Hampshire Home Choice - Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply for properties through Hampshire Home Choice?
You must have been accepted onto the Hampshire Home Choice Housing Register to be able to apply for properties. Subject to some exceptions anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register.
How do I apply to join the Hampshire Home Choice Housing Register?
You will need to complete an application form. There is a single form to be used by all customers. This can be accessed by completing the online application. If you do not have access to the internet you can contact your local Council Housing Service for advice. Click How to Contact Us for contact details and opening hours.
What other documents do I need to provide?
Along with your 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)
- Evidence of your right to reside in the UK if you are not a British Citizen (e.g. passport & other relevant Home Office documentation)
- Before you are offered a property you will 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 valid up to date originals.
What happens if I do not provide the required documents?
Providing you have completed your application it will be processed but placed in band 5 until the documents are received. Once additional information is received your application will be reassessed.
How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Hampshire Home Choice Housing Register?
You will receive a letter confirming that you have been accepted onto the Housing Register. This will tell you the band your application has been awarded, the date your application has been registered and the size of property you are eligible for.
Can you refuse to accept me onto the Hampshire Home Choice Housing Register?
There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register. These are:
- 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.
For more detailed information contact your local Housing Service.
What are priority Bands?
Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed in one of 5 bands. We will also take into account whether you have a local connection with one of the three Councils and whether you are able to resolve your own housing problems. Within each band applications are placed in date order and in band two an additional assessment of multiple need is completed.
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 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.
Do I need to renew my application each year?
Yes periodically you will be contacted to renew your application. You may be sent a declaration form which you must complete and returned within 28 days. If you do not make contact your application will be cancelled.
What if someone in my household has a health or welfare condition?
If someone in your household has a health condition you will be asked to provide details of your health or welfare condition. An assessment of the condition affecting you and how this is determined by your housing will be made. If you are made a health or welfare award your housing application will be amended.
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 by the landlord we will advertise it. For more details click Step Two-Choosing, part of our step-by-step guide to using the service
Where are properties advertised?
Properties are advertised in the following ways:
- online at www.hampshirehomechoice.org.uk
- property adverts available from your local housing service
What information do the property adverts include?
The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, size, rent and other features of the property. 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, whether the landlord allows pets and any restrictions on the number of children allowed to live in the property.
How do I apply for a property?
You can place your bid in the following ways:
- Online through our website, www.hampshirehomechoice.org.uk
- Through our 24hr automated telephone service on 0845 123 123
How many bids can I make each week?
You will be able to make a bid for three properties each week. You will only be able to express interest in properties that are suitable for your household.
How long will I have to bid for a property?
Properties will be advertised from midnight on a Wednesday and you will be able to register your interest in properties up until midnight on Sunday.
Will I know how many other people are interested in the same property?
Yes, when you bid for a property you will be shown your position in the queue. This is likely to change frequently right up to the closure of the bidding cycle as other people may be bidding for the same property. Using this information you may decide to withdraw your bid for one property and bid for a different property where you might be better placed in the queue. You can do this at any time before midnight on Sunday of the bidding cycle.
How do are decisions made on who is offered a property?
Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is drawn up. The shortlist is prioritised in order of bands and waiting time. 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 make me an offer?
You may not be invited to view the property for the following reasons:
- You are a Council or Housing Association tenant and legal action has been taken against you because you have broken your tenancy conditions
- You owe rent or have other housing related debts to a social landlord
- You have sufficient resources to solve your own housing problems
- You have not provided the required documentary evidence to support your application
- 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.
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?
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.
How will I know what has happened to the properties advertised?
Information about homes that have been successfully let is published.
The Recent Lets will tell you the number of applicants that have expressed an interest in each property, the band and the registration date for each successful letting. To see the results of properties that have been let click Recent Lets.
How will this information help me?
It will 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.
Are carpets and appliances provided?
You will usually have to provide your own carpets and appliances.
What other options are there for housing?
There is a severe shortage of homes in the Hampshire area. Most applicants on the Housing Register will have to wait a long time for an offer 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. Interviews to discuss your housing options are available at your local Housing Service.
What if I become homeless?
Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness will be dealt with outside the scheme. You should contact your local Housing Service to have an interview to discuss your circumstances. 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 Hampshire Home Choice providing your application has been assessed.
How do I request a review of a decision?
If you disagree with any decisions to do with Hampshire Home Choice you can request a review. Normally most issues that you raise can be resolved. If you are still not happy with the outcome you can request a formal review of decisions that you are not eligible to join the housing register, that you are not eligible for an offer, that your application has been cancelled other than at your own request and that 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 local Housing Service 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.
Can I take my pets with me?
Some accommodations are not pet friendly. You should not bid for any property which states 'no pets.'
What is a local connection?
Some properties are restricted to applicants who can demonstrate a local connection to the parish in which the property is built. A local connection is created by:
- Residing in the parish for a qualifying period of time.
- Having immediate family members residing in the parish for a qualifying period of time.
- Having full-time permanent employment in the parish.