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WELCOME TO Monmouthshire Homesearch

Homesearch is about choices: it's about where you live, work, train and how you live your life.

Homesearch give you the information you need so you can make the right choices. If you're looking for information on homes to rent from councils and housing associations in Monmouthshire, you've come to the right place.


Properties

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How the scheme works

STEP 1 – Registration
If you have not already completed an application form you can do so in one of the following ways:
• Online at www.monmouthshirehomesearch.co.uk
• Call 0845 900 2956 to receive a paper application form

Once you have applied and been accepted onto the housing register we will:

• Give you a housing application number
• Tell you what band you have been placed into and why
• Tell you the priority date that you have been given
• Tell you what property type and size you can bid on

You must keep us informed about any changes in your circumstances e.g. changes to your household size, medical condition or housing situation. This is very important as it could result in a change to your band or your eligibility for certain types of properties. You can download a change of circumstances form from our website or call us for a paper form.

STEP 2 – Choosing your home
Available homes are advertised every fortnight on the Monmouthshire Homesearch website and freesheet, giving you information about each available property.

The latest available homes will be advertised every second Wednesday and you can register your interest (bid) on properties up until midday the following Monday (this is known as the Bidding Cycle).

You are not limited in the number of properties that you may register an interest in or ‘bid’ on. However, you should only bid on properties that you would consider moving into and are eligible for.

You can bid on properties in the following ways:

• Online at www.monmouthshirehomesearch.co.uk
• By text message, 07781 472726 which is available 24 hrs
• By telephone to MHS on 0300 1000 224
• By post using a Coupon

STEP 3 – The Offer
Once the Bidding Cycle has closed, we put the bids received in priority order to produce a shortlist of eligible applicants for each property. Any offer is subject to your application being verified (checked and approved) to confirm your circumstances. If your application cannot be verified, the offer may be made to another applicant.

If your name is at the top of the shortlist, you will normally be invited to view the property. If you refuse this property the next person will be invited to view it.

If you bid for properties but then refuse them you may be moved to a lower band. If you refuse two offers of accommodation you will be moved to Band 4 if you are in Bands 1, 2 or 3. If you are in Band 4 you will be moved to Band 5 for a period of 12 months. Please contact our Lettings Team on 0845 900 2956 if you have any questions about how refusing suitable properties will affect your application.

If you successfully bid for more than one property in the same bidding cycle, we will contact you to ask which property you would prefer as your first choice. We will usually contact you within a week of the closing of the bidding cycle.

If we invite you to view a home and you do not intend to turn up, you should let us know.

Whilst a property is under offer to you, you won’t be able to place bids on other properties.

STEP 4 – Feedback
Feedback information will be available on our website once homes have been let. The feedback tells you how many people have bid for the property along with the band and waiting time of the successful bidder.

This helps you to see how long successful bidders have been waiting for homes.
It is not possible to notify you individually when your bids have been unsuccessful.

Transfers
Existing tenants of Monmouthshire Housing (MHA), Melin Homes and Charter Housing will also need to apply and bid for properties using the Monmouthshire Homesearch scheme.

Other Restrictions
Sometimes we may restrict bidding to certain groups of applicants for example:-

• You won’t be considered for properties that have been adapted or specially designed to meet the needs of older people or people with disabilities, unless you have been assessed as having those needs.

• We may restrict bidding on properties to applicants from either the waiting list (first time home seekers) or the transfer list (existing tenants). This is to ensure that properties are allocated fairly between the two lists.

• Occasionally, we may use local lettings policies to restrict the type of household moving into a particular neighbourhood. This is to try and build balanced communities. Any special conditions or restrictions will be clearly stated in the property advert.

Exclusions and Demotions
In certain circumstances applicants can be excluded from the waiting list or have their priority reduced due to unacceptable behaviour or rent arrears. Anyone affected by this criteria will be written to and told the reason why. Applicants will also be informed of when their situation will be re-considered by the Exclusion Panel, which is made up of senior officers from each of the 4 partners.

Medical and Welfare Cases
If you need to move due to medical reasons or on welfare (social) grounds, please contact Monmouthshire Homesearch to discuss your situation and how moving will help you. You may be asked to complete a medical or welfare application form and will be expected to provide supporting information about your situation and how your current accommodation is affecting you.

HELP & ASSISTANCE
If you have any questions about how the scheme applies to you or about bidding for properties, there are fully trained staff available to support you, please telephone Monmouthshire Homesearch on 0845 900 2956