How Homefinder Somerset works

 

The easiest way to apply is to complete the online application form. To do this please click the ‘Register’ link in the top right-hand corner of this website.

 

In order to complete the application form, you will need to provide the date of birth, national insurance number, income and saving details for you and anyone who will live with you.

 

You also need to provide a five-year address history, including landlord details.

 

You will also need to provide evidence of your name, address and National Insurance number. You can upload this evidence as you complete your application. One document from either HM Revenue & Customs (e.g. about your tax code etc.) or the Department of Work & Pensions (e.g. about benefits that you are entitled to) can be submitted to confirm your name, address and national insurance number.
Once you submit your online application and provide the required evidence the local authority managing your application will assess and activate your application. Your application will be placed into 1 of 4 housing need bands: Emergency, Gold, Silver and Bronze. This will be based on our assessment of your housing need given the information you provide on your application and any letters of support you supply. For details of the categories in each Band please see the Homefinder Somerset Policy

 

When you have provided all of the required information, we aim to review your application and notify you in 21 days.
Once you have received confirmation of your registration you can tell us which homes you would like to be considered for. This is called bidding.

 

You will need to login to this website to bid. To do this you will need your email address and password that you entered when completing your application.

 

Bidding does not mean that you will part with any money. You can only bid for homes if your application has been accepted onto the Homefinder Somerset register. You can only bid for homes where you match what the advert asks for. For example, if a property has 1 bedroom, you will not be able to bid for it if you need more than 1 bedroom.

 

You can place 3 bids each week whilst properties are being advertised between Wednesday and Sunday. It does not matter when you bid during this time. Bids are ordered by Band and the length of time people have been waiting (see Selecting the successful Applicant).

 

Bids cannot be placed on a Monday or Tuesday.

 

You can withdraw a bid whilst a property is still being advertised and use it for another property.

 

You should only bid for properties that you are genuinely interested in moving into. To make best use of your bids read the advert carefully as sometimes restrictions or certain criteria are set. For example, adapted properties may be reserved for people with specific mobility problems or you may need a local connection to a certain area. This means that you need to live, have lived, work or have family in the area in order to be considered.
At the end of each weekly advertising cycle, a list of eligible bids for each advertised home is produced. The list will usually order applicants by the band that their application has been placed in and how long they have been waiting (their effective date). However, if the advert included preferences or priorities these will be taken into account.

 

You can find out your position on the list of people who have bid for a home by logging into the Homefinder Somerset website and clicking Feedback This will show you any 'active' bids for homes still being advertised, as well as bids you have made for homes that have previously been advertised.

 

Once the advertising cycle has ended the landlord of the home will then carry out a number of checks on the top applicant. This may include checking:

 

• Your circumstances have not changed from the information we hold for you

 

• Your rent payments are up to date

 

• Any anti-social behaviour

 

• Medical history

 

• Whether you match any requirements for the property (e.g. whether you have a local connection to the local area or whether you have a need for a home that has been adapted)

 

If you are at the top of the list you will normally be invited to view the home unless the landlord discovers reasons why you shouldn't be offered the home. For example, if you have rent arrears or have been guilty of anti-social behaviour. If the landlord is unable to offer the home to you they will move to the next applicant on the list and so on. Please contact the landlord of the property if you have any queries about the shortlisting for a home.

 

If you decide to refuse the home it will be offered to the next applicant on the list. If you refuse 3 properties your case will be reviewed. You will be advised that if you refuse another offer you will be suspended from bidding for 3 months. If you have been accepted as homeless by a Somerset local authority you should always seek advice before refusing a home, as this could end any duty to provide you with a home.

 

When the home is ready you will be contacted to arrange to sign the tenancy agreement and collect the keys.

 

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.