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Helping tenants transfer homes

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Frequently Asked Questions

This is the list of Frequently Asked Questions about HomeKey. It has answers to the most common questions people ask about HomeKey.

Who can use HomeKey?

Any social tenant of a partnering landlord who has applied and been accepted to use the service?

How do I apply?

Check to see if your landlord is partnering with HomeKey. If they are then contact them directly using the details provided and they will assess your application.

What is a transfer?

If you rent your home from the council or a housing association, you can apply for a transfer to a new home within your landlord’s area.  Your chances of getting a new home will depend upon:

  • the reasons why you want to move – this is particularly important if you are applying for a transfer) as it will decide how much priority you get on the waiting list.
  • what sort of property you are asking for (if you need a larger property, or one that has been adapted for support needs, you may have to wait longer.)
  • what sort of property you currently live in (most areas have a shortage of larger properties, so if you are downsizing then you may be able to move more quickly).

You can apply for a transfer if you have a secure or assured tenancy with the local council or a housing association. If your circumstances have changed since you moved in, resulting in a need for a different home you should contact your landlord as this may affect priority for rehousing. This could be because:

  • your family has grown and your current home and is now overcrowded.
  • your home is now too big for you, for example because your children have left home.
  • you are ill or have a disability and your current home isn't suited to your needs.

Every landlord has a different needs policy so you would need to contact your landlord in the first instance to find out if you are suitable for a transfer.

What is a match?

HomeKey uses the details supplied in your registration to find advertised homes which meet your needs. This is called a "match".

When HomeKey finds you a match you will be alerted by SMS text or email. You can then log onto HomeKey, look at the home you have been matched with and if you like the look of it you can bid on it.

How do I apply for a property?

Look through the available properties on the website. When you find one you are interested in, we suggest you visit the area before expressing an interest or bidding for that home.  We also recommend you check to make sure you meet the criteria.

What is ‘bidding’?

Bidding is just another term for applying for a home. When you have found a home you like you can make a bid (or apply) for that property through HomeKey. Different landlords have different rules about how many properties you can bid for in one go so check these first before bidding.

When you bid for properties your priority status will normally be reviewed again and compared with that of other bidders to ensure that the household with the highest priority is successful.

What happens once I bid on a home?

When you bid on a property, a list is created of everyone who is interested in that home. This list is based on the date you registered with one of our partnering landlords to be transferred. The person with the longest registration date and who meets the criteria is the person who is likely to be offered the home. However the landlord will still carry out checks and references.

If your circumstances have changed since your first registered, for example if you have had a child, inform your landlord as soon as possible as your level of priority may well change.

Can I bid on any property?

HomeKey will automatically match you to properties according to your needs. However, these properties may have additional criteria or ‘labels’ which could exclude you from bidding. For example: for over 55’s or for current tenants of the landlord. Please check these labels before bidding.

How do I know if I will be offered the home I have applied for?

The landlord for that home will contact you making an initial offer of the property. You will be able to view before you accept it. You are unlikely to be offered a property if you owe your landlord rent or other charges.

What checks are made and what references do I need?

The landlord will advise you what they need from you before they confirm the property is definitely yours. This could include a reference from your landlord or employer, housing benefit form or other details. If you require further information please contact your landlord.

© HomeKey 2009