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WELCOME TO Bucks Home Choice

Bidding Cycle

Bidding on:

Issue 448

closes Monday:

1 June at noon.

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Frequently Asked Questions


New Policy

How will the new Buckinghamshire Council affect my application?

On 1 April 2020 one new Council the “Buckinghamshire Council” replaces the previously separate Councils of Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire County Council, Chiltern , South Bucks and Wycombe. It has been agreed for a period of 2 years before we implement a new Allocation Policy for the new Buckinghamshire Council all applications for social housing will be considered under the separate District Council geographical boundaries that were present before April 2020.

I am already registered with Bucks Home Choice. Will this affect who is managing my application?

No, who ever is managing your application now will still do so after 1st April 2020 and so you will not be affected for the time being. If you have any questions about this then please review the information available on your local Council website before contacting your housing officer.


Will this change my priority banding?

Your banding will not change at this time as your application has been assessed under the policy and this remains in place after 1st April 2020 until such times as a new policy is adopted by the Buckinghamshire Council.

How do I register for Bucks Home Choice?

If you are not currently on the Housing Register you can apply by clicking on the Register tab on the left of the page. The application is a two stage process and it will take approximately 30 minutes to complete a full form.

Why do I have to register?

By law, we have to check that you are eligible to apply for housing, this is why we ask you about your immigration status as not everyone is eligible for social housing. We advertise properties owned mainly by housing associations and we are required to assess individual circumstances to ensure the landlord has all of the information they may require and to make sure we allocate tenancies fairly. All of the information that we ask for is to ensure that those who have the greatest need are given priority for housing.

What can I do if I don’t have an email address?

If you do not have an email address you can create one using one of the following links:

Hotmail
Gmail
YahooMail

You can contact your Local Authority using the details on the Contact Page to discuss this further

Where can I view the Bucks Home Choice Policy?

You can view the Policy by clicking on this link Bucks Home Choice. Our website also has information about other housing options and housing related information.

Do you have a transfer register?

Bucks Home Choice will only consider transfer applicants who are under occupying a family home or have some level of housing or welfare need or where it is not reasonable for you to stay in your current home. If you have the adequate number of bedrooms for your family size, you will not normally qualify. Your landlord may operate their own transfer register; otherwise you may wish to consider a mutual exchange. There are a number of exchange sites, one of these is HomeSwapper which you may be able to join to search for other tenants that want to swap. Any exchange will require your landlord’s permission.

I do not live in the area covered by Bucks Home Choice, but my family does - will I be able to join?

Local connection is achieved by living or working (24 hours a week min) in the Bucks Home Choice Area for a minimum of two years preceding your application, having family that live in the area does not give you a local connection. However, if you are assessed as having a housing need (known as a ‘reasonable preference’) you can apply to join the register. If you have not been living or working in the partnership area to which you are applying for two years immediately preceding your application you will be prioritised below those that do have a local connection.

There are some exceptions to local connection, which include;
• Current or former armed services personnel
• Care leavers who were living in the partnership area prior to being placed out of the district
• Applicants owed homeless duty


How long will it take for my application to be assessed?

Once you have submitted your application, it can take between 4 to 6 weeks for it to be assessed. You may be asked for supporting information before a decision can be made on your eligibility to the register. When a decision has been made, you will be sent an email or letter which will explain your banding, bedroom need and which Local Authorities you have a confirmed Local Connection to. Only contact us if you haven’t heard from us within 6 weeks.

When can I start bidding on properties?

You will be unable to start bidding on properties until your application has been assessed. When you receive the decision letter from us stating that your application has been made live, you will then be able to login to your application and start bidding for properties.

How long will I have to wait before I'm re-housed?

That depends upon the type of property you need and where you would like to live. See the feedback section opposite for more information on previous properties. Properties in Bucks are in very short supply and many applicants will face an indefinite wait.

I have notice to leave my accommodation - what should I do?

We strongly advise you to contact your local authority immediately for advice and assistance. You can also find some very useful information on your council website, including a self referral portal that you can complete online if you wish with information about your situation. Our member page also contains a lot of information about the options available to you, including how to find an alternative privately rented property.

Will a letter from a Medical Professional (eg. Doctor) make a difference to my application?

Please include details of your medical condition in your application. If we need any further information, we will get in touch with you to discuss this.

What do I do if I do not agree with my banding?

Read the Allocations Policy for the Council you are applying to, and see what we take into account when we assess your banding. If you still think your band is incorrect, then contact your local Bucks Home Choice team to discuss your application further.

How do I let you know if my circumstances have changed?

If you login to your account, you'll see a 'Have your circumstances changed?' button. If you click that, you can complete a new application form, updating any information which may have changed and submitting it at the end. After submitting this to us you will be unable to bid until your application has been re-assessed, since your changes may make a difference to your banding or bedroom need.

If I move home, do I need to tell you?

If you move home, you must complete a Change of Circumstances Form, which will take approximately 30 minutes. You can do this online, when you login to your member home page. Whilst we are processing your change of circumstances you will not be able to bid for properties.

I have had a baby, do I need to tell you?

Yes. You must complete a Change of Circumstances Form, which will take approximately 30 minutes. You can do this online, when you login to your member home page. Whilst we are processing your change of circumstances you will not be able to bid for properties. You will be required to send us a copy of the baby’s full birth certificate and proof of child benefit/tax credits, if you have them and this can be done online via the website or by emailing them to your Bucks Home Choice Officer.

I want to add or remove somebody from my application - What should I do?

You must complete a Change of Circumstances Form as your application is assessed on the information that you provided to us and so your application will require re assessment. You can do this online, when you login to your member home page. Whilst we are processing your change of circumstances you will not be able to bid for properties. You may be asked to provide additional information about new household members.

I have not received an email following my online housing application - what should I do?

We undertake to contact clients within 20 working days of their application, there are times that we are really busy and this may take slightly longer. Before you contact us about the progress of your application please check your spam or junk folder for the following email address: donotreply@buckshomechoice.org.uk

I have a new phone number or email address - what should I do?

Go to the ‘My Details’ tab on the top of your member page, where you can edit your contact details. You do not need to complete a Change of Circumstances Form.

I have completed a Change of Circumstances form - when will I be able to bid again?

We aim to process applications and changes of circumstances within 20 working days. Where further information is required your application will not be made live and you will not be able to bid. During busy times this may take longer.

Where did I come in the shortlist?

When you login to your member page it will indicate roughly where you are on the shortlist. If you are offered the property or are invited to view the property, you will be contacted by either the landlord directly. We are not able to provide further detailed information about shortlists until the property has been accepted.

Why is my account suspended?

There are a variety of reasons why your account might be suspended. Normally it is because you are waiting for a reassessment following a change in your circumstances. Sometimes we will suspend your application for another reason, but we will write to you to explain.

I have been offered a property, how long before I can move in?

The offer of a property is subject to your managing partner ensuring your circumstances haven’t changed since you first made your application and you are still eligible for the property – this is called verification. Once these checks have been completed the Landlord of the property will be in touch to arrange a viewing or to confirm your allocation of that property after viewing, and let you know when you can expect your tenancy to start from. Sometimes new properties take longer than expected to move into, this is not in our control but we will try to keep you updated if we can. There are also some rare instances in which you may have been offered a property which then is withdrawn, this is usually because the property needs a large amount of work which was not identified when it was advertised. We appreciate that this is difficult when you may have viewed the property but it is appropriate when there is a long wait that the offer may be withdrawn by the registered provider.

I have been offered a property but I need to refuse it what should I do?

In all instances you should speak to your Bucks Home Choice officer first before refusing a property as it may have an impact on your application and result in suspension for a period of time. If you are homeless and you wish to refuse a property then you must immediately speak to your housing advisor urgently to discuss the reasons why you wish to refuse, this will be your final offer of accommodation and any refusal has a direct impact on any duty that the Council you have made your homelessness application to owes you. This could mean that you receive no further offers of accommodation and If you are in temporary accommodation you could be asked to leave.