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Frequently asked questions on property bidding

Dudley Council and other registered social landlords (housing associations) advertise available properties on the Dudley Homes portal. If you have a live application on Dudley’s housing register, you can view available properties and express an interest in any that meet your housing needs and preferences.

What information will the property adverts contain?

The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, how many bedrooms, rent and other features of the property. 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.

What can I express an interest in?

Because we do not have enough vacant homes for everyone who wants them we need to make the best use of our stock: houses are generally only let to families with children; adapted properties are offered to people with disabilities whose needs most closely match the adaptations.

The Dudley Homes portal will generally not let you express an interest in properties you are not eligible for. Vacant properties are advertised as being for any band; preference will be given to band 1 first then the other bands in order. Some of our properties are advertised as ‘best match’. This is because they are particularly scarce, and, in this case, we may offer them to whoever needs them most, even if someone else is in a higher band or has waited longer.

How do I express an interest?

Look at available properties which are advertised on the portal in weekly cycles from midnight on Wednesday to midnight on Monday.

Each advert lists details of the property and who is eligible. Customers can express an interest in any property for which they are eligible. If you see a property you would like to live in and you are eligible for the property type and size, you can express an interest in up to three properties during each advertising cycle. You do not have to express an interest for any properties if you do not see anything you would like to live in. You will be able to withdraw your expression of interest and re-use it on another property up until the advertising cycle ends.

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

When you express your interest in a property your queue position will show. This may change due to other people expressing an interest in the property during the same cycle. Using this information, you may decide to withdraw your expression of interest for one property and place your expression of interest in a different property for which you are higher placed in the queue. You can do this at any time before the cycle ends.

How do you decide who is offered a property?

Once the cycle ends a shortlist of interested applicants for each property is reviewed. The shortlist is in order of priority according to our Allocation Policy and the property advert criteria. The applicant at the top of the list will generally be offered the property subject to verification and checks unless the property has been advertised as best match OR is allocated in accordance with a local letting plan.

Before making an offer, we check that details on applications are correct - this may include asking for further information or carrying out a home visit. You will be required to provide the requested information within three working days.

What if my circumstances change whilst I am in an offer?

You will need to let us know as soon as possible so that we can request any further information and review your application. Failure to notify us of any changes may result in an offer being withdrawn and your application being suspended.

If I am offered a property, will I be able to view it before making up my mind?

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

If I successfully express an interest in 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 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. Such cases will be referred to our Housing Fraud Team to investigate

Will I be able to get any help with my rent payments?

You may be entitled to housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. The amount you may be entitled to depends upon the amount of income and savings you and your partner have and the number of people who live with you.

Please be aware that if you bid for a property that is larger than required for your needs you may be subject to under occupation charges (shortfall of housing benefit or housing element of Universal Credit).

What happens if I accept another rented property and I currently receive housing benefit?

If you already receive housing benefit from Dudley Council, you need to contact the Benefits Division to report your change in circumstances.

What happens if I accept another rented property and I currently receive housing benefit from another council?

If you already receive housing benefit from another council, you need to apply for housing benefit from Dudley Council.

If I am offered a property, will I have the right to buy?

The right to buy may not apply to all properties e.g., some housing association properties, bungalows, sheltered accommodation, adapted properties. You should check with the landlord before deciding to accept the offer.

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

If after expressing an interest in a property and being offered the property you then refuse unreasonably, we will:

  • Suspend your application for the following two cycles. This will also be counted as an unreasonable refusal
  • Defer your application after 3 unreasonable refusals. You will be unable to express interest in any properties for the next 6 months
  • Defer your application after 2 no responses. Your application will be deferred, and you will be unable to express an interest in any properties for 12 months

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

Information about properties in previous advertising cycles will be published. We tell you the number of applicants that expressed an interest in each property, the band, band start date and number of needs (Band 3 only) of the highest placed applicant.

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?

No, you will normally have to provide your own carpets and appliances. However, you may be eligible for some assistance, for more information contact Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.

How do I get help?

If you need help using the service, you can either call in or telephone Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345 where our staff will be happy to:

  • show you how to use the system if you have not used it before or
  • refer you for our case management service if there are reasons why you will need more support to use Dudley Homes or
  • book you a Housing Options interview if you would like to explore possibilities other than council housing