Help Guides

What is HomeOption?

 

Useful information

How to create a password on HomeOption

Explanation of Affordable rent

Explanation of Fixed Term Tenancies

 

Allocation Policies:

Brentwood Allocations Policy 2021

Broxbourne Council's Allocations Policy 2019

Chelmsford Allocations Policy 2021

CHP Allocations Policy 2021

Epping Forest Allocations Policy 2018 - 2022

East Herts Housing Register & Allocations Policy 2019

Uttlesford Allocations Policy 2021

 

Translations

HomeOption is committed to helping all those registered to access the scheme. If you would like assistance or have any specific requirements, please contact your Council Housing Department to discuss this.

Frequently Asked Questions

To register, click the purple 'Register' button at the top right of the screen.

 

We only accept applications via the online form. To complete the form, you will need to have to hand, your national insurance number, income and savings details and details of your previous addresses with dates.

By law all local authorities must have a policy for determining how social housing is allocated in its district. By registering, we have the information we need to make sure that those who have the greatest need are given priority for housing, in accordance with government guidance.

 

Some local authorities, do not own any properties, so their allocation schemes are for determining priorities for the nomination of applicants to Registered Providers (RPs). In those local authority areas, an applicant will be offered accommodation by a Registered Provider (RP), usually a housing association.

 

We aim to process your application within 6 weeks if we have received all the requested documentation, but we will not be able to process your application without it. If you have supplied all the necessary documents and more than 6 weeks have elapsed, you can contact the relevant local authority on the contact us page
If you have a medical reason for needing to move, you will be able to explain this on your housing application. However, your local authority is likely to need supporting information from medical or other relevant practitioners in order to assess how this impacts on your accommodation needs and whether any additional priority can be applied to your application. Please note, additional priority is unlikely to be awarded based purely on a diagnosis, but will be linked to how your current accommodation impacts your condition and/or how it could be improved by a move to alternative accommodation. Doctors can charge you for a letter, so please do not ask your doctor to write to us unless he/she has information relating to your housing needs.
Please read the Allocations Policy of the council you are applying to and see what is taken into account when they assess your priority. If you still think your points allocation / priority band is incorrect, then contact the Housing service at the relevant council to discuss your application further. Contact details for each council can be found on the contact us page

You will need to login to your account (you need to be registered) to view and bid on available properties. Go to Your account and Your Current Bids section and click place a bid.

 

You will be able to express an interest for a maximum of 3 properties in each weekly cycle. Please read the information on the property advert very carefully to ensure you are making the right choice. Expressing an interest inappropriately creates a longer waiting time for others.

 

Also, some councils will automatically penalise you for refusing properties you have chosen. Your council/landlord will advise you if any action will be taken because you have refused a property, for example, your application may be suspended for a period of time if you have refused properties on multiple occasions. Please refer to the relevant council’s Allocations Policy for further details

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You do not need to contact your council or the housing association to find out if you have been successful. If you have come to the top of a shortlist (a list of eligible applicants who have bid on a property), you will usually be contacted within a week of the closing date. However, a lot of properties are advertised some time before they are ready for occupation. If a person who was top of the list refuses, the next person who was on the list may be invited to view and this could be some weeks after the closing date. These shortlists will show as “under offer” on the website.

 

Once properties have been let they are listed on the Feedback page on the website. This may be some time after the property was advertised and you placed your bid. The feedback tells you how many people expressed an interest for each property, as well as the band/points and registration date of the successful applicant. This helps you to see how long the successful applicants had been waiting.

 

It is not possible to notify you individually when your bids have been unsuccessful.

 

A registered Housing Provider can be a Housing Association, Trust, Council or private organisation that offers affordable homes and is registered with Homes England.

Can the HomeOption scheme refuse to accept me onto a participating council’s Housing Register? There are some people who are not eligible to be included on a council’s Housing Register, for example:

 

• an applicant who is subject to immigration control

 

• an applicant (or a member of their household) who is guilty of unacceptable behaviour serious enough to make them unsuitable to be a tenant.

 

• applicant who has deliberately given false or misleading information or withheld relevant information in connection with their application

 

• most councils will also have qualifying criteria to establish whether you have a local connection to their district

 

Each of the Local Authority areas, together with CHP, have their own Allocations Policy which detail their eligibility criteria. Please visit the relevant council’s website for more details.

 

You may be asked to provide the following:
  • Evidence of your right to reside in the UK if you are not a British Citizen
  • Proof of address
  • ID for all household members on your application
  • Proof of income and savings


All documents provided must NOT be originals, but must be up-to-date copies and valid.
Before you are offered a property you may also need to provide additional evidence to support your application. The landlord making the offer will advise you about which documents to provide and when and how to provide them.

 

If someone in your household has a medical condition which is being made worse by their current accommodation, you need to make this clear on your application so that our housing providers can take account of your needs when you are offered a property. See the question above about medical information and doctor's letters.

It is important that you tell us of any changes to your circumstances as it may affect your application.

You will need to log in to your HomeOption account and complete a change of circumstances form if you are adding an adult to the application, or if you have changed your address. After you submit this form you will not be able to bid on vacant homes whilst we reconsider your eligibility and priority. This delay should be no longer than 28 working days.

If your circumstances have otherwise changed, you will need to contact your local authority to advise of the changes. Documentary proof of any changes is usually required.

Please note you do not need to contact your local authority if your email address or contact telephone numbers have changed as you can easily update this information yourself through your HomeOption account.

Properties are advertised on this website. You will have the facility to set up weekly property alerts so an email will be sent to you containing a list of suitable properties for that week.
Yes, when you bid for a property online you will be told how many other bids there have been for each property you have placed a bid on. This can be found on your "My Account" page for the last 5 bids you have placed or by clicking on the "my previous bids" link. Once a property has been let, you will also see your "rank" on the Feedback page: this is an indication of where you came on the shortlist, so position 1-5 will mean you were somewhere between 1st and 5th on the shortlist.
Please refer to each council’s Allocations Policy for their procedure on how to request a review or appeal a decision.
If you are threatened with homelessness, you are unsafe, or rough sleeping, please visit your local council's website and contact the Housing service. You can still complete the online form to join the housing register but it is critical that you seek immediate help to resolve your homelessness

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 and greater access to affordable homes for more people. The difference between Social Rent and Affordable Rent is that Affordable Rent will be slightly higher as it allows the landlord to charge up to 80% of market rent levels within the local area. But these rents will still be low and affordable. However, landlords may carry out a financial assessment as part of their short listing process to ensure it is affordable to each applicant, before they will proceed with an allocation.

 

If you are eligible for housing benefit you and your family type is suited for the property then Housing Benefit should pay the higher rent. However, if you are unsure please contact your council’s Housing Benefit team. Affordable Rent properties will be allocated in the same way that Social Rent properties are now through HomeOption and there will be no change to the services tenants will receive. Affordable Rents will only apply to new development or converted void properties and will not apply to all social housing. Because the partner landlords are only applying these rents to a percentage of properties, from time to time you may see two identical properties in the same street advertised at two different rents.

 

Some properties are now advertised as fixed term tenancies. The type of tenancy being offered will be indicated on the advert for each property. Rather than offering a tenancy that can be in place for life these tenancies will have a fixed term, some will be 5 years some might be 20 years. New tenants may be offered a one year introductory tenancy.

 

Please read each advert carefully to ensure you understand what you are applying for as our different housing providers will be offering different terms and conditions with their fixed term tenancies. In most cases, when the fixed term comes to an end, another fixed term tenancy will be issued. Only in exceptional cases would the registered provider not renew it. Exceptions could include:

 

• Persistent rent arrears

 

• Persistent delay in paying rent

 

• Anti-social behaviour

 

• Neglect of property

 

• Under-occupancy of 2 or more bedrooms

 

If you click on the feedback link at the bottom of the home page you can see a report on the property outcomes. From time to time you will see that a property has been allocated to someone in a lower band/with fewer points than you. This might happen when a property has adaptations, as all partners always try to match properties with disabled facilities to those that need them.