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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

 

Which Local Authorities are taking part in the Leicestershire Choice Based Lettings (CBL) scheme?

The authorities in the 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 Borough Council
Who can apply for properties through Leicestershire CBL?

You must have been accepted onto the Housing Register for one of the councils named above to be able to apply for either rented or low cost home ownership properties.  Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register.

How do I apply to join the Housing Register?

You will need to complete a CBL Housing Application Form and, if appropriate, CBL Medical & Mobility Form.  This form is to be used by:

  • people who want to rent
  • people interested in shared ownership and other home purchase options
  • tenants who want to transfer
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)
  • Proof of current address (e.g. recent utility bill)
  • Proof of income or benefits (e.g. copies of recent wage slips or benefit entitlement letters)
  • Proof of children living with you (e.g. copy of child benefit payment and/or child tax credits)
  • Proof of pregnancy, if applicable (e.g. copy of NHS confirmation of due date)
  • Evidence of your right to live in the UK if you are not a British citizen (e.g. passport and other relevant Home Office documentation)

Your application form will list the proofs required when you apply. 

Before you are offered a property, you may 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 up to date and valid.

What happens if I do not provide the required documents?

Providing you have properly completed your application form and proved your ID and eligibility, your application will be processed but may be placed in the lowest band, until the other documents are received.  The date of registration will be the date your fully completed form is received.  If you are then moved into a higher band, your effective date will be the date the proofs were received. 

If your application form is incomplete, it will be returned to you. 

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

You will receive a letter telling you that you have been accepted onto the Housing Register.  This will tell you the band you have been placed in, the date you have been registered from, and the type and size of properties you can bid 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:

  • People who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum & Immigration Act
  • People 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 whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to be a tenant (this can apply if any member of a homeseeker's household is guilty of such behaviour)

For more detailed information, contact Housing Needs.    

What are the Priority Bands?

Your application will be assessed according to your circumstances and placed into one of 4 bands (Charnwood HomeSearch Bands).  We will also take into account whether you have a local connection with either the district of Charnwood or other districts in the Leicestershire sub-region, and whether you are able to afford to resolve your own housing problems.  Within each band, applications are placed in date order.

How long will I stay in the same band?

You will stay in the same band for as long as you are living in the same circumstances.  If your circumstances change, then you may be placed into a higher or lower band as a result. 

What do I do if my circumstances change?

It is 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. 

If a change results in you moving to a higher band, your effective date will change to the date you move into the higher band.  If the change results in you moving to a lower band, the effective date will revert to the date you previously went into that band OR, if you had not previously been in that band, your original registration date. 

If you have not told us about changes that affect your priority, then this may delay you getting an offer of accommodation.  We will make checks before confirming an offer and if your circumstances are different to those on your application form, the offer may be withdrawn and your application will be suspended until you have provided proof of the relevant changes. 

Will 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 do not return the form, we will write and tell you that your application has been cancelled. 

What if someone in my household has a Medical Condition?

If someone in your household has a medical condition which is affected by their housing, you will be asked to provide details.  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.  For example, if priority is given because someone has difficulty climbing stairs, they will not have priority if they bid for a house or a first floor fat where there is no lift.

How often will properties be advertised?

Properties available for rent are advertised each fortnight.  Homeseekers will have one week to make their bids.  The CBL Bidding Calender 2013 provides the dates when you can bid for properties. 

Where will properties be advertised?

Properties are advertised:

  • Online
  • At the council offices
  • In a property newsletter available at these Display Points  around the district. 
What information will the property adverts contain?

The adverts will tell you:

  • Who the landlord is
  • Location
  • Size of the property and other features (e.g. adaptations)
  • Rent
  • Age and other requirements - the icons (pictures) in the advert will tell you if there are any age requirements or other restrictions about who can bid for the property
  • Preference - the advert may indicate if preference will be given to applications from certain types of households
  • Bedroom requirement - homeseekers with a bedroom requirement smaller or larger than this will not be able to bid

Where available, a photograph of the property or a similar house type will be provided.  If you are viewing online, you will be able to access information about the local area and facilities.

How do I apply for a property?

You can express your interest or 'bid' in the following ways:

  • Online through the website
  • Through our 24 hours automated telephone service
How many properties will I be able to bid for?

You will be able to express an interest in a maximum of 3 rented properties each time properties are advertised.  However, you will only be able to express interest in properties that are suitable for your household. 

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

Yes, when you bid for a property online or by phone, you will be told your position in the shortlist (e.g. 4th or 27th).  This position is likely to change as other people bid for the property.

Using this information you may decide to withdraw your bid for one property and bid for a different property where you are placed higher in the queue.  You can do this at any time before the closing date.

When you bid by text, you will receive a text confirming your position in the shortlist - but you will not be able to undo a text bid and change it to another property. 

How will you decide who is offered a property?

Once the closing date for bids has passed, a shortlist of interested homeseekers is drawn up.  The shortlist is usually in order of local connection, followed by band, and then by the date that the homeseeker has become eligible for the band. 

If I successfully bid for a property, will the landlord be able to refuse to let it to me?

Before you are formally offered a property, you will be required to provide up to date proofs to verify your current circumstances.  You may not be offered the property if any of the following applies at the point of offer:

  • 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 money or property 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

This is not an exhaustive list and different landlords may have different criteria. 

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. 

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

Information about homes that have been successfully let can be found at Recent Lets  and these will also be published in the property newsletter.  We will tell you the number of homeseekers that expressed an interest in each property, the successful homeseeker's band and their registration date.

This will give you a better idea of how popular a particular property type 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. 

What will happen if I am already under offer for a property? 

If you have already been made an offer of a property, this offer will stand.

However, if the offer does not progress for any reason(s) and you are not re-housed, you will need to bid for properties using Charnwood HomeSearch. 

What if I become homeless?

Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness should contact Housing Needs on 01509 63 4567 as soon as possible to arrange an interview to discuss their circumstances. 

We will work with you to try and prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you.

How will 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 believe that you have been placed in the wrong housing need band
  • You wish to be considered for a particular property type but have been told you are not eligible for it
  • Your application has been cancelled other than at your own request

To request a review you must contact Housing Needs  within 28 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 28 days.

Before you appeal against a decision, you are advised to read the relevant section of the council's Allocations Policy.  This can also be requested by contacting Housing Needs  on 01509 63 4567.

 
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