Applying for housing

Questions


Can I be nominated for a housing association property?

Yes. Both housing register and transfer list applicants can be nominated to a housing association.

However, there is only a very small stock of housing owned by housing associations in the Borough and vacancies rarely occur.

Demand for housing is extremely high and therefore it can be a considerable length of time before you will be nominated to a housing association.

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What condition will the property be in when I accept it?

When a Council property becomes empty it is inspected and the following work will be undertaken prior to you accepting the tenancy:-    

  • Health and safety checks i.e. electric and gas supply.  
  • Removal of any rubbish from the property and garden. 
  • Any repair and maintenance works. 

Council properties may require redecorating after the vacation of the previous tenant. 

Rather than carry out the redecoration work itself, the Council offers new tenants a redecoration allowance to use as assistance in purchasing decorating materials. The benefit of this is that tenants are then able to redecorate the property to their own taste. 


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When will I be given the keys to the property?

When you have signed your Tenancy Agreement on a Friday, you will be issued with the keys to the property and you will be allowed to move in over the weekend. 

However, please note that your tenancy will not legally commence until the Monday. The date will be clearly stated in your Tenancy Agreement.   


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How do I accept the property?

If you decide to accept the tenancy of the property you will be given a day and time that you will need to come to the Council Offices in Kiln Road, Benfleet to sign your Tenancy Agreement. This is usually the Friday before your tenancy commences. All tenancies commence on a Monday.

When you come to the Council Offices, you will need to bring two forms of identification. If your tenancy is a joint one, both parties will need to bring identification. Examples of suitable identification are:-

  • Driving Licence or Provisional Driving Licence
  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate

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What happens if I refuse the property?

If you decide not to accept the tenancy of the property you will need to let us know either at the viewing or by returning a refusal form to us that day or early the following day. You will need to outline on the form details of why you have refused the property. The property will then be offered to the next applicant on the waiting list.

Please remember, you will be only made one offer of housing that is suitable for your needs in the area or areas you have requested. If you refuse this offer, your housing register application will be deferred for one year and you will not be considered for any further offers until this period has passed.

If this situation occurs, we will write and confirm this with you and explain the procedures for review and appeal.  


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What happens after I have viewed the property?

One of our Housing Management Officers will carry out a viewing of the property with you.  

Once you have seen it, you will be asked to make a decision on whether you wish to accept the tenancy of the property or not.

We encourage you to make a decision at the end of the viewing. However, you will be issued with a refusal form which can be submitted to us that day or early the following day if you decide you do not wish to accept the tenancy of the property.


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What happens when I am allocated a property?

Once you have been allocated a tenancy of a property one of our Housing Management Officers will contact you and arrange a convenient time and date for you to view it. 

At the viewing you will be issued with an information pack which includes:- 


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How long will it take before I am allocated a Council property?

There is only a very small stock of housing owned by the Council and housing associations in the Borough.

The total combined rented housing stock is only around 2000 properties of which just under 1600 are owned by the Council. 

The number of properties that become available each year is a very small proportion of the total available. It is not possible to predict how many properties will become available at any given time but approximately 100 to 120 become available each year although the majority of these are bedsits or one bedroom properties.


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If I am offered a property will I be able to view it first?

Yes, once you have been offered a property a Housing Management Officer will contact you to arrange a viewing.


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If I am admitted to the Housing Register or Transfer List, can I choose where I want to live?

Yes, you can choose to be housed in as many areas of the Borough as you wish.

Furthermore, you can express a wish to be considered for a housing association property or to be housed outside the Borough. If this is your wish, we will help you with a nomination to a housing association or to another local authority.


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If I am admitted to the Housing Register or Transfer List, what size of property will I be offered?

You will be offered housing which is closely matched to your immediate housing needs as detailed in your housing register or transfer application form.


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I want to move to Castle Point to be near my children / parents. Can I have a Council House?

The Council operates an 'open' Housing Needs Register to which you can apply for social housing. You will need to complete an application form and supply all documentation requested. Your application will not be assessed until all documentation has been received.

Please telephone us on 01268 882354 or visit the Housing Advice Section at the Council Offices, Kiln Road, Benfleet, SS7 1TF if you require further assistance.


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I have seen an empty Council flat / house / bungalow, can I have it?

The Council allocates properties from the Housing and Transfer Registers. You will need to be on the Register in order to be considered for a property.


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I have applied for Council housing. When will I be offered a property?

You will need to speak with us. Please telephone us on 01268 882354.If you prefer you can visit the Housing Section at the Council Offices, Kiln Road, Benfleet, SS7 TF to discuss this matter.

Please Note: We will need your Housing Register Number, this can be found on any letter we have sent to you. If you cannot provide this information then we will not be able to access you records due to confidentiality rules.


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I am on the Housing Register, how many points do I have?

You will need to speak with us. Please telephone us on 01268 882354. If you prefer you can visit the Housing Section at the Council Offices, Kiln Road, Benfleet, SS7 1TF to discuss this matter. 

Please Note: We will need your Housing Register Number, this can be found on any letter we have sent to you. If you cannot provide this information then we will not be able to access you records due to confidentiality rules. 


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I am going to be homeless soon - how quickly will I get housed through the Housing Needs Register?

You need to have been awarded a very high priority to be considered for housing through the Housing Needs Register and even then it could be a considerable length of time before accommodation can be offered.


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What should I do if my circumstances change after I have been admitted to the Housing Register or Transfer List?

You should notify us immediately by:-


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How do we ensure fairness regarding the Housing Register and Transfer List?

Council housing is allocated in accordance with the Council’s Allocations Policy which has been consulted on and agreed by members. You can download a copy of this policy here:


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What other factors are taken in to account?

We will also consider the following factors in assessing your housing register application:-    

  • Your financial position i.e. do you have enough money, savings or capital to meet your own housing needs?  
  • Your behaviour i.e. Are there any factors that could affect your suitability to be a Council tenant?  
  • Your local connection with the Borough i.e. do you live and/or work in the Borough? 

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What are medical, welfare and hardship grounds?

These are often exceptional or extreme circumstances and supporting information would be required in order for us to consider your housing register application.

These apply where your current housing makes a condition or situation worse or if the condition or situation itself makes occupation of your current home so difficult that re-housing would greatly improve that condition or situation.


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Who do we consider to be in greatest need for Council housing?

This is determined by current legislation and includes the following categories of people:-   

  • People who are homeless within the meaning of the Housing Act 1996  
  • People who are owed a homelessness duty under the Housing Act 1996 
  • People occupying unsanitary or overcrowded housing or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions  
  • People who need to move on medical or welfare grounds  
  • People who need to move to a particular locality within the Borough to avoid hardship to themselves or others 

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Where can I get a copy of the Allocations Policy?

You can request a copy of the Allocations Policy by writing in to the Applications and Tenancy Services Section at the Council Offices, Kiln Road,Benfleet, and asking for a form to be sent to you.


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Who decides on the Allocations Policy?

The Allocations Policy has been drawn up by officers of Housing Services and agreed by elected Members of the Council.


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How will my Housing Register or Transfer application be assessed?

When we receive your PDF Document application form and any other supporting information, we will first assess whether or not you are eligible to be admitted to the housing register.

If you are eligible, we will assess your housing need in accordance with the choice based lettings system detailed in the Allocations Policy. For details on the points based system please see our Allocations Policy.

We aim to carry out the first assessment within 30 working days of receiving your application.

The housing register application form should include as much information as possible about your circumstances but we may ask you for additional information or visit you at home.

When we have received all the information we need, we will make a written decision on your housing register application within 5 working days.


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Who can join the Transfer List?

Anyone who is already a tenant of Castle Point Borough Council who wants or needs to move can join the Transfer List.

However, you may not be admitted to the housing register if you have been found guilty of unacceptable conduct which you would make you unsuitable to be a Council tenant (e.g. anti-social behaviour).


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Who can join the Housing Register?

The Council has an "open" housing register. This means that you can apply for housing unless: 

In addition, you may not be admitted to the housing register if you have been found guilty of unacceptable conduct which you would make you unsuitable to be a Council tenant (e.g. anti-social behaviour). 


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