Frequently Asked Questions

Not everyone is eligible or able to be considered for social housing. If you have any questions before you apply please check to see if you can answer these in either the Commons Allocations policy or the How the Scheme Works Help Guides.

Usually you will need to have some degree of local connection, personal needs or difficult circumstances in order to qualify. Your priority will be based on your current housing situation. The waiting times for social housing are lengthy and you may wish to consider other options.

Check the junk folder of your email to see if any communication has been held there. If you provided an email address when applying this is the usual way we respond.

If this is not successful please contact Homes4Spelthorne to check if the application has been received electronically and is awaiting validation. If you don't hear after 28 days please contact us.

Please include details of your medical condition in your application. Once you have received notification of your banding, if you wish to submit medical evidence in support of your application then this can be considered.

If you are an existing applicant, log in to Homes4Spelthorne and on the applicant dashboard click on the button labelled ‘Have your circumstances changed?’ This will take you to a version of the application form to complete with your new details, which will enable your application to be reassessed.

The initial banding letter will explain what to do if you are not satisfied with your banding.

The housing register is not a waiting list, and we cannot guarantee that you will be offered social housing. Social housing is in short supply within Spelthorne Borough and we do not own any properties and we cannot guarantee how long you will have to wait.

This depends entirely on your level of housing need (priority banding) and the number of properties suitable for your size of household which become available. Some applicants may never be rehoused. Social housing is always prioritised to those in greatest need, waiting time does not contribute to housing need in its own right, but when shortlisting applicants in the same band they will be placed in the order of who has the earliest application priority date.

Once bidding has closed on the property, a shortlist is produced placing all the bids into an order according to their priority band and date awarded to their application. If you have been shortlisted then you will be asked to provide documents to Housing Register team, in a checking process called verification.

You must supply these quickly to enable the Housing Team to carry out your checks efficiently as the property may be ready to let. If you are not able to provide documentation in a reasonable timescale you may be bypassed and move on to the next applicant.

Assuming this verification is completed successfully your details will then be sent by the Council to the landlord of the property (this is called a nomination). You will then be contacted by the landlord. You may need to run through some questions to confirm your circumstances before you are able to view the property.

In some situations, a property will not be offered to the highest banded applicant who has bid. Shortlisted applicants can be bypassed for a number of reasons and these are set out in the Allocations Policy.

Initial contact will usually be made by the landlord once the bidding is closed. The timescale for working the shortlist can vary for many reasons, so you may not be contacted for some time after the bidding has closed. There are occasions when the short listing can take several months if there is an issue with the property.

Also see ‘How soon can I view the property' in FAQ.

For successful applicants it might be several weeks before you can view the property if major repairs are required, or you might be invited to view before any minor works are carried out. We know that waiting is an anxious time, and getting your viewing arranged will be a priority for the landlord too. Please don’t start to arrange any removals or deliveries though until you have confirmed when you will get the keys to your new

Please make a note of your viewing appointment and if you can’t attend you must let the landlord know. Applicants who fail to attend viewings may have their applications suspended or demoted.

Whilst you can visit the area around the property, you should only ever go to the property with a member of staff from the landlord company. Remember there may still be someone living there when it is advertised. If contractors are working in the property, they will not be able to let you in unaccompanied either, for health and safety reasons.

Enhanced verification checks are carried out for all applicants before being nominated for properties and the nomination will only be made once these checks are complete.

If you are minded to refuse the property, you must have a good reason for this which should be expressed to both the landlord and the Housing Team. It will then be for the Housing Register Team manager/ Housing Options Team Manager to decide whether it was a reasonable offer or not.

Please refer to the Allocations Policy for refusals.

If you view a property, you should expect it to be completely unfurnished (this includes white goods) and without floor coverings.

Social housing properties may be advertised as fixed term tenancies so, rather than offering a tenancy that can be in place for life these tenancies will have a fixed term, usually for 5, 6 or 10 years – this will be stated in the advert.

Please read each advert carefully to ensure you understand what you are applying for as our different housing providers may be offering different terms and conditions with their fixed term tenancies.

Please contact Housing Register Team/Housing Options Team if you have any further questions. Details can be found in the ‘Contact Us’ page.