FAQs about bidding for properties and offers of accommodation
The guidance and FAQs here will answer queries about bidding for homes on HomeChoice.
How will I know what homes are available?
Every week we will advertise available homes on www.leicesterhomechoice.co.uk and in the weekly vacancy list, that is available to download at the bottom of the Apply for housing page. If you have a live housing application then you will be able to bid for properties.
Will every available property be advertised?
We will try to advertise all available properties via Leicester HomeChoice. However, there may be occasions when we cannot advertise a property or we may have to withdraw a property from advert and the property will be allocated directly. This will only happen in very special circumstances, such as a property being required to temporarily house a family because a fire has occurred in their current home or other urgent cases.
Can I apply for more than one property?
Yes. You are permitted to apply for up to three properties per week that you are eligible for. Your three chosen properties are in no particular preference order.
How long will I have to respond to an advert?
The properties are advertised for six days from 6am Wednesday to midnight the following Monday. It makes no difference at what time or day you apply for the property you are interested in - it is not a first come, first served service.
How will I know if I have been successful?
When the cycle is completed we will only contact the applicants that have the highest priority at the time the shortlists run. We aim to contact the successful applicant as soon as possible after the end of the cycle and the offer will be put in writing. If the property is ready to let we will also contact the applicant by telephone.
The system is refreshed every night, your position on the list is a guide and may change daily. Once the cycle is closed your position on the list will be correct on the day the shortlist is run and is determined by your priority.
Will my bids be considered in any particular order?
No, your bids all have equal weight. If you are eligible for offers on two of your bids for example, one will not be considered above another when offers are being made.
If I am offered a property, when will I be able to view it?
Please note, an offer of accommodation may be withdrawn at any time. If your offer is withdrawn, you will be advised in writing. If you're made an offer for accommodation, we'll arrange an accompanied viewing for you, after which an appointment will be made for you to sign for the tenancy. The tenancy will start on a Monday if it is a Leicester City Council property. If it is a housing association property the landlord will advise you accordingly.
What sort of tenancy will I be offered?
All new tenancies offered by us are introductory tenancies that are limited for an initial 12 month period, but become secure tenancies after this time if the terms of tenancy have been kept to. Secure tenancies have the right to buy introductory tenancies do not. Housing association tenancies are generally assured tenancies and do not carry the right to buy. Tenancies with HomeCome will be assured shorthold tenancies. Please Note:
- HomeCome tenancies are not a part of our tenancies, Leicester City Council tenancy. We are only the managing agent for them.
- A HomeCome tenancy is not a secure tenancy but an assured short-hold tenancy.
- A HomeCome tenant does not have security of tenure like Leicester City Council tenants.
- HomeCome tenants do not have the right to buy.
- HomeCome tenants do not have the right to exchange.
What standard can I expect and what works will be carried out to the property I have been offered, prior to me moving in?
We believe each of our void properties prepared for letting should be safe, clean and in a good state of repair in order that tenants can begin to enjoy their new home straight away. Our Void letting standard was developed in consultation with tenants and implemented in January 2017. The Void letting standard document is attached at the bottom of the page for your information.
How do I pay my rent?
Before you sign for your tenancy you will be asked to pay the first week's rent. You can pay by debit or credit card or by cash at any pay-point facility
All new tenants are required to pay their rent by direct debit.
When can I move in?
This will depend on whether any necessary repair work is completed. We will let you know when you can view the property internally, and will arrange for you to move in as soon as is possible.
The property may have modernisation work i.e. a new kitchen installed or gas central heating and this may be reflected in a potential rent increase, after your tenancy has commenced.
What happens if I refuse an offer?
Your application will remain in the same position as when you originally registered and you'll be able to apply for further properties in the next week’s adverts. If you refuse three offers over a 12 month rolling period your application will be immediately suspended for 12 months. You will have a right to appeal in writing within five days of receipt of notification of the suspension. Your appeal will be investigated and you will be contacted in writing within 10 days with the outcome.
Can I have a pet in my new home?
Certain properties are considered unsuitable for pets. This will be highlighted by a symbol against the property advertised.
What are age designated properties?
Some properties such as bungalows or sheltered accommodation may be age designated. This means priority may be given to applicants aged 60 years and over with general needs in the first instance, then applicants aged 50 years and over and so on, reducing in 10 year bandings. Where the property is ground floor, those applicants with ground floor requirements will be looked at prior to those with general needs whilst still working on an age basis.
How are adapted properties allocated?
When an adapted property is advertised, all applicants are allowed to place a bid as long as they are eligible for the bedroom range of the property. However, priority will be given to applicants that require the adaptation installed in the property. Therefore the allocations priority order will be to applicants requiring fully wheelchair, partially adapted, ground floor and then general needs requirements.
How do I access the Leicester HomeChoice website on a mobile phone/tablet?
When on a mobile phone or tablet, you will need to go to the ‘Apply for housing’ page. Scroll down to the fourth icon - ‘Search and bid for properties’ which will take you to the Leicester HomeChoice website. From there, select ‘Log on’ from the left hand side navigation menu. Enter your details in the required fields (reference number, name and date of birth). Finally, select the orange ‘Log on’ button.