You must have been accepted onto Guildfords Housing Register to be able to apply for either rented or low cost home ownership properties through Guildford HomeChoice. Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register.
You will need to complete an application form. There are two types of application form, one for new applicants and the other for existing council or partner Housing Association tenants who wish to transfer. These can be downloaded by clicking application or transfer form as appropriate or obtained from the Housing Advice Centre. Click How to Contact Us for contact details and opening hours. You will need to use the same form if you wish to apply for rented or low cost home ownership or both.
Along with your application form you will need to provide the following:
Before you are offered a property you will need to provide additional documents to support your application. We will tell you what documents to provide and when to provide them.
All documents provided must be originals, up to date and valid. For a full list of acceptable documents contact the Housing Advice Centre.
Providing you have properly completed your application form it will be processed but placed in the lowest band, until the documents are received, when it will be moved into the appropriate band from the date they are received. If your application form is incomplete it will be returned to you. The date it is later accepted from will be the date the fully completed form is received.
You will receive a letter confirming that you have been accepted onto the Housing Register. This will tell you the band you have been placed, the date your application has been registered from and the size of property you are eligible for.
There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register. These are:
For more detailed information contact our Housing Advice Centre.
Guildford Borough Council works in partnership with a number of housing associations operating in the area. The Council has nomination rights to most housing association properties in the Borough and nominates applicants from the Housing Register to any vacancies. The housing associations themselves tend not to hold their own registers and rely mostly on council nominations. In effect by applying to the Housing Register you are applying for both council and housing association properties.
Council and Housing Association rented accommodation
Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed in one of 5 bands, A to E. We will also take into account whether you have a local connection with Guildford and the extent of this and whether you are able to afford to resolve your own housing problems. Within each band applications are placed in date order.
Your application will be assessed according to a separate set of criteria, based on your housing need and circumstances, and placed in one of 3 bands, 1 to 3. We will also take into account whether you live or work in Guildford.
If you have applied for both rented and low cost home ownership we will have given you a band for rented accommodation and a different band for low cost home ownership. For more information click Prioritising Applications.
This will depend upon your length of service and when you left the forces. To be placed in Bands A - C housing applicants must normally meet our local connection criteria. However, for those housing applicants who meet the forces criteria we will disregard the need to establish a local connection under our allocation policy. Local connection under the homeless persons legislation is not changed by this variation to the allocation scheme.
Council and Housing Association Rented Accommodation
You may normally only remain in Band A for 3 months and Band B for 6 months, except if you are under occupying a Council or Housing Association property or need 2 or more extra bedrooms when there is no time limit. After this your application will be reviewed to decide whether it continues to warrant such a high level of priority. If it does you will be able to remain in that band for a further 3 or 6 months respectively. However, if it is decided that your priority is to be reduced your application will be reassessed and placed in the band appropriate to your circumstances. If you are in Bands C, D or E you will remain in that band unless your circumstances change and your application is awarded a different level of priority.
There are no limits to the amount of time you may remain in a band.
It is very important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances so that we can amend your application. We will tell you if this results in your application moving to a different band. If you move up a band the date used will be the date you move into that band. If you move down a band the date used will be the date that applied when you were previously in that band or any earlier date when you were in a higher band.
Yes, once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application you will be sent a declaration form, which you must complete and return within 28 days. If you fail to return the form we will cancel your application. If you wish to appeal against the cancellation you may do so within 21 days of the cancellation date.
If someone in your household has a medical condition you will be asked to provide details, which may then be considered by the Councils Medical Advisor, who will put forward a recommendation. You can continue to choose which properties to express an interest in but must be mindful of your condition and only express interest in suitable properties such as ground floor flat or bungalow if you cannot climb stairs.
Properties available to rent and for purchase through shared ownership are advertised each week. As soon as we are given formal notice that a property is due to become vacant we will advertise it. For more details click Step Two-Choosing, part of our step-by-step guide to using the service.
Properties are advertised in the following ways:
The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, size, rent and other features of the property. Where available a photograph of the property or a similar house type will be provided and 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, such as age requirements, which bands may bid for the property and which will be given priority for the property. It also tells you the number of bedrooms that applicants applying for the property need to be entitled to. If your bedroom entitlement is different to this you will not be able to bid for that property.
You can express your interest or bid, as it is also known, in the following ways:
You will be able to express an interest in a maximum of three properties each time properties are advertised. However, you will only be able to express interest in properties that are suitable for your family.
Properties will be advertised from midnight on a Wednesday and you will be able to register your interest in properties up until midnight the following Sunday.
Yes, when you bid for a property you will be told where you are in the queue. This is likely to change frequently due to other people bidding for the same property. Using this information you may decide to withdraw your bid for one property and bid for a different property for which you are higher placed in the queue. You can do this at any time before the closing date.
Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is drawn up. The shortlist is in order of eligibility according to the criteria stated in the advert details for that property. The applicant at the top of the list will normally be offered the property. Click Step Three-Offer for more details.
You may not be invited to view the property for the following reasons:
Yes. You will be given an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you would like to accept it.
You will not normally be penalised for refusing a property that you have been offered and will still be able to express interest in properties that become available.
Information about homes that have been successfully let or purchased through shared ownership is published. We tell you the number of applicants that expressed an interest in each property, the band and the registration date of each property. To see the results of properties that have been let click Recent Lets.
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.
You will need to approach building societies or banks, you should tell them that you require the mortgage for purchasing a shared ownership property because not all of them will lend for shared ownership. You will need to shop around for the offer that best suits your circumstances.
The normal costs of owning a home, which include:
You would normally be responsible for carrying out all repairs.
The sales process normally takes between 6 to 8 weeks but can vary. It is your responsibility to keep in contact with your solicitor to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays.
Council and Housing Association Rented Accommodation
You will normally have to provide your own carpets and appliances.
Each property varies with respect to the floor covering and appliances provided. If the property is a resale you may be able to negotiate separately with the current owner to purchase items they are leaving. If the property is newly built the details will indicate what is going to be provided in the property.
Yes, after your original purchase you can increase your share of the property in 10% shares at any time, this is known as 'staircasing. The cost of the extra shares will be at the market value of the property at the time you wish to purchase
In most cases this is possible but there are some circumstances when it is not. One example of this is where the property is in a rural location.
If you have bought the property outright you can sell it on the open market but if you only have a share in the property the Council have first refusal to purchase.
There is a severe shortage of homes in the Guildford Borough area. Most applicants on the Housing Register will have to wait a long time for re-housing and many of those in the lower bands will still have little chance of re-housing in the local area. Depending on your circumstances you may wish to consider other options such as renting in the private sector. We may be able to help you with a deposit for private rented if you meet the criteria for our Homes 4U scheme. Interviews to discuss your housing options are available by appointment from the Housing Advice Centre. For more information click Other Housing Options.
Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness will be dealt with outside the scheme. You should contact the Housing Advice Centre to arrange an interview to discuss your circumstances. We will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you. You may still express an interest in properties through Guildford HomeChoice, providing your application has been accepted on the Housing Register, but in most cases it is unlikely that this will be in time to resolve your homelessness, as most applicants will have to wait a long time before being successful.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse you should seek specialist help. Go to www.womensaid.org.uk for more information on services available.
If you disagree with any of the following decisions you can request a review:
To request a review you must contact the Housing Advice Centre within 21 days of the date you are notified of the decision and the reason for it. You may provide additional information in writing that you wish to be taken into account when the review is carried out. You will normally be advised of the outcome of the review within 8 weeks. You may not request a further review.