Frequently asked questions about Homemove
Homemove is the choice based lettings scheme for Rother District Council. Please see below for the most frequently asked questions about the scheme.
What is choice based lettings?
Choice based lettings gives people more choice about where they live. Rather than the council allocating properties, the choice based lettings scheme allows Rother housing association tenants and new housing applicants to bid for the properties they are interested in. All available properties are advertised on Homemove and can be viewed at the Homemove website, in paper version at the Council’s Community Help Points. People looking to move are put into one of four ‘priority bands’ according to their housing need.
How do I get on to the scheme?
If you have been accepted on to our housing register as a Homeseeker or transfer applicant, you automatically become a member of the scheme. You can apply to be a member at any time by filling in the online Housing Register application form Applying for Housing.
Once you have sent us all the information we ask for we will write to you with your registration date and number, your banding and reason for it. For further information, please see our Housing Register and Homemove page.
What are the bands?
People are placed into one of four bands that show their priority for housing.
- Band A is for households with an urgent need to move
- Band B is for households with a high priority to move
- Band C is for households with a medium priority to move
- Band D is for households with no identified housing need
For more information on how you band is assessed please see the Housing Allocation Policy
How will the bands affect my housing application?
All applicants are now assessed using the banding system. When we write to you to tell you what band you are in, we will give you the reason for it.
Priority for most vacancies is given to applicants with a local connection to the parish cluster where the vacancy is. This means that sometimes applicants in a lower band may be successful over higher banded applicants if they have a local connection.
If you don’t agree with the banding you are given, you can appeal in writing but, before you do, please make sure that you have understood all of the information we have given you and that you have read and understood the Allocations policy on how applicants are Banded.
How are homes allocated under Homemove?
Every two weeks we advertise all the available empty properties coming up on Homemove. The property advert will tell you all about the property, for example how many bedrooms, what the rent is, the maximum numbers of persons the property is suitable for and whether any restrictions apply.
You can bid for the properties you are interested in and eligible for. All the bids for a property are recorded in priority order by band and time on the register. Once the bidding is closed, the Council will forward the top three applicants with the required local connection to the relevant Housing Association, who will contact you to arrange a viewing of the property. You can make bids via the Homemove website, by telephone, by text message or by posting a special voucher. Please be advised that the Council does not own any social housing.
What type of property can I bid for?
You can bid for any type of property but the council will normally advertise property based on the following criteria:
- property size – the property advert includes how many bedrooms the property has and a minimum/maximum number of people in the household that can apply
- adapted properties and those with a mobility code may be reserved for people with a matching requirement or need
- ground floor accommodation may be offered only to those people who have an agreed need for such properties
- sheltered accommodation is only available only for people who meet the age requirements
How many bids can I make?
You can bid for up to three properties in every fortnightly cycle.
Once I’ve made a bid can I change my mind?
Yes – you can change or withdraw your bid and can choose to refuse the offer if you want to. You are not penalised for refusing an offer (unless you have been awarded Band A priority under the Council’s Homelessness or Prevention of Homelessness criteria) and can bid again as soon as you are ready.
How do I know if my bid is successful?
You will be contacted by the relevant Housing Association, usually within a week. You can decide to accept or refuse the offer when you view the property or within 24 hours of viewing – no longer. You should speak to the Housing Association if you have any special needs or requirements.
We will not write to you if your bid is not successful but we publish feedback about the number of bids we had for each property and what band the successful bidder was in on the Homemove website.
I’m homeless – can I still choose a home through choice based lettings?
Yes – if you are registered for housing with Rother District Council. Band A accepted homeless or accept potentially homeless applicants are expected to bid on all suitable vacancies and refusal may lead to the Council discharging its duty to house.
Can I still bid if I have rent arrears on my council or housing association tenancy?
You can bid for properties you are eligible for but your bid may be refused by the housing association. Housing Associations do not normally make an offer of accommodation to a transfer applicant in rent arrears. If you want to move, it is important that you keep your rent payments up to date.
I have a medical condition – will this increase my priority?
No, not automatically. Additional priority is only awarded if your health is being adversely affected by the type of accommodation that you live in. For example an applicant with mobility problems may be awarded additional priority on medical grounds if they live in a first floor flat but not if they live in a bungalow.
I cannot bid for myself and have no one to support me – is there help available?
The Council offers an Assisted Bidding service for those applicants who are unable to bid for themselves. Please contact the Homemove team to see if you could be eligible.
Alternatively you could ask a friend or relative to bid on your behalf.