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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is HomefinderRCT?

HomefinderRCT is a simple and easy way to apply for social housing in RCT. Registered users can express an interest in a property (bid) through a variety of channels - internet (using the website), text message, phone and in person at any of the partners offices.

Expressing an interest ‘bidding’ means you tell us you’re interested in a property – no money changes hands.

 

How do I register?

The easiest way is to apply through the on-line application. You will need to follow the instructions to register your details and then complete the application. The process takes approximately 45 minutes in total. 

If you do not have access to a computer you can contact HomefinderRCT on 01443 425678 and they will go through the application with you over the phone or if you prefer, advise you on where you can access a computer.

 

What information do I have to provide?

You will need to make sure that you have all the relevant details to hand. These include:

  • The name, address and date of birth of all household members (even if they aren’t moving with you)

  • Their telephone contact numbers

  • A full five year address history of all household members

  • A National Insurance number for the main and second applicant

  • Your employment and income details

  • An email address (if you have one)

You may also be asked to supply:

  • Any relevant information which supports your application such as medical information, issues you are experiencing in your current accommodation etc

  • Any other information which is relevant. This could include why you left your previous accommodation or unspent criminal convictions that you may have.

Please note that if you are not already a tenant of one of the partner Housing Associations you may be requested to provide proof of your identity and proof of your address. This is important as we may not be able to process your application without this information.

 

 

How do I know if I have been accepted onto the HomefinderRCT Scheme?

You will receive confirmation by letter that you have been accepted onto the HomefinderRCT Scheme. This will tell you your login registration number, date of registration, which band you have been placed in and the date that your application has been placed in this band.  

 

 

Can you refuse to accept me onto the HomefinderRCT Scheme?

Yes. There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register. If you are found ineligible to register you will be notified of the reasons in writing and advised of your right of appeal. More detailed information is contained within the Rhondda Cynon Taf Housing Allocation Scheme.

 

 

How do I find out which properties are available?

Properties are advertised weekly. Adverts are available in a range of locations across the borough and can be viewed on the HomefinderRCT website.

The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, number of bedrooms, rent/costs and other features of the property. If the property has special features or is otherwise restricted the advert will detail the special requirements that the applicant must meet to be able to express an interest in the property.

 

What is ‘bidding’?

Bidding is the term commonly used to explain the process of ‘expressing an interest’ in a property.

 

Do I have to pay to ‘bid’ for a property?

No, a bid is your way of registering an interest in a property that you’ve seen advertised, you do not have to pay to bid.

 

How do I express an interest in (bid for) a property?

Expressing an interest (bidding) means putting your name forward for the properties you are interested in.

You can do this by visiting the website, by phone, by text message, email or in person at our offices. You can make up to three bids on each weekly advert.

It is important to only apply for properties that you are interested in as if you refuse two offers of accommodation then your application will be removed from the HomefinderRCT scheme.

 

What if I can’t bid for myself?

The system can be set to "auto bid" for you on the type of property you are interested in. Alternatively, a family member or advocate can bid on your behalf. If you wish to select the auto bid feature then you will need to speak with a member of staff before this can be activated as we will need to make sure that your preferences are recorded.

 

Can I select a property that is bigger or smaller than my needs?

No, you will only be able to select properties that you are eligible for. In some instances you will be able to apply for properties with 1 bedroom more than you require. However, you will need to be able to demonstrate that you can afford the rent for a larger property and checks will be made on your financial circumstances before your application is updated to allow you to bid for a larger property size.

 

Can I only bid for properties in my first choice area?

The application, asks you to tell us  which is your first area of choice. This helps us to understand housing need across Rhondda Cynon Taf better. You can bid for a property in any area. However, if you bid for a property in an area that you don't really want to live in and the property is offered to you and you refuse it, this may result in your application being cancelled as you can only refuse up to two reasonable offers in total.

 

How will I know if it is worth showing an interest in a property?

We publish information about homes that have been successfully let. We tell you the number of applicants that bid for the property together with the band and priority date of the applicant at the top of the list at the close of the advert. This does not mean that this applicant has been offered the property as there may be other criteria to be applied before a decision is made on who will be offered the property. You can see these results by using Properties and recent lets search panel from main navigation menu.

 

Who gets the property?

The property will generally be offered to the person who is in position 1 at the close of the weekly advert cycle on Tuesday at 11:59pm. This is the person in the highest band who has waited the longest in that band. Any offer is subject to verification checks carried out by each Housing Association. Offers will only be made to individuals where they meet the necessary criteria for the property.

 

When will I hear if I am successful in getting the property?

If your name is at the top of the shortlist you will normally be contacted by the Housing Association within 2 days after the bidding cycle ends. They will make you a provisional offer and you will be invited to view the property. The Housing Association will also send you a letter and you will be given a date and time to respond by. If you reply to the Housing Association after the deadline set out in your provisional offer letter the offer may be withdrawn and your application will be updated with a refusal reason that you have failed to respond to the offer.

 

What happens at the viewing?

You will be invited to view the property concerned and, at the viewing, will be offered the tenancy of the property subject to any verification checks that need to be carried out by the Housing Association concerned.

 

What if I want to refuse an offer of accommodation?

We know that choosing a home isn't easy and we know we can't show everything about a property in the adverts. However, if you refuse two reasonable offers of accommodation your application will be removed from the housing register.

 

I keep having unsuccessful bids. Is there any point in me carrying on bidding?

Whether you are the successful bidder depends on who else has bid for the same property as you.

The lower your housing need band, the longer it may take for you to be housed. The more flexible you can be about the type of property and areas that you would like to live in as well as being able to bid for more than one property each week, the more likely you are to be successful. Details of recent lets can be found on the home page of the website.

If you are in the lower bands you may want to look at other housing options such as low cost ownership or private rented accommodation. There is information on this website about other housing options or if you need further advice, please contact the HomefinderRCT Team on 01443 425678.

 

If I bid earlier in the week am I more likely to get the property?

No. Applying earlier will make no difference as long as the shortlist is not ordered by the time and day that you bid. It is important that you place your bid before the weekly cycle closes.

 

What do I do if my circumstances change?

Tell us. It is very important that you amend your application if your circumstances or any information relating to you changes. You can make changes to your online application yourself or we can assist you over the telephone if required. We will review your application if changes are made and tell you if this results in your application moving to a different band.

 

What if someone in my household has a medical condition?

If someone in your household has a medical condition you will be asked to provide details and this can be completed on the online application. You may be asked to provide supporting evidence to help us to understand how your current housing situation is affecting your current medical condition.

 

What if I become homeless or if I am at risk of homelessness?

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness then you should contact the Council. The Council will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you. If you have already applied to HomefinderRCT for accommodation and your application has been accepted on to the register you will still express an interest in properties by bidding for the properties advertised. You need to make us aware if your housing circumstances have changed.

 

I am homeless and in temporary accommodation. Can I still take part in the scheme?

Yes. You can take part in the same way as other applicants. However, the band awarded to you will depend on your circumstances and the duty owed to you under legislation. You will need to speak with the Council about this if you are unsure at all.

 

I have rent arrears. Can I take part?

You may not be eligible to join the housing register if your rent arrears equal more than 8 weeks rent. If your rent arrears are less than this, you will be able to join the register but your priority band will be reduced and you will not be able to bid on a property until you have paid two payments in line with the repayment plan that you have set up with your landlord / ex-landlord. Your priority band will be re-instated once you have maintained your payment plan for an agreed number of weeks. We strongly advise you to contact your landlord or ex-landlord to discuss with them arrangements to repay any debt as soon as you make an application to join the register.

 

I am interested in sheltered accommodation. Can I take part?

Yes. Sheltered Housing properties are advertised in the normal way. Age criteria and any other restrictions (e.g. pet restrictions) are listed on the advert.

 

I need Adapted Housing. Can I take part?

Yes. Adapted or accessible housing in Rhondda Cynon Taf  is advertised through HomefinderRCT and properties will be advertised each week within the weekly lettings cycle.

Adapted or accessible properties with be categorised with the level of adaptation that is available within each property. In order to be eligible to bid for adapted or accessible accommodation you will need to be registered for housing and have had your needs assessed and confirmed that you need a level of adaptation within your new home.

You will need to provide as much information as possible in order for your application to be correctly assessed and may be requested to provide further information during this process in order to ensure that you are able to be considered for the correct type of housing based on your households particular needs.

 

I am a housing association tenant who wants to move. Will I qualify?

Tenants living in housing association homes are assessed in the same way as other applicants. Your priority depends on the home you live in and your need for alternative accommodation.

 

How do I request a review of a decision?

To request a review you must contact a member of staff and state which decision(s) you disagree with and why. You can provide additional information 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 56 days. However, in certain cases this may be longer and you will be notified of this if this is the case.

 

If I join the scheme will I be offered a property?

There is a high demand for accommodation in some areas and it may be a while before you are offered a property through the scheme. Acceptance on to the register does not guarantee an offer of accommodation.

 

Unsuccessful?

Unfortunately there are not enough housing association properties for us to help everyone on the housing register at the same time. Those with higher need are likely to be housed before those in lower bands. If you are in a lower band it may take some time and you may want to consider other housing options such as private rented housing. Further information can be found about other housing options on this website.

 

I have been accepted on to HomefinderRCT, but the system is telling me I need a new password

Your memorable date for HomefinderRCT is your password. For security reasons you may be asked to change your memorable date.

 If you have forgotten your memorable date you can reset it by selecting ‘Login’ and ‘I have forgotten my memorable date’.

 You will need to select a date that you will be able to remember and enter it into the highlighted fields.

 You will need to re-enter the date to confirm that the details that you have entered are correct before the memorable date is confirmed as changed.

 

I have received a letter to say that my application needs reviewing. What do I need to do?

You can review your application by logging in to your application on HomefinderRCT and selecting ‘My To Do List’. You can review all of your application details and you can update any of the details that have changed since your application was originally completed. You can submit your review and your update will be verified by a member of the HomefinderRCT Team within 10 working days. You will receive a letter to let you know that your application has been reviewed.

 

I have received a letter to say that more information is required in order for my application to be made active

When you complete your application form on line, it needs to be verified by a member of the HomefinderRCT Team before it can be made active. We will always try to contact you by telephone to verify your application, but if we are unsuccessful in making contact we will send you a letter asking you to contact HomefinderRCT within 28 days. If you do not contact us with 28 days, your application will be cancelled.

 

I would like to make a housing application. What is the best way?

As we receive a very high number of calls, we would advise you to make your housing application on line. If you need any assistance please ring HomefinderRCT on 01443 425678 or e-mail Homefinder@rctcbc.gov.uk. You may be asked to leave a message if a member of the team is not available to take your call. We aim to respond to all messages within 5 working days.

 

I already have a housing application and I need to contact HomefinderRCT. What is the best way?

As we receive a very high number of calls, we would advise you to contact us by e-mail on Homefinder@rctcbc.gov.uk or to make any changes to your housing application on line. If you would prefer to speak to someone by telephone, please ring 01443 425678. You may be asked to leave a message if a member of the team is not available to take your call. You will be asked for your Login Reference number, so please have it to hand, or include it in your e-mail. We aim to respond to all messages within 10 working days.