How do I apply to join the Homeseeker Register?
I do not have access to a computer; can I complete a paper copy of the application?
- No, the application form is not available in paper format; all applications need to be completed online. If you do not have access to a computer or have difficulty using one then a family member, friend or support agency may be able to help you and may also have a computer you can use, alternatively there are computers available in the Basildon Centre Reception.
Will I have to pay to use the computers in the reception of the Basildon Centre?
- No, the service is free however we would encourage applicants to complete the form at home, where possible, to avoid any distractions.
Can someone help me complete the online application?
- If you have difficulty using a computer or have difficulty reading and writing, you may wish to ask a family member, friend or support worker to help you complete the application. The customer service team in the Basildon Centre reception are available to provide some assistance if required.
I have tried to log in to my Homeseekers account but my password is not being accepted?
- If you have tried to put in your memorable date or password incorrectly several times you will be locked out of your account for 15 minutes. After this time you can try to log in again.
- If you have forgotten your memorable date and/or password click on the forgotten password link and the details will be reset and emailed to you.
- If you have forgotten your login reference then please contact the Customer Services Team on 01268 533333 who will be able to assist with this.
I am on the Homeseeker Register but I have just had a change of circumstances (eg just had a baby/my partner has moved out/ my child no longer lives with me etc)
- You need to log into your homeseeker register account (using the login tab) and amend the relevant section(s) on your form to update your circumstances. remember to press the submit button when you have finished. Your application will then be reassessed by the Housing applications team.
I made a mistake when filling in my application form online and the form was rejected. I want to change what I originally put on the form.
- Log back into your account (using the login tab) and complete a new application form.
What are priority Bands?
- Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed into a band, within each band applications are placed in effective date order.
Do I need to complete a different form if I am already in Council/registered social housing and want to apply for a transfer?
- No, the homeseeker application form is for applicants and current tenants of social housing
Do I need to renew my application each year?
- No, you do not need to renew your application however it is very important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances so that we can amend your application. All applications are checked at time an offer of a property is made and if you have had a change of circumstances that affects your band but you have not notified us, this could result in the property offer being withdrawn.
Why was I unable to complete the full Homeseeker Application?
- The begiining part of the application form assesses if you will qualify for the register. If you do not meet one or more of the qualifications you will be unable to complete the form and the reasons why you are unlikely to qualify will be shown on the screen. You will be able to find information on a variety of other housing options to consider here.
What documents do I need to supply?
What ways can I send documents?
- You can scan or screenshot the document from a mobile device and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can bring documents into the Basildon Centre reception between 9am-5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday and 10am-5pm Wednesday where you will find staff available in the scanning section who will scan your document/s direct to your Homeseeker application.
- You can post document/s to the address on the consent and declaration form, or bring them into the Basildon Centre on Saturdays between 9.00am and 1.00pm although there is no direct scanning service available at this time, so we would recommend the first two options above.
(Copies of documents requested are acceptable however Basildon Council reserves the right to ask for original documentation if required).
Do I need to supply any further documentation?
- Once your online application and the consent and declaration form have been received, your application will start to be assessed. You will be notified of any additional documentation we require to enable us to complete the assessment and you must provide these within the required timescale given in the request.
What additional documentation maybe required?
Examples of documentation that maybe required are listed below, this is not an exhaustive list and the documentation requested from you will be based on your circumstances. .
- Proof of identity for all household members (e.g. passports, birth certificates)
- Proof of current address (e.g. recent utility bill)
- Bank Statement - this must show your name and current address
- Evidence of your right to reside in the UK if you are not a British Citizen (e.g. passport & other relevant Home Office documentation)
- If you have children then you will be required to provide a copy of your child benefit notification letter - If you do not have a copy then you can apply for one to avoid delay. (We would encourage you to request a copy at the time you submit your online application, copies can be requested from the Child Benefit Agency)
- Other documentation as requested based on your own circumstances
Adverts and Bidding
How often are properties advertised?
- Properties available are advertised each week on www.basildonchoice.org.uk. As soon as we are given formal notice that a property is due to become vacant we will advertise it
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 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. 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.
Who can bid for properties through Basildon Choice?
- You must have been accepted onto Basildon Councils Homeseeker Register to be able to apply for social housing.
How do you bid for a property?
- Please see Guide to Bidding
When will I know when I can start to bid?
- Once you have completed your online application and supplied all documentation requested, you will need to wait for the assessment to be completed. You will be notified by email and/or your online message account confirming the decision. If your application is successful, your application will be activated which will enable you to start bidding for available properties
How many properties can I 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 family.
How long will I have to bid for a property?
- Properties will be advertised from 00.01am on a Friday and you will be able to register your interest in properties up until 11.59pm the following Monday.
Will I know how many other people are interested in the same property?
- Yes, when you bid for a property you will be advised where you are in the queue - this is only an indication as it 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. Please be aware that autobids are also placed as soon as the bidding closes so this may change your position.
Shortlisting and offers
How do you decide who is offered a property?
- Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is drawn up. 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.
If I successfully bid for a property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me?
Yes, there are some circumstances that the Council may withdraw an offer of a property, the following are examples although it is not an exhaustive list:-
- You owe rent or have other housing related debts
- Where there has been a change in your circumstances
- Where an error has been made in the advertising criteria
- Where an error has been made in the assessment of the applicants housing priority.
- You have provided incorrect or misleading information, which has resulted in your application being awarded a higher priority than it deserves.
- You have failed to provide documents for the verification process
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?
- If this is your first offer then you will have one further offer left. If you were only entitled to one offer of housing then your application would be cancelled. Your offer letter will advise you if it is your 'final offer'
How will I know what has happened to the properties advertised?
- Information about homes that have been successfully let is published on the website.. We tell you the number of applicants that expressed an interest in each property and the band & effective date of the successful bidder.
- To see the results of properties that have been let use the Properties and recent lets search.
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?
- Properties are let unfurnished, sometimes a decoration allowance is awarded if applicable
My medical details have changed
- You need to log into your online account (using log in) and on the relevant persons page tick 'Yes' to the question below.
Do you feel that you have a medical condition that makes your current home unsuitable OR there is a medical need for a particular property type, eg ground floor/shower, if rehoused?
- The medical form will then be available for you to complete.
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 will be considered by an independant Medical Advisor, who will put forward a recommendation. You will only be able to express an interest in properties suitable to your medical need such as ground floor flats or bungalows if you cannot climb stairs
Please ensure you have completed the medical form under the correct person.
Alternative Housing Options
What other options are there for housing?
- There is a severe shortage of social housing in the Basildon Borough. Most applicants on the Homeseeker Register will have to wait a long time for re-housing and many 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.
- Information on alternative housing options is available here
Requesting 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 homeseeker register
- You are not eligible for an offer
- Your application has been cancelled other than at your own request
- You think that you have been placed in the wrong band or given the wrong priority date
To request a review you must write to the Review and Performance Officer within 21 days of the date you are notified of the decision and the reason why you believe the decison to be incorrect. 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. You may not request a further review.