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Frequently Asked Questions

The Council currently has nomination rights to properties in the following areas of Hertsmere;

 

  • Borehamwood
  • Bushey
  • Eastbury Road, Watford
  • Elstree
  • Potters Bar
  • Radlett
  • Shenley
  • South Mimms

 

The majority of properties that become available are flats rather than houses. There are a limited amount of small bungalows . Most properties are on small to medium sized housing estates, and there are some parts of the borough where there are very few properties that become vacant such as Eastbury Road, Watford, South Mimms, Radlett and Shenley. The majority of properties are located in Borehamwood.

 

Housing association properties are unfurnished and are usually re-let undecorated.
Applicants must demonstrate that they have a local connection to Hertsmere to be included on the Housing Register. This applies at the time an application is being made and must still apply when an offer of housing is made.

 

We are currently updating our allocations policy including the local connection rules. The new rules will be published as soon as they are available.

 

Members of the Armed Forces and the Reserve Forces are not required to demonstrate a local connection to Hertsmere in order to be included on the housing register.

 

Where current or ex-armed forces personnel can demonstrate a local connection with Hertsmere they will receive additional priority for housing and be placed in Band B.
You need to provide all the documents that have been requested from you. The quickest way to get your application assessed is to upload the documents at the time you make your application.

 

If you are unable to upload them, you must make sure that the Council receives them within two weeks of making your application. If they are not received within this time and we have not agreed an extension of time with you, your application will be cancelled.

 

Once you have supplied all the information required and the Council is satisfied that you qualify to join the housing register, an initial assessment will be made, based on the information given in the application form and any other information available or requested. Applicants will be placed in the appropriate bedroom category for their household size and in one of the five priority bands in registration date order.

 

You will receive notification by letter or email of your housing assessment and be invited to bid for properties.

To join the Housing Register, applicants must be a ‘qualifying person’. In order to be a qualifying person, an applicant must meet all the qualification classes set out below:

  • Persons over the age of 18 years. Those aged 16 or 17 will be assisted in partnership with Children Schools and Families.
  • Persons not subject to immigration control.

  • Other persons from abroad if the person is a ‘qualifying person’ as described by law

  • Persons habitually resident in the United Kingdom.

  • Persons that meet the local connection criteria.

  • Persons who have an identified housing need as set out in the priority need banding assessment.

 

Even if you are a ‘qualifying person’ you will not normally qualify to join the Housing Register if:-

 

  • You have knowingly given false or misleading information in your housing application.

  • You or a member of your household has been guilty of unacceptable behaviour or a criminal offence serious enough to make you unsuitable to be a tenant.
  • You owe the Council a debt from a previous temporary accommodation placement.
  • You owe the Council a debt from a previous or current private sector rent placement.
  • You, or any member of your household, has been violent or threatened violence towards a member of staff of the Council or its partner organisations.
  • You have rent arrears with a Registered Social Landlord/Local Authority or a private landlord and these arrears are still outstanding.
  • You are a tenant with a Housing Association and have not lived in your current property for more than twelve months (Exceptional circumstances such as medical needs will be considered on an individual basis).
  • You are subject to a Anti Social Behaviour Order or Contract
When an applicant’s housing need is assessed they will be placed in one of five priority bands A to E. Applicants in band A will have the highest priority, with applicants in band D the lowest priority. Band E is for applicants over 50 years of age, that do not have a recognised housing need.

 

Applicants will be given a “priority date” which will identify priority within the bands. Initially, the priority date will be the date of application. Should an applicant’s circumstances change and their band changes, so may the priority date.

 

If an applicant goes down a band following a re-assessment/change of circumstances, their priority date will remain the same as the date they were placed in the higher band.

 

If an applicant’s need increases and they go up a band, their priority date will be the date they enter the higher band.

 

We are currently updating our allocations policy including the priority band rules. The new rules will be published as soon as they are available.

 

The banding system is fully explained in the Allocation policy. Please read this first, if you still think that your banding is not correct please contact the Housing Options service and speak to a member of the team who will explain the reason for your band.

 

If the you remain dissatisfied with the decision you have a right to ask for a review to be carried out by a senior officer who was not party to making the original banding assessment..

 

Before asking for a banding review, please note that the reviewing officer has the authority to lower as well as increase a band.
You can request a review of the following decisions:

 

  • You have been told you do not qualify to join the Housing Register.
  • Your application is suspended.
  • Your application has been removed from the housing register.
  • Your banding assessment.
  • You are homeless and don't think that your final offer of accommodation is suitable.
 

 

You should contact the Housing Options service and explain why you think that the decision is not reasonable and ask for a review of the decision. You will be advised what to do in these circumstances.

 

Most people may refuse two offers of accommodation they have successfully bid for without sanction. If you refuse a third offer of accommodation your application will be removed from the housing register.

 

If you are homeless and the council has accepted the full housing duty, you will only be made one offer of accommodation. This is called a final offer.

 

Before making a final offer the council will assess the suitability of the accommodation taking into account the location of the property, the rent of the property and any medical or social welfare needs you or your household may have.

 

By making a final offer of accommodation, the council is discharging its homelessness duty. This means that if you refuse the offer, the council will no longer have a duty to provide you with accommodation and any temporary accommodation provision will be withdrawn.
You will be contacted by the landlord who will make arrangements for you to view the property.

 

It can take a week after bidding closes for a property to be allocated. If you do not hear anything you should assume you have not been successful.

 

Information about homes that have been let is published on the website. We tell you the number of applicants that expressed an interest in each property, the band and the registration date of the successful applicant for each property. To see the results of properties that have been let, click on ‘Feedback’ at the bottom of the page.
We may need to visit you to verify your circumstances before making an offer of accommodation or as part of the initial assessment of your circumstances.

 

This is because we need to make sure we are fully informed of your circumstances so we can award you the correct housing priority and to be sure that your circumstances are as you have described them in your housing application.
It is important for you to tell the Council without delay of any change in your circumstances that could affect your housing application, for example:

 

  • Change of address for the applicant or any other person on the application
  • Any additions to the family or any other person joining the application/household
  • Any member of the family or any other person on the application who has left the accommodation
  • If one member of a joint application no longer wishes to continue with the application
  • If there is a change in income or savings
  • If there is a change in employment status
  • If there is a change in marital status
  • If there is a change in immigration status
  • If anybody included on the application receives a criminal conviction
  • If any changes are made to your tenancy by your landlord

 

You can tell us about a change by logging in to the website.

Local lettings plans are where the Council works closely with a Housing Association to ensure that a sensible balance is achieved between housing priority and the longer term sustainability of the local area.

 

Some local lettings plans are short term measures put in place to address specific local issues. These can include dealing with community sustainable issues such as:

 

  • Increasing the number of people in employment
  • Reducing child density and anti-social behaviour on certain developments
Housing Association properties are let without furniture, carpets and appliances.
Housing Associations do not ask for deposits but most ask for rent in advance when you sign the tenancy.

 

The amount you will have to pay depends on the rent and property type you are offered. The landlord will discuss this with you.