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Frequently Asked Questions

What is bidding?

‘Bidding’ means that instead of us contacting you about available properties, you are able to bid for any available property that you are eligible for. 

How do I bid?

When you see a property that you want to bid for, you need to register your interest in it. Click here for more information on how to bid.

What is my current banding and my reference number?

You can find out your current banding and priority housing date by logging into your account or checking your acceptance letter.

What properties am I eligible to bid for?

If you are placing your bid via the HomeChoice website or by telephone or mobile phone we will tell you which properties you are eligible for.

Offer process:

The weekly bidding cycle closes at midnight on a Thursday. All bids received will be put in priority order to produce a list of eligible applicants for each property advertised. People will be prioritised by banding first and then by the earliest priority housing date.

Priority for 80 per cent of available properties will go first to applicants in A+, then to applicants in band A (if no eligible bids are received from bidders in band A+). Priority for the remaining 20 per cent of available properties will go first to applicants in band B, then to applicants in band C, then to applicants in band D. These quotas do not apply to sheltered accommodation where priority will always go to applicants in banding A+, then A, then B etc.

If we are unable to contact the bidder at the top of the list or if they refuse the property, we offer it to the person next in line. That is how we ensure properties go to those in greatest need.

What if my circumstances change:

•    New telephone number or email address – Please change your contact details online via HomeChoice
•    New baby - Please email and include a copy of the child’s birth certificate

•   Change in health/medical issues – Please email the details along with a copy of relevant documentation you have (such as a doctor’s letter)

•    All other changes - Please email with the details

 I can’t log into my account?

When you are entering your memorable date, please ensure that you enter it in the correct format.  For example, if you are entering 05/02/2020, you must enter it in this exact format:  0 5 / 0 2 / 2 0 2 0

If you still cannot log in (or if you have forgotten your memorable date) please call the Contact Centre on 01293 438608 and ask them to reset your memorable date.

Which properties can I bid on?

If you are bidding via the HomeChoice website or over the phone we will tell you which properties you can bid on.

Why are there not any properties I can bid on?

Properties usually only become available when an existing tenant moves out, therefore it is not possible to control or predict what properties will become available and when. If there have not recently been any properties that you are eligible to bid on, continue to check each week.

Why wasn’t I successful?

There are a number of reasons why you may not have been successful, the most likely being that someone in a higher banding or with an earlier priority housing date was offered the property. But you may wish to consider whether any of the following apply:

  • Are you in rent arrears with the Council or another landlord? If yes, rent arrears will affect your banding and whether you are offered a property, you need to pay them off as soon as possible.
  • Were you eligible for the property? For example, you would not be eligible to bid on a three bed house if you have been assessed as having a two bed housing need.
  • Are your contact details up-to-date? If we do not have an up-to-date telephone number for you we cannot contact you to offer you a property.
  • Was any additional criteria in place? Some properties are only for transfer applicants, or those in band B for example. This will be stated in the property advert. Two bed ground floor flats with gardens are prioritised for households with children under the age of 10, whereas bungalows are prioritised for the over 60’s.
  • Have your circumstances changed (income, household size or address for example)? If so, this may affect your banding or your eligibility to be on the housing register.

You can login to your account to find out why you were not successful with your bid.

How can I get into a higher banding?

Your banding is determined by your housing situation and personal circumstances. You will only be awarded a higher banding if your circumstances change and your situation is re-assessed as warranting a higher banding (see section 3.2 of the Housing Allocations Scheme).

It is important to note that adding further people to your housing application (for instance a newborn) is very unlikely to affect the priority banding of your application. It may affect the size of property you are eligible to bid on (see section 4 of the Allocation Scheme).

What if I do not agree with a decision?

In some circumstances you are able to request a review of decisions that Officers make if you think we have not applied the Council’s housing policy correctly when assessing your application. 

If you wish to request a review you must put this in writing and you must set out your reasons for this. For example (but not limited to) you have additional medical information you wish to provide which you have not already provided, or you have supporting information/documentation indicating that the original decision is incorrect.  You must always provide documentation to support your review whatever the reason. You should not request a review if you are simply not happy with the decision.

Reviews are carried out by a panel of at least two senior officers who have not been involved in the original decision. The panel aim to complete reviews within 28 days but sometimes this can take longer if they need to carry out further investigations such as talking with your GP or your landlord, contacting your bank, Inland Revenue, DWP, your employer or contacting Social Services.

Details about how you request a review and where to send it are always provided with your original decision letter. Please refer to this for further information.

When do I renew my application?

We will contact you annually to check whether you want to remain on the housing register. Until then you do not need to do anything. When we contact you we will advise you how to renew your application.

What if I need an adapted property?

It is unlikely that a property in your chosen area(s) with the right adaptations will become available when you need it. Therefore it is likely that we will need to carry out adaptions to a property to make it suitable for your needs, so continue to bid on properties in the normal way. If you are successful an Occupational Therapist and/or a Surveyor may be asked to visit the property to determine whether it is suitable for your needs or whether it is capable of being adapted to meet your needs. If it isn’t, then it will not count as an offer and you will need to continue to bid on properties.

Why does my queue position change?

Bidding data is live, so you are seeing where your bid is at that moment. If people place bids after you this will change your bid position. Autobids are placed on Thursday at midnight, so if you bid just before the bidding cycle closes, your position in the queue may still change.

Please note, when you place your bid in the bidding cycle does not affect your chances of being successful. Your priority banding and priority housing date are what will determine your position in the queue.

Why can’t I bid on a property?

You can only bid on properties that you are eligible for. If the property is bigger than you have been assessed as needing you will not be able to bid on it. Some properties are only for transfer applicants or those in band B, this will be advertised in the advert.

I am going to be homeless, what do I do?

The housing register is not an option for those needing housing in an emergency. If you are homeless or facing homelessness you need to contact the Housing Options Team by completing an online form.

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