Frequently Asked Questions

Please click the 'Register' button at the top right of the screen.
You will be assessed to have a local connection to Somerset if you:


• Have lived in Somerset for the last 2 years, or 3 out of the last 5 years, or


• Work in Somerset for a minimum of a 16 hours per week for 6 months, or


• Have immediate family members that have lived in Somerset for 5 years.


Immediate family members include: parents, siblings and non-dependent children.


Please note that there are exceptions to the local connection rules, for example for members of the UK armed forces, or veterans who have left the UK armed forces in the last 5 years. Please see the Homefinder Somerset Policy for details.


Just because you go to somewhere in Somerset often does not mean you have a local connection. You will not be assessed to have a local connection to an area just because your children go to school there, your auntie or cousin lives there or your doctor/dentist is based in the area, if you do not meet any of the other local connection criteria above.
The band that your application is placed in depends on our assessment of your housing need.


The 4 housing need bands (Emergency, Gold, Silver and Bronze) are explained in full in the Homefinder Somerset Policy


For example, if you have a child and are lodging with friends or family or in accommodation with shared living facilities then your application will be placed in Silver Band. However, if you do not have a child and are lodging with friends or family or in accommodation with shared living facilities then your application will be placed in Bronze Band.
Yes. You must submit your request in writing within 28 days setting out the reasons for your review request. You can upload your request from the Homefinder Somerset website. A housing officer who was not involved in the original decision will carry out the review.
Priority is awarded if your physical or mental health is made worse by your current home and would be improved by moving to a new home. If your physical or mental health will not be improved by moving to a new home you will not receive any additional priority on Homefinder Somerset.


Please see the Homefinder Somerset Policy for details of how priority is awarded to people whose physical or mental health is made worse by their current home.
The Homefinder Somerset policy mirrors the rules of Housing Benefit when assessing what size home you need. Under Homefinder Somerset each of the following are assessed as needing a separate bedroom:


• A single person or people living together as a couple


• Other adults, aged 16 years old or over


• 2 children under 16 years old of the same sex


• 2 children who are both under 10 years old regardless of sex


• A carer who does not live in the household but provides a household member with long term overnight care


Exceptions to these rules can be made for children who are entitled to the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, and supporting evidence is provided by a medical professional or social services to confirm that the child requires their own bedroom for medical reasons.
Because of the high demand for properties in Somerset, additional bedrooms cannot be given to applicants who have children who do not normally live permanently with them as their full-time principle home. In cases where parental responsibility is equally shared local authorities will have to decide who will be treated as having primary responsibility for any children. Consideration will be taken of where the child spends most of their time, which address the child is registered at for their Doctor, School etc. and which parent receives Child Benefit and, or Child Tax Credit.
No. It is not ‘first come first served’ when it comes to housing. When you bid for a home does not affect your bid position. Bids are ranked by the Band of applicants and then by how long they have been waiting.
No. You don’t have to use all 3-bids each week. The 3 bid limit is a maximum, not a minimum. Instead, only place bids on homes that you would be interested in living in. If you have been accepted as homeless by a Somerset local authority, they will expect you to bid for all appropriate homes.
No. You need to bid on homes otherwise you will not be considered.
Your bid position will be different on different properties. Bids are ranked by the Band of applicants and then by how long they have been waiting. Your bid position will depend on your band and how long you have been waiting, compared to everyone else who has bid for a property. Some properties are more popular because of their location or type (for example houses are more popular than flats). This means that you may be higher on one property than another because there are less bids from people with a higher banding or who have been on the waiting list longer than you.
When you bid for a home does not affect your bid position. Your bid position can change as more bids are placed. Bids are ranked by the Band of applicants and then by how long they have been waiting. If someone in Gold Band bids for a home just before the end of the closing date for bids, their bid will be placed above people in Silver and Bronze Bands, and anyone in Gold Band who has been waiting for less time.
Affordable rent is intended to help those who would not otherwise have been able to afford housing in the private sector. It is designed to provide an alternative to traditional social rent charged on council and housing association homes. The extra rent charged helps councils and housing associations to build more homes.


Affordable rent will be slightly higher than social rent as it allows the landlord to charge up to 80% of market rent levels within the local area. Market rents are the rents paid by private tenants. Landlords may carry out a financial assessment as part of their verification process to ensure the rent is affordable, before they will proceed with an allocation.


In most cases, where applicants are eligible to receive housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit, the rent would be covered by this payment. More information can be found at Local Housing Allowance rates in Somerset.


Homes let at affordable rents are allocated in the same way as homes let at social rent through Homefinder Somerset. There is no difference to the services tenants will receive.


Because the partner landlords are only applying affordable rents to a percentage of homes, from time to time you may see two identical properties in the same street advertised at two different rents.
Bids are ranked by the Band of applicants and then by how long they have been waiting. If someone above you, on the list of people who bid, is offered the property this is because they were in a higher Band or have been waiting longer. If a landlord rejects your bid you will be able to see the reason why by logging into your Homefinder Somerset account.
The simple answer is that there are not enough social housing homes to meet demand. There are over 9,200 people on the Homefinder Somerset register and only 2,135 homes were let last year. It is likely that there will be a long wait until you find a home. If you need a home quickly, we recommend that you look for private rented accommodation. You can improve your chances on Homefinder Somerset by bidding for flats as well as houses.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the information on your application is correct and up to date. This is because any change of circumstances may affect your Band or the size of home you need. If you do not keep your details up to date landlords may skip you.
If you refuse 3 suitable homes you may be suspended from bidding for 3 months and have your band and priority date reviewed.
Your application may have been closed for one of the following reasons:


1) You did not provide all mandatory evidence within 28 days of applying to Homefinder Somerset. As part of the application process, you acknowledged that unless you provide all mandatory evidence within 28 days your application would be closed. Please see the list of acceptable evidence on the Help page


2) You did not provide any other information that has been requested within the specified time limit.


3) You did not respond to an annual renewal request


4) You asked for your application to be closed.


5) You no longer become eligible to remain on the housing register or you are excluded from the housing register. For example, you no longer have a valid local connection to Somerset.


6) If you moved but did not provide your new address and we have lost contact with you.


7) If you were rehoused through Homefinder Somerset.


8) If you did not log into the new Homefinder Somerset website between 1st August 2021 and 4th January 2022. A number of emails were sent to people registered with Homefinder Somerset explaining how to login to the new website, and that people who did not login would have their applications closed.
Yes. Reviews must be submitted in writing to your local authority within 28 calendar days of your application being closed. Please see further information regarding the review process in the Homefinder Somerset Policy.
Yes. If you wish to re-apply you need to complete a new application. To do this please click ‘Register’ and then ‘Register here’.