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Choice Based Letting Coronavirus FAQs

Choice Based Letting FAQs - Moving on to the next phase

On 21st May, the Government issued updated guidance on how social housing property owners can manage their allocation and lettings processes so that moving home can resume and can happen safely.   

We are pleased to advise that we are making good progress in taking the first steps in re-opening our choice based letting service. Thank you for your patience during this time and working with us to keep everyone safe.

Further details are available here: www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak#social-landlords

 

Q, Is the Choice Based Lettings (CBL) website, Finding a Home (FaH), open?
A. The scheme re-opened in June and we have since resumed weekly bidding cycles. We are continuing to work differently to prevent the spread of Civid19.

Q. Will you need to ask health questions?
A. Yes. We will need to discuss with you your current health, whether you or a member of your household are self-isolating or shielding. If you are unable to move due to self-isolation, we will hold the property for you.

Q. Will I/we be able to view the property?
A. Currently the team are working towards a digital focus to comply with Government advice.  We need to work differently to keep you and our staff safe and alert. We have moved to e- sign ups and pass locks on properties. We are also pleased to announce that instead of accompanied viewings we will be trying to facilitate a virtual viewing. Where we have photographs and/or video footage of properties, we will email this to you so you can have a virtual look; currently we do not have this detail on all our stock – but it is something we are committed to developing very soon and will email you details if you are allocated as soon as we are able.

Q. What if I have been nominated for a housing association property?
A. They will contact you directly and discuss moving arrangements with you.

Q. Council tenant, moving out, how will property inspections work?
A. Where we are able, our repair contractor will be carrying out property inspections on our behalf. Tenancy conditions will still need to meet; any alterations or damage will need to be rectified before you leave.

Q. I am a council tenant how do I return my keys off as the Council office is still closed.
A. Tenants are advised to sign a disclaimer ( a letter agreeing that we can dispose of  any left items and that you agree to a recharge for the council to remove these), the name of the utility suppliers and  the location and type of meters. Post the keys through the letterbox of Marmion House ready for us to process. Please ensure you return any communal door entry keys and fobs.

Q. How will I sign for my new tenancy?
A. We are excited to say that the new ‘contactless sign up’ trialled during the pausing of our lettings worked well.  We are keeping this going forward. This is now being completed with our e-tenancy form and you will receive a moving in pack, which the team will be happy to go through with you once you have moved in. The Council will give you a pass code to operate your contactless sign up as soon as the e-tenancy arrangements have been confirmed.

Where moves do go ahead, all those involved should take care to follow Government guidance here: www.gov.uk/government/publications

Q. Can I still apply to be on the Council’s housing register at this time?
A. Yes you can. In fact again, we are pleased to say that new e-application form launched during the pausing of lettings has worked really well.  Our register remains open as normal and you can contact by telephone, email and web chat. We’re pleased to say that we do not currently have a backlog so will aim (if you provide all necessary details) to register your application as soon as we can,

Q. What if I have a change of circumstances to my housing, how can I complete a change of circumstances form?
A. This is now also online; and can be completed online and submitted. If you are not online then please call 01827 709 709, option 9, to talk to the team.

Q. Are you still letting garages?
A. Yes. As from 3rd June, we restarted advertising garages, a reduced number to begin with grouped in locations. If you are interested in renting one you can register on line and place a bid.

Q. Can I mutual exchange?
A. Yes, we are able to resume accepting mutual exchange applications.

We have collaborated with House Exchange whom are an exciting online mutual exchange service helping tenants swap homes with other council or housing association tenants throughout the UK.

Social housing tenants can join House Exchange by visiting the website www.houseexchange.org.uk and follow the simple screen steps. Tamworth Borough Council continues to offer this online service to its tenants FREE of charge.

Q. I have found a home to swap with; can I view it when it is occupied?
A. the Government has provided practical advice and guidance for viewing occupied properties, which should be followed to keep everyone safe, www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Q. What if I am not a Tamworth Borough Council tenant?
A. All social housing landlords offer a mutual exchange service for their tenants. If you rent your home from a housing association, please contact them direct to see how they assist you in finding a swap.