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Frequently asked questions

  • Who can apply for properties through Home-Link?

You must have been accepted onto the housing register to be able to apply for properties through Home-Link. Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the housing register.

  •  How do I apply to join the housing register?

You will need to complete an application form on-line. If you have no access to the internet, please contact the organisation you want apply to (details on the Contact us page).

  • What other documents do I need to provide?

Generally you need to provide all the documents below to support your application at the point you make the application. However, if you are applying to Cambridge City Council you will be asked for them at a later date (usually only if you are about to be considered for an offer).

For all the other partners, along with your application form you will need to provide the following:

  • Proof of identity for all household members (e.g. passports, birth certificates)
  • Proof of current address (e.g. recent utility bill)
  • 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 income and other financial details
  • Supporting infomation about any medical issues or support you recieve (if this applies to you)
  • What happens if I do not provide the required documents?

Unless you are applying to Cambridge City Council, if documents are not received within 28 days of making an application (or them being requested from you by the organisation you applied to), your application will be cancelled and you will need to make a new one. If you have a problem getting the requested information within 28 days (e.g. you are waiting for a new passport or birth certificate to be sent to you), please dicsuss this with the organisation you have applied to.

  • How do I know if I have been accepted onto the housing register?

You will receive an email or letter confirming that you have been accepted onto the housing register. This will tell you the band you have been placed in, the date your application has been registered from and the size of property you are eligible for.

  • Can you refuse to accept me onto the 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 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.
  • People (including members of their household) who have been guilty of unacceptable behaviour that makes them unsuitable to be a tenant.

 

  • What are bands?

Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed into a band, within each band applications are placed in date order. More information about how we prioritise applications can be found on the Prioritising applications page.

 

  • What do I do if my circumstances change?

It is very important that you tell us as soon as possible about any changes in your circumstances because it could change your priority on the housing register, or the type and size of property you can bid for. You can amend your details by logging in and updating your application form. We will tell you if this results in your application moving to a different band.

  • Do I need to renew my application each year?

Yes, once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application you will be asked to review your application on-line. If you fail to complete the review within 28 days, your application will be cancelled.

  • What if someone in my household has a medical condition?

If someone in your household has a medical condition you will be asked to provide details, which may then be considered by the organisation you have applied to. As well as considering whether to add any extra priority to your application, they will look at which properties are suitable for you and your household, such as whether you need a ground floor flat or bungalow if you cannot climb stairs. If you bid for properties that have been assessed as unsuitable for you after the decision, your bid will not be considered.

  • How often are properties advertised?

Properties available for rent are advertised each week. More information about bidding for propertties is available on the Bidding page.

  • Where are properties advertised?

Properties are advertised in the following ways:

  • Online at www.home-link.org.uk
  • In a newsletter available from the offices of the Home-Link partners.
     
  • 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 youmust meet, such as age requirements and whether certain people will be given priority for the property. It also tells you the number of bedrooms that applicants applying for the property need to be entitled to. If your bedroom entitlement is different to this you will not be able to bid for that property.

  • How do I apply for a property?

You can express your interest (bid) in the following ways:

  • Online through our website, www.home-link.org.uk
  • Through our 24hr automated telephone service on 0800 644 4119
  • By texting 07860 015254

 

  • How many properties can I express an interest in?

You will be able to express an interest in a maximum of three properties each time properties are advertised. 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 Thursday and you will be able to register your interest in properties up until midnight the following Wednesday.
 

  • 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 only your position at the time you bid and 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 eligibility according to the criteria stated in the advert details for that property. The applicant at the top of the list will normally be offered the property. There are more details on the Offer page.
 

  • 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 owe rent or have other housing related debts
  • You are a council or housing association tenant and legal action has been taken against you because you have broken your tenancy conditions
  • You have sufficient resources to solve your own housing problems
  • You have not provided the required documentary evidence to support your application by the date given
  • 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?

Unless you have been accepted as homeless, 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. If you are a homeless applicant, you need to talk to the officer dealing with your case before refusing a property as it may mean the duty towards you ends and you may be asked to leave any temporary accommodation that has been provided.
 

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

Information about homes that have been successfully let is published on the website and in the newsletter. We tell you the number of applicants that expressed an interest in each property, the band and the registration date of the successful applicant for each property. To see the results of properties that have been let use the Properties search panel and select Recent lets.
 

  • 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.
 

  • 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 Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk. 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 have little chance of re-housing in the area. Depending on your circumstances you may wish to consider other options such as renting in the private sector. If you are a current social housing tenant (your landlord is a council or housing association) you can register for a mutual exchange through Homeswap. Please use the housing options assessment to look at information about other options that may be suitable for you.
 

  • What if I become homeless?

Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness within the next 28 days need to contact the Housing Options service at the council for the area they live in for advice. They will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you. If this is unsuccessful, and you meet the homelessness legal requirements, you may be offered temporary housing. Until you have been accepted as homeless, you may still express an interest in properties through Home-Link, providing your application has been accepted on the housing register. Once you have been accepted as homeless, the council may place bids for you on suitable properties, or limit the amount of time you have to bid, to reduce the time you have to spend in temporary housing - please check with the council you applied to. if you are accepted as homeless you may also be offered a private rented property that is suitable for you.
 

  • How do I request a review of a decision?

If you disagree with any of the following decisions you can request a review:

  • You are not eligible to join the housing register
  • You are not eligible for an offer
  • Your application has been cancelled other than at your own request
  • You think that you have been placed in the wrong band or given the wrong priority date

To request a review you must contact the organisation who made the decision 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 8 weeks. You may not request a further review.