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Frequently asked questions

Who can apply for properties through Tandridge Homechoice?

Who cannot use the service?

How do I apply to join the housing register?

What other documents do I need to provide?

What happens if I do not provide the required documents?

How do I know if I have been accepted onto the housing register?

Can you refuse to accept me onto the housing register?

What are the priority bands?

How long will I stay in the same band?

What do I do if my circumstances change?

Do I need to renew my application each year?

What if someone in my household has a medical condition?

How often are properties advertised?

What information will the property adverts contain?

What is sheltered housing?

How do I apply for a property?

How many properties can I bid for (express an interest in)?

How long will I have to bid for a property?

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

How do you decide who is offered a property?

If I successfully bid for a rented property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me?

If I am offered a property, will I be able to view it before making up my mind?

What if I don't like the property when I have seen it?

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

How will this information help me?

Are carpets and appliances provided?

What other options are there for housing?

What if I become homeless?

How do I request a review of a decision?

 

Who can apply for properties through Tandridge Homechoice?

You must have been accepted onto Tandridge District Council's housing register to be able to apply for rented properties through Tandridge Homechoice. Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the housing register. 

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Who cannot use the service?

You cannot use this service if you have not completed an application form and been accepted onto the housing register.

There are also some people who will not by law be eligible to join 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 our Customer Services Team.

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How do I apply to join the housing register?

Firstly, you will need to create a Homechoice account. Following this you will need to create a social housing application.

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What other documents do I need to provide?

After completing your application form you will need to provide the following by uploading the documents through your account:

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 originals, up to date and valid. 

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What happens if I do not provide the required documents?

Providing you have properly completed your application form it will be processed and placed in the appropriate band. If you do not provide the required documents, your application will be left under "pending enquiries" and you will not be able to bid on properties.

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How do I know if I have been accepted onto the housing register?

You will receive a letter confirming that you have been accepted onto the housing register. This will tell you the band you have been placed, the date your application has been registered from (your priority date) and your logging in details for the website.

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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:

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 see our allocations policy.

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What are priority bands?

Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed in one of 5 bands, A to E. We will also consider whether you have a local connection with Tandridge and the extent of this and whether you are able to afford to resolve your own housing problems. Within each band applications are placed in date order. 

You can see a breakdown of how applications are prioritised here.

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How long will I stay in the same band?

You may normally only remain in Band A for a very short time (depending on availability of properties) and Band B for family sized accommodation.  If you are in Bands C, D or E you will remain in that band unless your circumstances change and your application is awarded a different level of priority.

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What do I do if my circumstances change?

It is very 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. In order to maintain a fair system, if you move up a band or bedroom need size as a result of your change of circumstances your priority date will be reset as a date which is halfway between your original application date and the date you move into that band. The earliest priority date that an applicant can qualify for will not be more than one year before they became eligible for the higher band or property size category.  This ensures that applicants gaining a higher level of priority do not automatically overtake all applicants who have had that higher level of priority for longer. If you move down a band your priority date will remain unchanged.

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Do I need to renew my application each year?

Yes, once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application. You will need to log into your Homechoice account & renew your housing application. If you fail to renew your application, this can lead to it being closed.

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What if someone in my household has a medical condition?

If someone in your household has a medical condition you will be asked to provide details, which may then be considered by the Council’s medical advisor, who will put forward a recommendation. 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.

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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 we will advertise it. Properties are advertised each week (the week begins on a Friday) and ends at Midnight on Wednesdays. You can search the properties currently being advertised under Property Search. For more details see our How To Use This Service page. 

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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 may 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 (e.g. if you have a two-bed need, you will not be able to bid on a three bed property).

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What is sheltered housing?

Sheltered housing gives tenants an opportunity to live in a safe and friendly environment where they can retain their independence and look after themselves but, at the same time, have the additional security of help and advice when needed. The support service provided by Sheltered Scheme Co-ordinators helps our sheltered scheme residents have peace of mind and reassurance.

Residents of sheltered developments still need the support and care of relatives and friends. Each Sheltered Scheme Co-ordinator has responsibilities to several people and cannot replace this vital support.

Not all sheltered housing units have the same facilities. Some have communal facilities on site, such as a lounge, laundry with drying room and a guest room. Others may have existing social clubs. You will be able to enjoy the benefits these communal facilities can bring, whilst retaining your privacy whenever you want to.  For further information click on the following link: Sheltered Housing.

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How do I apply for a property?

You can express your interest or bid, as it is also known, you will need to do so through your Homechoice account. See more information here.

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How many properties can I bid for (express an interest in)?

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

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How long will I have to bid for a property?

Properties will be advertised from midnight on a Thursday and you will be able to register your interest in properties from 00:00hrs on a Friday until 23:59 the following Wednesday.  You will not be able to 'bid' on Thursdays.

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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. You can do this at any time before the closing date.

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How do you decide who is offered a property?

Once the closing date for bids has passed, the shortlist of interested applicants is checked by the allocations team. 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.

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If I successfully bid for a rented property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me?

Yes, you may be considered to be ineliegible for a property for any of the following reasons:

You may not be invited to view the property for the following reasons:

You have rent arrears 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.

You have provided incorrect or misleading information, which has resulted in your application being awarded a higher priority than it deserves.

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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.

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What if I don’t like the property when I have seen it?

Any person that refuses two offers of accommodation that fully meet their need will be entitled to remain on the housing register but will have their priority reduced.  Their degree of preference (banding) will continue to be determined by their housing need assessment but their date of registration will be amended to be the date of refusal of the second offer, thus reducing their priority within the band.

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

Information about homes that have been successfully let is published. You will be able to find out the number of applicants that expressed an interest in each property, as well as the band and the priority date of the successful bidder. To see the results of properties which have been let click "Property Search" and filter by "Recent Lets".

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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.

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Are carpets and appliances provided?

You will normally have to provide your own carpets and appliances.

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What other options are there for housing?

There is a severe shortage of affordable homes in the Tandridge area. 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. We may be able to help you with a deposit for private rented if you meet certain criteria. Interviews to discuss your housing options are available by appointment from the Housing Needs section.

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What if I become homeless?

Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness will be assisted outside the scheme in the first instance. If you are homeless or threatened with homeslessness you should contact Customer Services on 01883 722000. We 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 Tandridge Home Choice, 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 a long time before being successful.

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