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Applying for housing

We allocate all our properties through a scheme called choice based lettings. This allows you to apply for a property of your choice rather than waiting for an offer of a property that we think is suitable for you and your family.

Everyone applying to join our waiting list will be placed in what we call a band depending on their housing need. Available properties will be advertised weekly starting on a Wednesday at 12am midnight and ending on the following Tuesday at 11.59pm. Displayed will be details of the property and local amenities. If you see a property advertised that you are interested in, you can ‘bid’ for the property. A bid is your way of telling us that you are interested in that particular property. At the end of the advertising cycle, the applicant with the highest housing need will usually be allocated the property.

Who can join the South Derbyshire Homefinder Register?

You can apply to go on the South Derbyshire Homefinder Register from the age of 16. However, if you are under the age of 18, we will expect you to attend an Independent Living Interview after you register and before we offer you a property. There are some pre-qualification questions for you to answer to assess whether you are eligible to join our register. For example, if you have a local connection, your household income, whether you are a home owner or have been in the armed forces. If you do not pass the pre-qualification questions you will not be eligible to join the register. We can still give you advice around your housing options, please contact our Housing Options Team to find out more, tel: 01283 228773.

If you would like to swap your home with another social housing tenant please log on to Homeswapper to register your property.

How do I apply to join the South Derbyshire Homefinder Register?

You will need to complete a South Derbyshire Homefinder application form. The easiest way to do this is to complete a form online or download a paper application form. You can collect a form in person at the council offices in Swadlincote.

How do you assess my South Derbyshire Homefinder application?

We will asses your application form based on the information you provide on the form and any other information we may obtain from our South Derbyshire Homefinder Landlords or other agencies. When we have assessed your Homefinder application we will write to you and tell you that you application is now active. We will tell you what band you have been placed in and the number of needs within that band. We will also provide you with your login reference number for you to use when you are accessing our website or trying to bid.

We have four bands to help categorise a variety of housing needs.

The bands are:

  • Emergency Band
  • Band A
  • Band B
  • Band C.

Find out more about our Homefinder bands.

How do I look for available properties?

South Derbyshire Homefinder advertises available properties for at least one week. This is called the ‘advertising cycle’ (some call it the bidding cycle). The cycle starts at 12am (midnight) on a Wednesday and ends at 11.59pm Tuesday.

You can get free access to South Derbyshire Homefinder from any South Derbyshire Library and at our information kiosks around the district. You can also view our properties in the Thursday property edition of the Burton Mail. We also produce a newsletter showing all our available properties, which we post out to people who cannot access a computer or visit the council offices in Swadlincote. They are also available at various community locations around the district.

How do I bid for a property?

Bidding is your way of telling us you are interested in a particular property. You can bid on up to three properties each advertising cycle. You can do this via South Derbyshire Homefinder. If you are bidding for the first time you will need to click on Login/Your status and then ‘Register’. You can also bid in person at the council offices in Swadlincote.

What happens when the advertising cycle closes?

Once the advertising cycle has closed all applicants that have bid on each property will be put on what we call 'a short list'. The allocations officer will start at the top of the list and provided that the first applicant meets the necessary requirements, the property will be offered to that applicant. The allocations officer will in the first instance telephone the applicant to offer the property and also send an offer letter out to them. The short listing is sorted by:

  • the band the property was advertised in 
  • the number of verified needs
  • band award date.

All South Derbyshire Homefinder landlords have the right to skip applicants if they feel you are not suitable. Their decision to skip you may be because of their own policies and procedures.

What happens if I am offered a property?

Each South Derbyshire Homefinder landlord will contact you directly. You must respond to each offer within three days. If you have bid on a property that you are not eligible for then we will skip you and offer the property to the next person on the list. So, it is important to continue looking for available properties until you have been contacted and offered. The allocations officer will arrange to meet you to view the property when the property is ready.

Related documents

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