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Letting properties

All applicants from each of the three registers will be able to bid on any advertised properties for which they are eligible for. Once the bidding closes, the shortlists will then be considered by the landlord in the following stages:

Stage 1 – Only applicants on the Housing Register will be considered, in the following priority order:

1) Band (Priority Band, Band 1, Band 2) Local connection to North Norfolk (applicants with a local connection to North Norfolk before those with no connection)
2) Relevant Date

Only if the advertised property is unable to be allocated according to Stage 1 will the transfer register and housing options register be considered according to stage 2.

Stage 2 – The property will now prioritise applicants in accordance with their strength of connection to the parish in which the property is located and adjoining parishes as set out in the Local Allocations Agreement. Where more than one applicant has the same priority they will be considered in order of Band and then Relevant Date. Applicants in the Housing Options Register and the Transfer Register are treated as being in the same band, which is below Band 2.

The applicant at the top of the shortlist will be offered the property unless they are not suitable for the property.

Viewing & Eligibility Interview
The bidder at the top of each property shortlist will be contacted by the landlord of the advertised property. Applicants at the top of a shortlist will normally be contacted within a week of the bidding cycle closing. Some landlords will contact the top 3 or 5 bidders, if they do this, they will tell the shortlisted bidders their position on the shortlist. These bidders may all be given a chance to view the property.

If you are shortlisted and are invited to attend an eligibility interview and view a property and you have changed your mind or are unable to go along at the time given please let the landlord know.

If you successfully bid for more than one property in the same bidding cycle, you will be asked which property you would prefer.

Before you are offered a property the landlord will ask you to provide proof of your identity, you will be required to provide the following information:

Photo ID (preferably a passport size photo)
• Proof of ID (i.e passport, driving licence, bank statement etc.)
• Proof of residency (i.e council tax bill, bank statement, utility bill etc.)
• Copy of all up to date bank statements (3 months’ worth)

Offers
The landlord of the property will consider the suitability of each applicant in order on the shortlist until a suitable tenant has been found and the property will then be offered to that applicant. If the applicant refuses the offer of the property the landlord will continue to use the shortlist to find a suitable tenant. If there are no suitable applicants the property may be re-advertised in a future bidding cycle.

If a property is re-advertised the eligibility criteria may be changed.
If you accept the offer of a tenancy you cannot be considered for any other properties in the current or future bidding cycles unless you decide to refuse the property you have accepted.

You do not have to accept an offer of a property, but if you do not we would like to know the reasons why as this will help us ensure that the adverts are easy to understand and include the right information.

If you are someone to whom the Council has accepted a homelessness duty, special rules will apply and you should contact the Council if you are considering not accepting the offer of a property.

Transfer Quota
Up to 20% of all properties let can be prioritised for existing Housing Association tenants who live in the North Norfolk District Council area. All adverts which are prioritised for tenants, will state this in the advert. When the property is shortlisted, initially only tenants will be eligible (they can be on the Housing Register if they have high levels of housing need or on the Transfer Register). If there is no suitable tenant, the shortlist will then be let in the normal way as shown above.

Housing Associations will have the flexibility to develop their own policies to decide what factors they will use to allocate properties included in the 20% quota. Housing associations will however be expected to publish their policies and operate in a fair and transparent way, being held accountable for all decisions.

Exception Housing Schemes
For properties on Exception Housing Schemes only Stage 2 as described above applies, although applicants on all 3 Housing Registers will be shortlisted in order of their connection to the parish in which the property is located or the adjoining parishes. Please note, where a town adjoins a parish, someone with a connection to the town only will not have a connection to the adjoining parish.

Shared Ownership
For shared ownership properties, the property can only be sold to a household who can afford to purchase the share being sold. Housing association tenants in North Norfolk are given first preference for shared ownership properties before Homeseekers. Unless the shared ownership property is on an Exception Housing Scheme preference will be given to applicants who have been waiting the longest (see above) and who need the size of property being advertised.

Private Rented
For private rented properties, some private rented landlords will contact bidders to discuss whether the property is suitable for them. In other cases the Council will provide the landlord with one or more names for the property. The Council will consider when shortlisting whether the bidder can afford to rent the property and if they would be reliant on Housing Benefit whether they would (subject to their income and circumstances) be eligible for full Housing Benefit, any shortfall in rent must be affordable to the prospective tenant. Private rented properties will therefore not be shortlisted in the same way as housing association properties or shared ownership properties. Please note not all properties advertised will have a rent that falls within the Local Housing Allowance.

Relevant Date
The relevant date for applicants that have been award Housing Register Priority Band or Bands 1 or 2 will be the date they were issued with the Priority Band or placed in Band 1 or 2. For Transfer & Housing Register applicants the Relevant Date will be the date they joined the register.

Connection to North Norfolk
You will have a connection to North Norfolk if you or your partner have lived in the North Norfolk District Council area for 6 months out of the past 12 months or 3 years out of the past 5. You will also have a connection if you or your partner work in the district or have a close family member who has lived in the district for the past 5 years.