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Guildford Home Choice

Prioritising applications for rented housing

All housing and transfer applications received for rented accommodation will be assessed and placed in one of five bands, A to E. The information below sets out the banding scheme and gives examples of those applicants who would be eligible to be placed in each band. For full details please click housing allocation scheme to download our policy document.

Band A

Criteria

Additional Preference (Emergency and high priority applicants who have a substantive and long standing local connection.) Excludes applicants with savings or assets above £20,000 unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Examples

Medical emergency, moves to allow major repairs; modernisation or redevelopment; existing tenants moving to a smaller home and giving up two or more bedrooms; making the best use of our adapted properties and agreed management transfers and where exceptional circumstances exist.

Band B

Criteria

High Preference (Applicants with an urgent need to move who have a substantive and long standing local connection.) Excludes applicants with savings or assets above £20,000.

Existing tenants moving to smaller and giving up one bedroom; overcrowding by two or more bedrooms; medical hardship; eligible tied households needing to vacate and move on from certain supported housing projects. 

Band C

Criteria

Normal Preference (applicants with an identified housing need to whom the Council is required to give reasonable preference as defined by the Housing Act 1996 Part VI (as amended by the 2002 Homelessness Act) and who have a local connection, or where there is a more limited local connection but an agreement exists with a partner agency to provide move on accommodation.) Excludes applicants with savings or assets above £20,000 unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Examples

Living in private rented housing; priority homeless households in temporary accommodation; sharing facilities, living in unsanitary or other unsatisfactory housing conditions; overcrowding; single tenants who have lived in a bed-sit or studio flat for at least two years; move on from other supported housing projects; applicants of no fixed abode, who are engaging with services; tied households where there is no requirement to vacate and elderly people approved for sheltered housing.

Band D

Criteria

Lower Preference with a lower priority and or a limited local connection (Applicants with a local connection or who live or work permanently in the borough of Guildford who have either a low level of housing need or where no agreement exists for move on or it is not appropriate.) This band includes applicants with savings above £20,000 but below £30,000 that would otherwise qualify for a higher band.

Examples

Applicants who have a reasonable preference as defined by the Housing Act 1996 Part VI (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002) who live or work permanently in the Borough of Guildford. Applicants of no fixed abode who are not engaging with services.

Band E

Criteria

All other cases (to include applicants who have a reasonable preference as defined by the Housing Act 1996 Part VI (as amended by the 2002 Homelessness Act) who do not live or work in the borough of Guildford and anyone who does not qualify for bands A to D.)

Examples

Applicants who have a reasonable preference as defined by the Housing Act 1996 Part VI (as amended by the 2002 Homelessness Act) who do not live or work in the Borough of Guildford including tenants from outside the Borough with a reasonable preference. Applicants assessed as intentionally homeless will remain in this band for a period of twelve months. Demoted applicants for the period of their demotion. Anyone who does not qualify for Bands A to D.

Priority within bands

Within each band applications will be placed in date order, with the application with the oldest date having the highest priority. The date that is normally used is the date your application qualifies for a particular band.

Moving between bands

If your circumstances change and you move up a band the date used will normally be the date you moved into that band. If you move down a band the date used will normally be the date that you were previously in that band or a higher band.

Time limited bands

If your application is placed in Band A or Band B there is a limit on the length of time you can remain in these bands. For Band A this is three months and for Band B it is six months. At the end of the time allowed your application will be reviewed and the time extended or priority reduced. There are a few exceptions to this rule where it is unlikely that suitable housing will become available within the timescale.

The size of property you will be offered

The size of property you will be offered depends on the number and age of the people who are on your application. To see how many bedrooms you qualify for please click on bedroom matrix.

Local connection

To be eligible for Bands C and above you must have long and substantive local connection. If you do not meet this criteria when you initially make your application you may meet this criteria during the life of your application.

To be eligible for Bands C and above you must meet one of following criteria:

  • have lived by choice in the Borough for three years
  • have been permanently employed in the Borough for at least two years 
  • have a close relative who lives in the Borough and has done so for past five years.

Forces personnel

Since 24 August 2012 forces personnel and others specified in the legislation - Allocation of Housing (Qualification Criteria for Armed Forces) (England) Regulations 2012 S.I 2012/1869 - do not have to meet any local connection criteria. These applications are prioritised purely on housing need as laid down by our allocation scheme.  Therefore it is anticipated that, should the forces personal criteria be met as laid down in the Statutory Instrument, most applicants will be placed in Band C. Forces. Forces personnel and their families that have a 'long and substantial' local connection that have served for more than five years or are discharged due to injury or health reasons, will be placed in Band B.

Financial assessment

Where applicants have income, savings or capital above agreed thresholds they will not qualify for inclusion in the Register.

The following income thresholds will apply:

  • single people or couples without children - an annual household gross income in excess of £35,000
  • families (including single parents) - an annual household gross income in excess of £70,000.

The maximum savings threshold is £30,000 for all households taking into account the value of any assets or capital.  This would normally exclude pension funds assets needed to provide income in retirement. 

Deliberately worsening circumstances

We will exclude applicants for a year who deliberately worsen their housing circumstances to improve their chances of housing. 

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