Cookies and this website

This website uses cookies to give you the best online experience. If you'd like to know more please read our cookie policy

Skip to content

Frequently asked questions

 

1.  What is Homefinder Somerset?

2.  Who are the partner organisations participating in the Homefinder Somerset Partnership?

3.  When can I start bidding?

4.  What is a 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 expressing an interest/bidding?

9.  If I am a tenant of a Registered Social Landlord (Housing Association) and I would like to transfer what should I do?

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

11.  How do I join the Homefinder Somerset register?

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

13.  What types of property can I bid for?

14.  Will I be successful if I bid early?

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

16.  What if I disagree with my banding?

17.  Where can I find details of vacancies?

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

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

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

21.  What is my PIN for the website?

22.  Who are the partner Housing Associations?

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

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

25.  What if I wish to Mutual Exchange with another tenant?

26.  What if I am offered a tenancy?

27.  What if I keep refusing properties?

 

1.What is Homefinder Somerset?

Homefinder Somerset is how to apply and find available social housing in Somerset.

#Back to Top

 

2.Who are the partner organisations participating in the Homefinder Somerset Partnership?

The 5 Local Authorities are Taunton Deane Borough Council, West Somerset Council, Mendip District Council, South Somerset District Council and Sedgemoor District Council

 

The partnership also includes social landlords that have properties in Somerset.  Click her to see who is involved. (Link to Partners page).

#Back to Top

 

3.When can I start bidding?

Once you submit your online application and provide the required evidence the local authority will assess and activate your application. You can then place expressions of interest/bid online from your Homefinder account.

#Back to Top

 

4.What is a banding system?

In Somerset all applicants for social housing complete the same application form and are assessed against the same clear set of criteria laid out in the 'Banding' structure. All applicants are placed in one of four bands, Emergency, Gold, Silver and Bronze, depending on the circumstances of their household.

#Back to Top

 

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

Click on the link for the local authority district area 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

#Back to Top

 

6.What band will I be in?

You will be placed in the band most appropriate for your household needs based on the information declared on your application form and any letters of support you supply.

#Back to Top

 

7.What are the bands?

There are four bands. Emergency band for an urgent need to move. Gold for a high need to move. Silver for medium need to move. Bronze for a low need to move. The full criteria for each band is available on prioritising applications.

#Back to Top

 

8.What do you mean by the term expressing an interest/bidding?

Expressing an interest or bidding for a property simply means you are asking the housing association to consider you for a property. You should only place expressions of interest/bids against properties that you are genuinely interested in moving into.

 

Expressions of interest can be withdrawn and re-used against another property until the close of the advertising cycle. Expressions of interest do not have to be placed every week. The number of times that you place an expression of interest will have no bearing on whether or not you are offered a property, this is based on your housing need and time on the waiting list.

#Back to Top

 

9.If I am a tenant of a Registered Social Landlord (Housing Association) and I would like to transfer what should I do?

You need to register your contact details and then complete a social housing application.  

#Back to Top

 

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.

#Back to Top

 

11.How do I join the Homefinder Somerset register?

By completing an on-line application at www.homefindersomerset.co.uk. Once started your form must be completed and submitted within 28 days. Any incomplete application forms will be cancelled after this time.

#Back to Top

 

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

Approximately 20-30 minutes. You can stop and save the data at any time but the application must be completed and submitted within 28 days of starting it. You will need to know the dates of birth, national insurance number, income and capital details of any household members over the age of 18. You also need to provide a five year address history, details of previous tenancies, including landlord details.

#Back to Top

 

13.What types of property can I bid for?

You can place an expression of interest/bid for properties that are suitable for your household needs. This is usually determined by the number of bedrooms your household is eligible for. To make best use of your expressions of interest/bids read the advert text carefully as sometimes restrictions or certain criteria are set. For example adapted properties may be reserved for people with specific mobility problems or other disabilities. You may need a local connection to a certain area.

#Back to Top

 

14.Will I be successful if I bid early?

There is no need to wait up until midnight to be the first person to place an expression of interest/bid. The scheme does not operate on a first come first served basis it does not matter when you place your expression of interest as long as it is placed during the expression of interest/bidding cycle which opens on Wednesdays at 00.01 am and closes the following Sunday at 11.59 pm. Expressions of interest/bids cannot be placed on a Monday or Tuesday.

 

When you are looking to place an expression of interest/bid against a property you will be see how many other applicants have already placed expression of interest/bids and how many of them based on band and length of time in band are in front of you.

#Back to Top

 

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

A shortlist for each property advertised is produced by placing the expressions of interest into priority order This is usually by highest band and the longest effective date in that band. However, if the advert included preferences or priorities these will be taken into account.

 

The prospective landlord will make contact if you are the successful applicant and will formally validate the details on your Homefinder Somerset application. This is why it is very important to keep your Homefinder Somerset application updated, especially your contact details.

#Back to Top

 

16.What if I disagree with my banding?

Your application will be reconsidered each time your report a change of circumstance, provide additional information or supporting documents.  

 

If you disagree with your banding, bedroom award or eligibility to join the housing register you should contact the local authority responsible for your application to discuss the decision. If the issue cannot be resolved you have the right to request a review of the decision. 

 

Reviews must be submitted in writing to the local authority that made the decision within 21 days of the date on the notification letter.  You must include the reason why you believe the decision is wrong, together with any additional information you believe is relevant.

#Back to Top

 

17.Where can I find details of vacancies?

Details of the available properties are available on this website within the property search area or on newsletters available in local authority and housing offices.

#Back to Top

 

18.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.

#Back to Top

 

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

To avoid missing out on a property, you need to keep your application up to date by advising the Local Authority dealing with your application of any changes to your contact details or to your housing circumstances this could include:

 

  • A change in your address

  • A change in your email address

  • A change in your home, work and mobile phone numbers

  • A change to the number of people in your household

  • A change in the medical circumstances of a household member

  • A change to the condition of the property (disrepair)

  • If you no longer have any pets

     

    The quickest and easiest way to report these changes is via your online Homefinder Somerset account. If you change your address you will need to contact the local authority responsible for your application.

    #Back to Top

  •  

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

If you register online this will show once you have registered.  This will also show on a letter from the local authority dealing with your housing register application, you will need to contact them if you have lost your letters.

#Back to Top

 

21.What is my PIN for the website?

The Pin is originally set as the main applicants date of birth in the format DD MM YYYY.

#Back to Top

 

22.Who are the partner Housing Associations?

The Registered Social Landlords / Housing Providers included in Homefinder Somerset scheme can be seen by clicking on the partner page.

#Back to Top

 

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

Contact the Local Authority you have applied to for help and advice.

#Back to Top

 

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

You need to register your contact details and then complete a garage application. You do not need to complete a housing register application.

 

If you are looking for an available garage, you can search on the property search tab and tick garage, and all vacant garage advert can be viewed.

 

If you have any question about your application, you should contact your current landlord.

#Back to Top

 

25.What if I wish to Mutual Exchange with another tenant?

You need to register your contact details and then complete a mutual exchange application. You are responsible for uploading your own adverts onto the website.

 

If you have any question about your application, you should contact your current landlord.

#Back to Top

 

26.What if I am offered a tenancy?

If you are successful in being offered a property, a landlord may require you to move in a matter of days (it can be up to 4 weeks).  It is important that you are ready to move.  Up to 4 weeks rent in advance may be required to secure your tenancy, so it is advisable to save and prepare for this.

#Back to Top

 

27.What if I keep refusing properties?

If an applicant decides to refuse an offer of accommodation, either at the accompanied viewing, or when an initial verbal offer is made, the housing provider will consider the next applicant on the shortlist.

 

Records will be maintained on the number of refusals an applicant makes and the reason for the refusal.

 

With the exception of applicants in gold band because they are homeless or threatened with homelessness, any applicants who refuse three formal offers for suitable accommodation will have their case reviewed. They will be advised that if they subsequently refuse one further offer they will be suspended from expressing an interest in properties for a period of 3 months from the date of the last refusal. After 3 months the applicant will be reassessed and placed in the band appropriate to their circumstances and may lose their original effective date.

 

If a homeless applicant refuses a suitable offer of accommodation, the LA will consider its duty towards them as a homeless household discharged, subject to the statutory review process. The LA may decide to use its power to discharge the homeless duty with a suitable Private Rented Sector Offer. In either case the gold band status for accepted as being, or threatened with being homeless will end.

#Back to Top