21 days of the date you are notified of the decision and the reason for it. If your landlord is a partner of My Social Home, you must contact your landlord to request a review. You may provide additional information in writing that you wish to be considered when the review is carried out. You will normally be advised of the outcome of the review within 2 weeks.
Do I have to pay any rent in advance?
You will be required to pay 1 to 4 weeks' rent upfront. Details will be listed with the property on the website.
Are carpets and appliances provided?
Depends on the property. You may have to provide your own carpets and appliances.
What other options are there for housing?
There is a shortage of homes in most of our areas, especially larger family homes. 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. Your local council may be able to help you with a deposit for private rented properties if you meet certain criteria.