Renting a home

Handover -of -keysWhy should you rent a home with us?

There are many reasons why renting from us rather than a private landlord is better value for money. On average, our tenants paid £81 per week to live in one of our homes which is £20 a week cheaper than a privately rented home in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Nearly a quarter of rent collected in the last year went back into repairing and maintaining homes.

It's not just about fixing things when they go wrong either - we spend millions of pound every year in improving our homes, such as installing external wall insulation, fitting solar panels and improving kitchens and bathrooms. The list could go on forever but you get the idea.

So how do you go about renting a home?

  1. You apply to join the housing register online
  2. Your housing and support needs are then assessed
  3. If you are accepted, then you will be placed on the housing register as a home seeker
  4. You’ll be given a “priority band” which sets out how in need you are for a home, based on your current circumstances.
  5. Next, you can browse the online list of homes available to you and find what you want
  6. Place a bid on a home you like online, by phone or by sending a text
  7. You can also bid on up to two other homes if you wish to (but you don’t have to)
  8. If you are successful with your bid, we’ll be in touch to arrange a viewing
  9. You’ll view the home and decide if it’s for you
  10. If it is for you, the final step is to agree the tenancy and move in.

Transferring from one of our properties to another?

There are some important policy changes you need to know before you apply. 

  • If you are in band 4 (low or no housing need), you will not normally be offered a property until you have held your current tenancy with us for at least 2 years
  • Your current rent account must be clear of debt and should have been for at least 12 months
  • You'll need to have no other housing related debt, e.g recharges
  • There needs to have been no tenancy breaches in the last 12 months
  • You'll also need to satisfy a pre-leaving inspection

Some things you need to know about Home Choice Lincs

Do I need to use all three bids each week?

Nope! There are no penalties if you don't use all three of your bids, unless you are in a priority band such as Band 1*, Band 1 or Band 2. If you've been presented with suitable properties but you've not placed any bids then the Home Choice Lincs team could look to change your band.

So the message is, if you're not in a priority band, then you don't need to use all three of your bids. Frivolous bidding on homes you don’t actually want to live in wastes everyone’s time & money.

Is there any advantage to me being the first bidder?

Not at all. We know that some people stay up until midnight on the night before the next bidding cycle in order to be the first bidder on a home. This gives you no advantage over someone who bids later.

In fact, it could well be that the last person to bid ends up being the one who the house ends up being allocated to. This is because they might be in a higher band, and therefore having a greater need for the home than you.

Is there any advantage to me being the last bidder?

No, the same applies from the previous point. It doesn't matter whether you're the first to bid, the last to bid or even in the middle. It all depends upon your banding and how long you've been within that band.

If I change my personal circumstances or my contact details do I need to let Home Choice Lincs know?

Absolutely - if your circumstances worsen then there might be a possibility that your need for a home increases. If you don't let Home Choice Lincs (HCL) know, there is no way they can support you or increase your banding.

Similarly, if you don't update your personal details on HCL such as a change in mobile number or email address then you might miss your chance to get that home you really want.

I want to be in a higher band so I can see all the available properties

All the available homes are advertised to everyone, it doesn't matter which band you are in.

Does it matter if I don't turn up to a viewing?

Yes! Not turning up to a viewing wastes the time of our staff and means you won't be eligable for that home. If you can't make an appointment to view one of your homes, it's essential you give us as much notice as possible. You could be suspended altogether from the system if you repeatedly don't turn up to viewings.

I don't have a computer so Home Choice Lincs is no good to me

There are plenty of public access areas where you can log onto Home Choice Lincs such as a local library, local link, or you could even come down to our Customer Centre in Cole Street in Scunthorpe.

If you're not confident about using computers, we run beginner internet taster classes, give us a ring on 01724 279900 to find out where we'll be each week. 

You don't advertise any homes I want to move into

There are thousands of people registered to bid on Home Choice Lincs and only a limited number of homes available each week. We are always trying to build as many new homes as possible. The key is to keep looking each week - your dream home might just come available!

I've been to a viewing but I didn't like the home

Whilst we understand that you sometimes need to see a home in the flesh, there are plenty of details and photographs of the home detailed on the original listing. It's important you have a good look at this before you bid to make sure it's somewhere you really do want to live. Otherwise you're wasting your time and ours, especially if you keep turning down homes when you go to view them.

I've been to a viewing but I didn't like the area

Like the last point, it's important you do your research. You can get details about the area in the advert itself and you can even use things like Google Maps and their Street View feature to take a virtual tour of the area where you could end up living.

Again - it's important you take the time to make sure the home is in an area you'd like to live in before you bid on the home. Otherwise you're wasting your time and ours.

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