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Frequently Asked Questions

You can view a copy of our frequently asked questions and print them if you would like to.

Below is the list of our frequently asked questions.  If your question is not answered below, please contact us.

1. What is Doncaster HomeChoice?
Doncaster HomeChoice is a Choice Based Lettings (CBL) scheme.  We advertise Council,  Housing Association (Registered Provider) and Private Rented homes.  All available properties are advertised each week and applicants who are eligible and qualify to join Doncaster Council’s Housing Register can express an interest in properties for which they want to be considered.

2. How can I apply to Doncaster HomeChoice?
You can register and apply directly online. Please complete the housing register application in full. Alternatively you can contact the HomeChoice team on 01302 862628. You must provide supporting information with your completed application. You can email it to info@doncasterhomechoice.co.uk or take it to your nearest St. Leger Homes office. Please see our Doncaster HomeChoice guide to see if you will be accepted onto the Housing Register.

3. Will I need to provide any additional information with my application?
Yes. All new applications and amendments will require proof of identity. This will include;

  • Proof of your current address
  • Proof of your National Insurance Number
  • Photo ID if you have it
  • A landlord reference
  • Proof of your local connection to Doncaster dating back three years (This can be by living in the borough yourself, having close family members living in the borough, or  working in the borough).
  • If you have children you need to show proof of child benefit or child tax credits that shows the names of all of the children who live with you, this is usually your benefit award letter.
  • In some circumstances you may need to provide information from the Border and Immigration Agency.
  • Your service record if you have served in the Armed Forces

If you fail to provide the information within 28 days you will not be registered.

4. I am under 18, can I still apply for re-housing?
You are not eligible to join the Housing Register if you are under 16. However if you are between 16 and 18 you may qualify in certain circumstances and will need a guarantor. This means someone aged over 18 who will take responsibility for paying your rent if you are unable to pay.

5. How will I know what band I have been put into?
This will depend on your living circumstances and if you have a priority under Doncaster Council’s Housing Allocations policy. When you register with Doncaster HomeChoice, you will receive a letter confirming your band and an information pack including a summary of the policy in booklet form. You can also view the reasons for priority on our website. The bands are Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, General and there is a separate Transfer list.

6. I think I might be in the wrong band what should I do?
You may not have provided us with all the necessary information. If this is the case we will have another look at your application. If you still disagree you have the right to have our decision reviewed . This must be done within 28 days of the decision. You should give the reasons why you disagree with the decision. We may ask you for further information to help us to carry out the review. We will write to you with the outcome. 

7. What if I have a change in circumstances?
If you have a change in your circumstances you should complete an online update to your Housing Register application, or contact us. This will allow us to keep your application up to date. If you are not sure if you should complete an update please contact us on 01302 862628 and we will let you know what information we need. We may suspend your application if we need you to provide further information.

8. What are registration and effective dates?
Registration and effective dates are important because they give you priority within your band. If you have been placed in the Bronze, General or on the Transfer list you will bid using your registration date. If you have been placed into the Platinum, Gold or Silver bands, you will receive an effective date and this will be the date you became entitled to a priority band. If you move back to the Bronze, General band or the Transfer list you will bid using your original registration date. Customers with earlier registration and effective dates will be offered properties before customers with later dates.

9. I need an adapted property, what do I need to do?
If you feel you need an adapted property or adaptations you should contact us and ask for a medical self assessment. In some cases we will ask an occupational therapist to have a look at your case to see if you need rehousing or if adaptations would be the best option. You can also contact the Adult Contact Team on 01302 737391 for an assessment for your current home to have adaptations.

10. Will adapted properties be advertised?
The majority of adapted properties will be advertised so applicants can bid on them if they are suitable and in the area they would like to live. Applicants will be given priority for these adapted properties if an occupational therapist has made the assessment as requiring rehousing. Once the bidding cycle has closed a final assessment will be made to ensure the property meets your needs before an offer is made.

11. Will there still be an Accessible Housing Register (AHR)?

Yes there will still be an Accessible Housing Register (AHR) and some extensively adapted properties will still be allocated through the AHR by direct match to ensure the customer’s individual requirements are met. These applicants will have had an assessment by an occupational therapist and be placed on the Accessible Housing Register with all the details of their housing requirements. This is to make best use of adapted housing. The property will be advertised if there is no-one on the Accessible Housing Register who needs it.

12. What is a bidding cycle and when will properties be advertised?
The bidding cycle is the length of time properties are advertised as being available. Each bidding cycle starts on a Thursday at 00:01 and ends on a Monday at 23:59. Bids cannot be accepted outside these times. The time you bid does not affect your final position as homes are allocated to the bidder with the highest priority.

13. What is a bid?
Placing a bid is the way that you let us know you want to be considered for a property. No money is involved. A bid is simply an expression of interest placed against a property. You can bid either on our website, by phone, text, or in person at any St. Leger office. When you bid you will be placed in a shortlist. Once the advertising cycle has finished your final queue position will be shown on your HomeChoice account page.

14. When can I start to bid for properties?
You can bid as soon as we have made your application ‘active’. Your application will be made active  when it has been  approved and all the required documents have been received. When your application is activated we will send you  a Doncaster HomeChoice pack with advice on how to place a bid. It does not matter if you bid on Thursday or Mondays as homes will be allocated to the customer with the highest priority.

15. How do I bid for a property?
You can bid in various ways: logging into your account page using the automated telephone line 0800 0276235, text message to 07781 484771, in person at any St. Leger office or by contacting the HomeChoice team on 01302 862628 who can place bids on your behalf. You will have to give certain details to be able to make your bid. These are your login reference, your pin number and the property reference number if you have it.  If you need help with bidding please contact us on 01302 862628.

16. How many bids will I be able to make each week?
Each customer has a maximum of three bids per week. You don’t have to use all your bids and need to make sure that you read all the property details before placing a bid.

17. Can I change the bids I have made?
Yes, you can withdraw bids within the bidding cycle and use them on other properties for which you are eligible. You have a maximum of three active bids per week.

18. Why has my shortlist position changed?
Your position can change if other customers with an earlier effective or registration date bid on the same property as you, or if customers above you in the shortlist withdraw their bid within the bidding cycle.

20. Can I check where I am in a shortlist for a particular property?
Yes, you can do this within the bidding cycle through your online HomeChoice account page or by using the automated telephone line. However, your final position will only be shown once the bidding cycle has been closed.

21. How will available properties be assigned to the bands?
Properties will be advertised with priority order to Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Transfer List then General Band. However if a property has adaptations which will make it suitable for people with certain needs then priority will be given to  customers who  have been assessed by an occupational therapist and have a confirmed need for an adapted property. Where this is the case it  will be shown on the advert.

22. How will I be allocated a property?
We look at the list of customers who have placed bids once the bidding cycle has closed and offer the property to the first eligible person with the earliest registration or effective date who qualifies for the offer.

23. How will I know if I have been successful?
If you are successful, we will contact you once the bidding cycle has closed to check your details are correct and then offer you the property if you are still eligible and qualify for the offer. You will not be considered for any other properties until you have made a decision on the offer. It is important that you keep your telephone contact details up to date.  If you do not respond to us or cannot make yourself available to attend a viewing we will move on to the next customer.

24. How long will I have to decide whether to accept an offer of accommodation?
You will be given 24 hours to make a decision on an offer of accommodation after an accompanied viewing.

25. What will happen if I have been unsuccessful?
You will not be contacted if you are unsuccessful, but we will publish  details of each property including the address, successful customer’s band, effective date or registration date, and how many bids have been made. This information is on our recent lets page. You can search on the recent lets page for specific property outcomes and see how many properties have become vacant in the areas of your choice to help you make informed decisions about your chances of being re-housed.

26. What happens if I refuse a property?
If you are in the Platinum, Gold or Silver band and you are made an offer then refuse it, your priority will be removed after three reasonable offers and you will be moved to a lower band. This is with the exception of Platinum Band Statutory Homeless applicants who are entitled to one offer only.  If you are on the Bronze, General or Transfer list and refuse three reasonable offers your application will be suspended for six months, and you will not be able to bid during this time (this includes suitable adapted accommodation). Each case will be looked at individually and assessed as to the reason for the refusal. You will be told  in writing and be given the right of review within 28 days of the decision if your priority is removed or you are suspended.

27. Are there any other Housing Options available to me?
Yes. You can apply to be on Housing Associations (Registered Providers) waiting lists. You can find their contact details on our Housing Associations page. You can also find out about Private Rented properties and Affordable Housing, including a link to the Plumlife website which has a range of other housing options including the Help to Buy scheme. For more about all the available schemes go to www.plumlife.co.uk. Please see question 31 for Private Rented properties.

29. I am a Council or Registered Provider tenant, how can I advertise my property for a mutual exchange?
You can advertise your property for a mutual exchange by logging in to your account and completing an on on-line mutual exchange advert. Other customers will then be able to contact you.  If you are interested in an exchange you need to contact your landlord to get the paperwork to apply for a mutual exchange. If you are a St. Leger Homes tenant the mutual exchange will be dealt with by your local Area Housing Office.

30. I am affected by welfare reform, what options are available to me?
If you are affected by welfare reform and you are under occupying your property you can consider a mutual exchange to a smaller property. You do this by registering and viewing mutual exchange properties and contacting other tenants to exchange homes. You will need to seek permission from your landlord before completing a mutual exchange. You may also be eligible for a priority on the Housing Register.

31. How can I bid for a Housing Association (Registered Provider) Property?
Some Registered Providers are advertising some of their properties in the HomeChoice bidding cycle. This means if you want to be considered for these properties you must be active on the Doncaster HomeChoice waiting list and place a bid in the same way as you would for a St. Leger Homes property. Once the bidding cycle has closed the list of bids is sent over to the relevant Registered Provider and they will make contact with the successful applicant and check their circumstances before offering a viewing of the property. This means you will not be contacted by the HomeChoice team about a bid on a Registered Provider property.

32. I am interested in the Private Landlord Scheme, how can I rent a property?
You can view private landlord properties managed by St. Leger Homes on the property search page during the bidding cycle each week they will be shown as private landlord properties. Each advert includes the details for that property.

33. I am worried I might become homeless, what can I do?
You can seek advice from the Housing Options service on 736000 and hold to speak to an advisor who will take your details and request a call back from a Housing Options Officer. The staff can offer advice about your current housing situation and other housing options.

34. What is a local connection and how long does it have to be for?
A local connection with Doncaster must be for the previous three years and proof will be required. A local connection is either;

  • Lived in Doncaster, you must be able to demonstrate that you have lived here for all of the last three years, or
  • Employed in Doncaster for the last three years or,
  • Direct family in Doncaster (spouse, civil partner, parents, grandparents, sons, daughters, brothers or sisters).

There are some exceptions such as assessed homeless households and some Armed Forces personnel and their families.

35. What happens if I do not meet any of the local connection criteria?
You will not be able to join the Housing Register until you can demonstrate you have a local connection and meet any of the above.

36. I own my home and used to be in the General band, why has my application been cancelled?
It was agreed under the new policy that homeowners  will not be able to join the Housing Register. This applies if you own or have a financial interest in a property,  or have transferred ownership of a property but have continuing rights to live there.  An exception to this will be made if you have an assessed housing need which you are unable to resolve.

37. I own my own home but cannot manage it any longer due to my health needs, what do I do?
You should contact us and request a medical self assessment form to complete so we can assess if you have a medical need to move, and whether you are unable to resolve your own housing need. Your application will not be made active until the assessment has been carried out.

38. I am already a St. Leger Homes tenant, why I am now in a different band?
We have created a separate list for transfer tenants who wish to move but who do not have a priority. You must have been a tenant for 12 months before you can apply to the Transfer list.

39. I am a foster carer; will I be given a priority?
You may be eligible for Platinum band priority once we receive proof that you are an agreed foster carer and if your current home is unsuitable for your household and you cannot resolve your own circumstances.

40. If I owe any money from a previous tenancy will I be able to join the housing register?
You may not be able to join the Housing Register. We will make a decision after taking into account how much you owe to your landlord and your current circumstances. We will write to tell you the outcome.

41. What happens if I owe rent at my present home?
Normally you would not be allowed to join the register if you owe eight weeks equivalent rent. We would usually expect you to clear this debt before any offers of accommodation are made, depending  on your circumstances. Any St. Leger Homes tenants who are subject to changes in welfare reform will be assessed individually. Please let us know if this is you.

42. I am a single person, will I be eligible for a two bedroom flat or bungalow?
Yes, single people are now eligible for one and two bedroom flats or bungalows. If you claim Housing Benefit and are of working age you should consider the effects of welfare reform and if you are able to afford the rent. You may only be eligible to claim housing benefit for one bedroom. You can find out more about this at www.slhdmoneywise.co.uk 

43. I am in the Armed Forces and ready to be discharged will I get a priority?
We will need confirmation you are being discharged from the Armed Forces, have an urgent housing need and are returning to Doncaster. If you have been discharged within the last five years we will also take this in to account. This also applies to those;

  • Leaving armed forces with no suitable accommodation and in urgent housing need
  • Those injured or disabled needing urgent rehousing
  • Bereaved spouses or civil partners who will no longer be entitled to live in accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence and do not have alternative suitable accommodation 

You may be entitled to Platinum priority following confirmation of discharge and proof of housing circumstances and your ability to resolve your own circumstances.

44. I am living in an overcrowded property, what can I do?
You can find alternative accommodation from Housing Associations (Registered Providers), Private Rented, and Mutual Exchange or by joining the Housing Register. You will need to complete an occupancy assessment form so we can assess your circumstances. You may be given priority dependant upon your circumstances. We will write to tell you the outcome. If the overcrowding occurs for reasons other than because your family size has increased proof will be required that there was no other option and that the situation has existed for a 6 months. Proof of permanent residence will be required. We will not rehouse an applicant into accommodation that results in them being overcrowded according to the legal definition.

45. I am in prison can I go on to the Housing Register?
You can apply to the Doncaster HomeChoice housing register, however your application will only be activated when you have a release date. No  offers of accommodation will be made until you are released.

46. How long will I have to wait for a home?
It is difficult to predict accurately how long you will have to wait. It all depends on what area you are looking for, what type of property you need, what band you are in and your date. Look at the recent lets page at  where you can search by property type and area to see how long other applicants with the same band and a similar date to you waited to be rehoused. This information can help you understand your chances of being rehoused.

47. Why do you want to talk to me about my income and outgoings before you arrange a viewing?
We want to assist you in preparing for your new tenancy by offering advice and support including any additional benefits or grants and highlight any areas where you may need assistance.