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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is the list of our frequently asked questions.  If your question is not answered below, please contact us.

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What is B-with-us?

How can I apply to B-with-us?

Will I need to provide any additional information with my application?

I am under 18; can I still apply for re-housing?

I am a starter tenant; can I still apply for re-housing?

How will I know what band I have been put into?

I think I might be in the wrong band what should I do?

What if I have a change in circumstances?

What are registration and effective dates?

I need an adapted property, what do I need to do?

Will adapted properties be advertised?

What is a bidding cycle and when will properties be advertised?

What is a bid?

When can I start to bid for properties?

How do I bid for a property?

How many bids will I be able to make each week?

Can I change the bids I have made?

Why has my shortlist position changed?

Can I check where I am in a shortlist for a particular property?

How will I be allocated a property?

How will I know if I have been successful?

How long will I have to decide whether to accept an offer of accommodation?

What will happen if I have been unsuccessful?

What happens if I refuse a property?

What is an unreasonable refusal?

I am worried I might become homeless, what can I do?

I own my home, can I apply?

I am working, can I apply?

I cannot manage in my home any longer due to my health needs, what do I do?

If I owe any money from a previous tenancy will I be able to join the housing register?

What happens if I owe rent at my present home?

I am a single person; will I be eligible for a two bedroom flat or bungalow?

I am in prison can I go on to the Housing Register?

How long will I have to wait for a home?

What is extra care housing?

How is a local connection determined?

What is B-with-us?                                                                                              Back to top
B-with-us is a Choice Based Lettings (CBL) scheme.  We advertise Housing Association (Registered Provider) and Private Rented homes.  All available properties are advertised each week and applicants who are eligible and qualify to join B-with-us can express an interest in properties for which they want to be considered.

How can I apply to B-with-us?                                                                             Back to top
You can register and apply directly online.  Alternatively you can download an application form from this website or collect an application form from one of the partner organisation offices. Please complete the housing register application in full.

Will I need to provide any additional information with my application?                       Back to top

We do not normally ask for information at registration stage but if you require an additional bedroom you should supply proof of pregnancy, supporting information to say that a permanent carer is needed or evidence of medical reasons.

I am under 18; can I still apply for re-housing?                                                      Back to top
You are not eligible to join the Housing Register if you are under 16. However if you are between 16 and 18 you can apply but your application will be suspended until your 18th birthday.

I am a starter tenant; can I still apply for re-housing?                                                      Back to top

You are eligible to join the Housing Register but your applicayion will be suspended until your tenancy is converted to an assured tenancy (usually 12 months after your tenancy started).

How will I know what band I have been put into?                                             Back to top
This will depend on your living circumstances and if you have a priority under the B-with-us Housing Allocations policy. When you register with B-with-us, you will receive a letter confirming your band. You can also view the reasons for priority on our website.

I think I might be in the wrong band what should I do?                                          Back to top
You may not have provided us with all the necessary information. If this is the case we will have another look at your application. If you still disagree you have the right to have our decision reviewed. This must be done within 28 days of the decision. You should give the reasons why you disagree with the decision. We may ask you for further information to help us to carry out the review. We will write to you with the outcome.

What if I have a change in circumstances?                                              Back to top
If you have a change in your circumstances you should complete an online update to your Housing Register application, or contact us. This will allow us to keep your application up to date. If you are not sure if you should complete an update please contact us on 0300 123 22 00 and we will let you know what information we need. We may suspend your application if we need you to provide further information.

What are registration and effective dates?                                                            Back to top
Registration and effective dates are important because they give you priority within your band. Your registration date is the date that you submitted your application, this will not change. The effective date is the date that you were placed in a band. This will change if you go in a higher or lower band.

I need an adapted property, what do I need to do?                                      Back to top
If you feel you need an adapted property we will need evidence of the type of adaptations you require, usually from an occupational therapist.

Will adapted properties be advertised?                                                                            Back to top
The majority of adapted properties will be advertised so applicants can bid on them if they are suitable and in the area they would like to live. Applicants will be given preference for these adapted properties if an occupational therapist has made the assessment as requiring rehousing. Once the bidding cycle has closed a final assessment will be made to ensure the property meets your needs before an offer is made.

What is a bidding cycle and when will properties be advertised?                                 Back to top
The bidding cycle is the length of time properties are advertised as being available. Each bidding cycle starts on a Thursday at 00:01 and ends on a Tuesday at 23:59. Bids cannot be accepted outside these times. The time you bid does not affect your final position as homes are allocated to the bidder with the highest priority.

What is a bid?                                                                                                                      Back to top
Placing a bid is the way that you let us know you want to be considered for a property. No money is involved. A bid is simply an expression of interest placed against a property. When you bid you will be placed in a shortlist. Once the advertising cycle has finished your final queue position will be shown on your B-with-us account page.

When can I start to bid for properties?                                                                             Back to top
You can bid as soon as we have made your application ‘active’. Your application will be made active when it has been approved and all the required documents have been received.  It does not matter if you bid on Thursday or Tuesday as homes will be allocated to the customer with the highest priority.

How do I bid for a property?                                                                                              Back to top
You can bid in various ways: logging into your account page , in person at any office shown on our Contact us page or by contacting the B-with-us teams on 0300 123 22 00 who can place bids on your behalf. You will have to give certain details to be able to make your bid. If you need help with bidding please contact us on 0300 123 22 00.

How many bids will I be able to make each week?                                                          Back to top
Each customer has a maximum of five bids per week for social housing adverts. You don’t have to use all your bids and need to make sure that you read all the property details before placing a bid. In addition to those 5 bids you can also bid on other advert types such as Available Now.

Can I change the bids I have made?                                                                                 Back to top
Yes, you can withdraw bids within the bidding cycle and use them on other properties for which you are eligible. You have a maximum of five active bids per week.

Why has my shortlist position changed?                                                                         Back to top
Your position can change if other customers with an earlier effective or registration date bid on the same property as you, or if customers above you in the shortlist withdraw their bid within the bidding cycle.

Can I check where I am in a shortlist for a particular property?                                    Back to top
Yes, you can do this within the bidding cycle through the My Bids section of your online B-with-us account page. However, your final position will only be shown once the bidding cycle has been closed.

How will I be allocated a property?                                                                                   Back to top
We look at the list of customers who have placed bids once the bidding cycle has closed and offer the property to the first eligible person with the earliest registration or effective date who qualifies for the offer.

How will I know if I have been successful?                                                                      Back to top
If you are successful, we will contact you once the bidding cycle has closed to check your circumstances are still the same as stated on your application form correct and then offer you the property if you are still eligible and qualify for the offer. We will also do an affordability check to ensure you are able to afford the rent. You will not be considered for any other properties until you have made a decision on the offer. It is important that you keep your telephone contact details up to date.  If you do not respond to us or cannot make yourself available to attend a viewing we will move on to the next customer.

 

How long will I have to decide whether to accept an offer of accommodation?          Back to top
You will be given 24 hours to make a decision on an offer of accommodation after an accompanied viewing.

What will happen if I have been unsuccessful?                                                               Back to top
You will not be contacted if you are unsuccessful, but we will publish  details of each property including the address, successful customer’s band, effective date or registration date, and how many bids have been made. This information is on our recent lets page. You can search on the recent lets page for specific property outcomes and see how many properties have become vacant in the areas of your choice to help you make informed decisions about your chances of being re-housed.

What happens if I refuse a property?                                                                                Back to top

If your local council have awarded you a statutory homeless duty and you are in band 1 for that reason, your priority will be removed if the council decide the offer was reasonable.

Sometimes when you refuse a property, it will be recorded as an unreasonable refusal. If you unreasonably refuse 3 properties in a 12 month period your application will be suspended for 12 months and you will not be able to bid for any properties. Each case will be looked at individually and assessed as to the reason for the refusal. You will be told in writing and be given the right of review within 21 days of the decision if your priority is removed or 28 days if your application is suspended.

 

What is an unreasonable refusal?                                                                                     Back to top

Examples of unreasonable refusals will include area unsuitable, failure to respond to offer, repeated bids on a property type or area that an applicant has previously refused or deemed unsuitable or where the applicant states that they are not ready to move.

 

I am worried I might become homeless, what can I do?                                                 Back to top
You can seek advice from your local Council Housing Needs Team. The staff can offer advice about your current housing situation and other housing options.

I own my home, can I apply?                                                                                              Back to top
Yes you can.

I am working, can I apply                                                                                                     Back to top

Yes you can. If you have been working for 9 out of the last 12 months you will be given additional banding on the scheme.

 

I cannot manage in my home due to my health needs. What do I do?                         Back to top

You should contact us and request a medical assessment form to complete (or download it to complete) and return it to us so we can assess if you have a medical need to move.

 

If I owe any money from a previous tenancy will I be able to join the housing register?     Back to top
You will be able to join but your application will be suspended until the debt has substantially reduced, usually by at least 50%.                                                                     

What happens if I owe rent at my present home?                                                            Back to top

You will be able to join but your application will be suspended if your arrears are with a B-with-us partner organisation.
 

I am a single person; will I be eligible for a two bedroom flat or bungalow?                Back to top
You would be required to show a need for an additional bedroom for medical reasons or child access for example.

Occasionally a two bedroom home may be advertised for those applicants who have a one or two bedroom need.

I am in prison can I go on to the Housing Register?                                                       Back to top
You can apply to the B-with-us housing register; however your application will only be activated when you have a release date. No offers of accommodation will be made until you are released.

How long will I have to wait for a home?                                                                          Back to top
It is difficult to predict accurately how long you will have to wait. It all depends on what area you are looking for, what type of property you need, what band you are in and your effective or registration date. Look at the recent lets page where you can search by property type and area to see how long other applicants with the same band and a similar date to you waited to be rehoused. This information can help you understand your chances of being rehoused.

What is extra care housing?                                                                                                                Back to top

Extra Care housing provides apartments for older people in a community setting, with flexible care and support services available onsite.  Residents are able to retain their independence in their own home with the security and rights provided by a tenancy agreement.

Benefits of living with an Extra Care housing scheme include:

  • independent living in your own home
  • discreet security to give you peace of mind
  • a community setting with opportunities for an active and social lifestyle
  • onsite staff providing care and support services
  • onsite facilities such as hairdresser, restaurant and shop

In some areas applicants may already need to be in receipt of an existing care package to be considered for one of these homes.

How is a local connection determined?                                                                             Back to top

  1.       Residence of 6 months out of the last 12 months in the borough, or 3 years out of the last 5 years residence.
  2.       Mother, Father, Brother or Sister who have lived in the borough for 5 years or more.
  3.       Permanent employment in the borough.
  4.       Because of any special circumstances. ( this is a difficult one and its really up to the local authority to      determine).
  5.       Residence in prison, hospital or other institution or therapeutic setting; or casual employment; do not count as a local connection.