Becoming a Tenant
If you are successful in being offered a
property, you will be informed by letter or phone by one of the
HomeChoice team as soon as possible after the close of the cycle on
the Wednesday at 1:00pm.
You will then have 48 hours to make a decision
about whether or not to accept the property.
Properties will be offered to the applicants
with the highest priority need who have placed an interest in that
When you accept a property you will be informed
as to whether the property is ready for you to view or not. If it
is not ready to view then the HomeChoice Officer will inform you
that you will be contacted at a later date as soon as the property
is ready to let.
If you accept a property that is ready to let,
then the HomeChoice Officer will put you in contact with the
relevant Neighbourhood Officer to arrange a viewing. Your
viewing will take place with the Neighbourhood Officer and if
you wish to accept the property, a time will be arranged for you to
sign for the property. When arrangements for sign up have been made
with the Neighbourhood Officer or Income Officer you will be
advised that at sign up you will be required to pay 2 weeks rent in
advance. You will also need to bring 2 forms of ID for each
prospective tenant, proof of income, bant statements and pay the
equivalent of 2 weeks rent. (whatever is not covered by
housing benefit if in receipt of benefits).
The Neighbourhood/Income Officer will provide you with any
advice and assistance you may require concerning your tenancy.
Please note that if you do refuse up to 3
properties that are offered to you then your priority band could be
withdrawn from your application.
As from April 2013, the government will be
restricting housing benefit for some people whose home is
considered larger than their household needs. This will only apply
to tenants in social housing of working age.
These changes are being introduced by the
government to bring social housing tenants in line with private
How will I know if my home is
considered too large for my family if I claim housing
Housing Benefit for social housing tenants of
working age will be reduced if it is considered that their
accommodation is larger than needed.
The new Housing Benefit regulations will allow
one bedroom for each of the following;
• Every adult couple
• Any other adult age 16 or over
• Any two children of the same sex aged under 16
• Any two children regardless of sex aged under 10
• Any other child aged under 16
• A non-resident carer (claimant/partner have disability and need
Working age tenants’ eligible rent for Housing
Benefit will be reduced by a percentage if they are considered to
be under-occupying their accommodation. The percentage reductions
• 14% if they are under-occupying by one
• 25% if they are under-occupying by two or more bedrooms
Therefore, a family of working age that have
two children under the age of 10 would be assessed as only
requiring a two bedroom property. If they were to occupy a three
bedroom home the amount of eligible rent used to calculate Housing
Benefit would be reduced by 14%. Similarly, a single person or
couple with no children would only be entitled to housing benefit
based on a one bedroom property only.
Please be aware of these changes when
bidding for properties now so that you are
prepared when housing benefit changes come into effect from April
To help fund the development of new social
housing, the Government has asked social landlords to let some of
their homes at an “Affordable Rent” level. This means the rent
charged will be less than the amount charged by a private landlord
but will be more than a traditional rent in social housing. The
money will be used to help fund new social housing in Rochdale.
This will not affect existing tenants who are not
seeking to move from their current home.
Properties available for affordable rent will
be advertised through HomeChoice and let in the same way as
existing social housing. All properties advertised in HomeChoice
clearly states the rent to be paid. Tenants of Affordable Rent
properties can still apply for Housing Benefit as normal and claims
will be assessed based on household circumstances. If Housing
Benefit does not cover the full rent, tenants will have to pay the
difference. We will give more details on affordable
rent if you are successful in bidding for a property where an
affordable rent is to be charged.