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Somerset

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Homefinder Somerset?
2. Who are the 5 local authorities participating in the Homefinder Somerset Scheme?
3. When can I start bidding?
4. What is the banding system?
5. How can I find out which parish I live in?
6. What band will I be in?
7. What are the bands?
8. What do you mean by the term bidding - will I have to pay anything?
9.If I am a tenant of a Registered Social Landlord (housing association) and wish to transfer or mutual exchange what should I do?
10.How do I apply onto the Homefinder Somerset register?
11.How long will it take to complete a form on line?
12. What types of property can I bid for?
13. Will I be successful if I bid early?
14. How will I know if I am top of the bidding list for a property?
15. What if I disagree with my banding?
16. Where can I find details of vacancies?
17. What if I register on line and havent received my banding letter?
18.What do I do if I move or my circumstances change?
19.What is my Unique Reference Number to login to the website?
20.What is my PIN for the website?
21.Who are the partner Housing Associations?
22. What if English is not my first language and I need help translating documents?
23. Will I need to register if I want to apply for a garage to rent?
24. What if I wish to Mutual Exchange with another tenant?

1.What is Homefinder Somerset?

It is a partnership of local authorities and housing associations who are working together to make the process of finding a home simple and transparent for all applicants across Somerset.

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2. Who are the 5 local authorities participating in the Homefinder Somerset scheme?

Taunton Deane Borough Council, West Somerset Council, Mendip District Council, South Somerset District Council and Sedgemoor District Council

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3 When can I start bidding?

You can bid now using the website (you will need to login first) or via the telephone bidding service.

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4. What is a banding system?

The Homefinder Somerset system is based on a banding system. The five local authorities will no longer be operating a points based system. All applicants are now placed in one of four bands, Emergency, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Please see the How we prioritise applications  page for more details.

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5. How can I find out which parish I live in?

If you want to find out which parish area you live in use one of the links below depending on which district you live in:

Mendip District Council Parish Areas
Sedgemoor District Council Parish Areas
South  Somerset District Council Parish Areas
Taunton Deane Borough Council Parish Areas
West Somerset Council Parish Areas

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6. What band will I be in?

You will be notified of your band in your banding letter. You will be placed into a band, which is appropriate to your housing need. This will be assessed by what you have put on your form. We may come out to visit you to assess you housing circumstances.

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7. What are the bands?

They are gold for high need, silver for medium need and bronze for low need. In a few cases applicants will be placed into an emergency band.

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8. What do you mean by the term bidding - will I have to pay anything?

This is one situation where bidding has nothing to do with money! We use the term “bidding” because it’s an easy term to use, but we could also say “express an interest”. When you see the list of properties available at any one time, you will choose the one that is most suited to your needs, you can then express your interest in that property (or “bid”). The property will usually be offered to the person with the highest priority who has expressed an interest and who is eligible.

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9. If I am a tenant of a Registered Social Landlord (housing association) and I would like to transfer or have a mutual exchange what should I do?

 

You will need to register on the Homefinder Somerset Housing Register using our online registration form.

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10. How do I apply onto the Homefinder Somerset register?

By completing an application on-line using www.homefindersomerset.co.uk. If you are unable to use the website come into your local authority office or local library and use a computer provided.

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11. How long will it take to complete a form on line?

It will take approx 30 minutes to re-register on line. You can also stop and save the data at any time and go back to it when you are ready to do so. The on-line form is available 24 hours, so you can register at your convenience. Please note that your form must be completed within 28 days of initial registration. Any incomplete application forms will be cancelled after this time.

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12. What types of property can I bid for?

You can bid for any type of property for which you are eligible. We will advise you of this in your banding letter. Certain restrictions will apply e.g. 

You will not be able to bid for homes considered too big or too small for your needs.
Adapted properties may be reserved for people with specific mobility problems or other disabilities.
Certain types of ground floor accommodation may be offered only to people with specific needs.
Sheltered accommodation is only available to people who meet the age or disability requirements.
In some cases there will be age restrictions.

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13. Will I be successful if I bid early?

No. Your bid is worth the same whether you bid on the first day or the last day of the bidding cycle, which opens at midnight every Wednesday and closes at Midnight on the following Sunday. The Homefinder Somerset scheme does not operate on a first come first served basis so there is no need to rush to place your bid as soon as the cycle opens. If you go to the property search section of this website you will be able to see how many bids have already been received for each property.

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14. How will I know if I am top of the bidding list for a property?

Once the bidding deadline has passed it is normally the applicant in the highest band who has waited the longest on the housing register who is successful. You will receive a pre offer visit from the prospective landlord and the details on your application form will be formally validated.

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15. What if I disagree with my banding?

 

If you disagree with your banding you should contact your local authority to discuss this. If the issue cannot be resolved then the you  have the right to request a review over banding or ineligibility to apply for housing.  Reviews must be submitted in writing to the local authority that made the decision within 21 days from the date on the notification letter.  You must include the reason why you believe your banding or ineligibility is wrong, together with any additional information you believe is relevant.

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16. Where can I find details of vacancies?

You can find details on properties that are available on this website within the property search area, via the telephone property hotline - 0845 241 5948 - or by visiting local authority and housing offices.

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17.  What if I register on line and have not received my banding letter?

If you have submitted a housing register form you will receive a banding letter confirming your banding, together with their application date and a personal reference number. This will enable applicants to bid for homes, which are advertised on a weekly basis. If you don't receive this letter within 21 days of submitting your application please contact the local authority that you applied to.

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18. What do I do if I move or my circumstances change?

If you move or your circumstances change you will need to contact your local housing office for advice. It is very important to keep us informed of changes, which affect your application. Failure to do so could lead to you not being made an offer even if your bid is successful.

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19. What is my Unique Reference Number to login to the website?

This is provided to you in your banding letter. If you have lost this letter you need to contact your local authority and request the number again.

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20. What is my PIN for the website?

Your Pin is your Date of Birth entered on the website in the format DD/MM/YYYY INCLUDING the slashes.

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21. Who are the partner Housing Associations?

There are over 40 Registered Social Landlords who are taking part in Homefinder Somerset. A full listing can be seen on our partner page.

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22. What if English is not my first language and I need help translating documents?

You can contact the Local Authority you have applied to and they can help you. They can also arrange for a translation service by appointment.

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23. Will I need to register if I want to apply for a garage to rent?

No, Homefinder Somerset is a scheme for residential properties only. Please contact your local authority, as normal and they will advise you of the procedure.

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24 What if I wish to Mutual Exchange with another tenant?

You will need to register on the Homefinder Somerset Housing Register. Once you have registered you will be responsible for uploading your own adverts onto the Homefinder Somerset website. Clients can do this at their convenience using their own computer or come into a Local Authority office or Library where they can also use the same Homefinder Somerset facility on-line.

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