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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for properties through Hampshire Home Choice?

You must have been accepted onto the Hampshire Home Choice Housing Register to be able to apply for rented properties through Hampshire Home Choice. To be accepted applicants must be:

  • Aged 16 years or over, and
  • Eligible as prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State, and
  • A qualifying person in accordance with the Hampshire Home Choice Allocations Framework.
How do I apply to join the Housing Register?

You will need to complete an application form. Click here to register an application online.

What other documents do I need to provide?

Along with your application form you may need to provide copies of the following: 

  • Proof of identity for all household members (e.g. passport, birth certificate).
  • Evidence of your right to reside in the UK if you are not a British Citizen (e.g. passport & other relevant Home Office documentation). 
  • Proof of current address (e.g. recent utility bill).
  • Evidence of child related benefits.
  • Evidence of local connection.
  • Further information as required.

Your application will be suspended until you have provided any requested information.

Before you are offered a property you will need to provide additional documents to support your application. We will tell you what documents to provide and when to provide them. 

What happens if I do not provide the required documents?

If you do not provide requested information within the timescales your application may be cancelled.

How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Housing Register?

You will receive a letter confirming that you have been accepted onto the Hampshire Home Choice Housing Register. This will tell you the band you have been placed, your priority date and the size of property you are eligible for.

Can you refuse to accept me onto the Hampshire Home Choice Housing Register?

There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register. These are: 

  • Certain people who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act.
  • Certain people from abroad who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.

You will also need to be a qualifying person. You will normally be a qualifying person if you:

  • Are in Housing Need and
  • Have a single or joint income of less than £60,000 or £45,000 for Eastleigh applicants and
  • Have Assets and/or Savings of less than £16,000 and
  • Have a Local Connection with one of the participating Councils.

There are some exceptions. For more information contact one of the participating Councils.

What is a local connection to qualify for Hampshire Home Choice?

A local connection is met through residency, previous residency, employment or close family resident in one of the participating Council areas.

What is a local connection for a village/parish vacancy?

Some properties are restricted to applicants who can demonstrate a local connection to a specific village/parish in which the property is built.  A village/parish local connection is defined as follows:

  • Ordinarily resident in the village/parish.
  • Previously ordinarily resident in the village/parish prior to the date of allocation and has family who ordinarily reside there.
  • Employment - current or to take up permanent employment in the village/parish.
  • To support or be supported by member of family ordinarily resident in the village/parish.
Can you suspend my application?

Your application will be suspended until you have provided any requested information.

Your application may be suspended in the following circumstances if:

  • You deliberately worsen your circumstances.
  • A household member is responsible for unacceptable behaviour.
  • You and or your partner have former rent arrears.
  • You or your partner has a debt with a Local Authority and/or Registered Provider.
  • You refuse two suitable offers of accommodation within 6 months.

If your application has been suspended for former debt/rent arrears or an outstanding debt, your priority date will be the date you cleared the outstanding debt or the Council is satisfied you have adhered to a payment plan for 6 months.

How are applications prioritised?

All housing applications are assessed according to housing need and are placed in one of four bands.  Priority within the band is decided by the date the application was awarded that band with the oldest registration date having greatest priority.

What do I do if my circumstances change?

It is very important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances. Click here to login and update your application. We will tell you if this results in your application moving to a different band. If you move up a band, your priority date will be the date you move into that band. If you move down a band, your priority date will remain the same.  

In some circumstances you may no longer qualify to remain on the Housing Register, and your application will be cancelled.  We will write to you to tell you if your application has been cancelled and the reasons why. If you are not happy with this decision you can request a review.

Do I need to renew my application each year?

Yes, once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application.  

What if someone in my household has a health or welfare condition?

If someone in your household has a health or welfare condition you will be asked to provide details, which may then be considered by the Council’s Medical Panel. Housing options may be offered in the first instance to assist you in resolving any issues you may be experiencing.

How often are properties advertised?

Properties available for rent are advertised each week for one week. In some instances Winchester City Council may advertise properties for two weeks.   

Where are properties advertised?

Properties are advertised in the following ways:

  • Online at www.hampshirehomechoice.org.uk
  • In a newsletter available from participating Councils.
  • Property adverts available from participating Councils.
​What information will the property adverts contain?

The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, size, rent and other features of the property. Where available a photograph of the property or a similar property type will be provided and you will be able to access information about the local area and facilities.

The advert will also tell you if there are any special requirements that the applicant must meet, such as age requirements, whether the landlord allows pets and any restrictions on the number of children allowed to live in the property. 

What is an Affordable Rented property?

Affordable rented properties will be made available to tenants at up to a maximum of 80% of market rent and will be allocated in the same way as social housing is at present.

What is a Fixed Term Tenancy?

Under the Localism Act, Local Authorities and Registered Providers are able to offer new tenants 'fixed term tenancies' rather than traditional 'lifetime' tenancies.  Fixed term tenancies can be offered for a minimum of 2 years in exceptional circumstances, but are usually offered for 5 years.

How do I express an interest in a property?

You can bid for properties in the following ways:

  • Online through our website, www.hampshirehomechoice.org.uk
  • Telephone one of the participating Councils.
  • Visit one of the participating Councils or Registered Providers Offices.
How many properties can I express an interest in?

You will be able to express an interest in a maximum of three properties each week. However, you will only be able to express interest in properties that are suitable for your household.

How long will I have to bid for a property?

Properties will be advertised from midnight on a Tuesday and you will be able to register your interest in properties up until midnight the following Sunday. It does not matter when you bid as long as you bid between these times.

Will I know how many other people are interested in the same property?

Yes, when you bid for a property you will be told where you are in the queue. This is likely to change frequently due to other people bidding for the same property. Using this information you may decide to withdraw your bid for one property and bid for a different property for which you are higher placed in the queue. You can do this at any time before the closing date.

How do you decide who is offered a property?

Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is drawn up. The shortlist is in order of the highest bands and earliest priority date. The applicant at the top of the list  and who meets all of the advert and preference criteria and who is therefore at the top of the shortlist will normally be offered the property. 

If I successfully bid for a rented property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me?

You may not be invited to view the property for the following reasons:

  • You do not meet the advert and preference criteria and will be skipped.
  • You are a Council or Housing Association tenant and legal action has been taken against you because you have broken your tenancy conditions.
  • You owe rent or have other housing related debts to a social landlord.
  • You have sufficient resources to solve your own housing problems.
  • You have not provided the required documentary evidence to support your application. 
  • Your circumstances have changed and this results in a reduction in your level of priority. 
  • You have provided incorrect or misleading information which has resulted in your application being awarded a higher priority than it deserves.
If I am offered a property, will I be able to view it before making up my mind?

Yes. You will be given an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you would like to accept it.

What if I don’t like the property when I have seen it?

You will not normally be penalised for refusing a property that you have been offered and will still be able to express interest in properties that become available. However, if you refuse an offer on two occasions within a six months period, your application will be suspended.  You will not be able to bid for further properties for six months from the date you refused the second property.

How will I know what has happened to the properties advertised?

Information about homes that have been successfully let is published on the website. To see the results of properties that have been let use the Properties and recent lets search.

How will this information help me?

It will give you a better idea of how popular a particular property or area is and how long you would normally have to wait. You can then decide whether to look for other types of property or areas where you may not have to wait as long.

Can I take my pets with me?

Some properties are not pet friendly. You should not bid for any property which states 'no pets'.

Do I have to give notice to my current landlord?

You will need to check with your landlord how much notice you would have to give if you are offered another property.  Usually you will have to give 4 weeks.

Are carpets and appliances provided?

You will normally have to provide your own carpets and appliances.

What other options are there for housing?

There is a severe shortage of homes in the Hampshire area. Most applicants on the Housing Register will have to wait a long time for re-housing and many of those in the lower bands will still have little chance of re-housing in the local area. Depending on your circumstances you may wish to consider other options such as renting in the private sector. Interviews to discuss your housing options are available from your local Council.

What if I become homeless?

Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness will be dealt with outside the scheme. You should contact your local Council to arrange an interview to discuss your circumstances. We will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you. You may still express an interest in properties through Hampshire Home Choice, providing your application has been accepted on the Housing Register, but in most cases it is unlikely that this will be in time to resolve your homelessness, as most applicants will have to wait a long time before being successful.

How do I request a review of a decision?

If you disagree with any decision you can request a review. To request a review you must contact the Council dealing with your application within 21 days of the date you are notified of the decision and the reason for it. You may provide additional information in writing that you wish to be taken into account when the review is carried out. You will normally be advised of the outcome of the review within 56 days. You may not request a further review.