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Dorset Home Choice

Housing Options

Housing Options

Take a look at Low Cost Home Ownership, Mutual Exchange and Private Rental...

Help & FAQ

Help & FAQ

Frequently asked questions about and the bidding process...

Help & Frequently Asked Questions

Who is my managing local authority partner?
If you applied to more than one of the local authority partners in the scheme your managing partner will be the one that you expressed as your preference when you applied.

What is a Homeseeker?
A Homeseeker is any accepted Housing Register applicant that is not an existing social housing tenant.

What is a Transferring Tenant?
A transferring tenant is an accepted Housing Register applicant who is currently a tenant of a social housing landlord.

Who can apply for properties through Dorset Home Choice?
You must have been accepted onto the Housing Register to be able to apply for rented properties through Dorset Home Choice. Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register.

How do I apply to join the Housing Register?
You will need to complete an application form. You can do this using the online application form.

What other documents do I need to provide?
Once you have completed the online form you will need to provide us with any necessary proofs. You will definitely need to provide:
Proof of identity for the main and joint applicants (e.g. copies of passports, birth certificates)
Evidence of your right to reside in the UK if you are not a British Citizen (e.g. copies of passport & other relevant Home Office documentation). Details of the proofs that you need to provide are listed on the submission page when you apply online or on the manual application form.

What happens if I do not provide the required documents?
If you do not provide the documents or contact us within the required time (usually 28 days), your application will be cancelled.

How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Housing Register?
You will receive a banding letter and scheme guide confirming that you have been accepted onto the Housing Register. This will tell you the band you have been placed in, your effective date in band and the size of property you are eligible for for each of the partners you have applied to. It will also tell you how to start searching and bidding for properties.

Can you refuse to accept me onto the Housing Register?
There are some people who do not qualify or who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register. These are:
Applicants that don't have a local connection to the area that they wish to apply to.
Applicants with no housing need.
Applicants to certain partners that have rent arrears.
Certain people who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act.
Certain people from abroad who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.
People (including members of their household) who have been guilty of unacceptable behaviour that makes them unsuitable to be a tenant.
For more detailed information contact your relevant local authority.

How long will I stay in the same band?
Your banding will stay the same until your circumstances change. You must contact us and complete a Change of Circumstances form of your circumstances change. We will then reassess your banding.

What do I do if my circumstances change?
It is very important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances so that we can amend your application and reassess your banding. We will tell you if this results in you moving to a different band. You can do this using your online account.

Do I need to renew my application each year?
You may need to renew your application with us on a regular basis. This will normally be on the anniversary of your application but may be at a longer interval depending on the local authority managing your application. You will be asked to renew your application which within 28 days. If you fail to renew your application within the required period we will write and tell you that your application has been cancelled.

What if someone in my household has a medical condition?
If someone in your household has a medical condition which is worsened by your current housing you will be asked to provide details, which may then be considered when assessing the band that your application will be placed in. You can continue to choose which properties to bid on but must be mindful of your condition and only express an interest in suitable properties such as a ground floor flat or bungalow if you cannot climb stairs.

How often are properties advertised?
Properties available for rent are advertised every day between Monday and Thursday. The advert will be available for a minimum of five days.

Where are properties advertised?
Properties are advertised online at

What information will the property adverts contain?
The adverts will tell you the number of bedrooms in the property, the landlord, location, rent and other features of the property. A photograph of the property will be provided, and properties advertised on the website will also have links to information about the local area and facilities. The advert will also tell you if there are any special requirements that the applicant must meet, such as age requirements, which bands may bid for the property and which will be given priority for the property. If your bedroom entitlement (household type) is different to the number shown on the property advert you will not be able to bid for that property. Please see - The Adverts explained for more information.

How do I bid for a property?
For information on how to bid (expressing an interest) please see the following links:
- Bidding using this website
- Bidding by text message

You can withdraw bids and bid for other properties if you change your mind or can see you have a better chance of being offered another property. You have a maximum of 6 bids in any advertising cycle.

Will I know how many other people are interested in the same property?
Yes, at the end of the bidding cycle, you will be able to log on and see where you are ranked within the shortlist for the properties you have placed bids on.

How do you decide who is offered a property?
Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is drawn up. The shortlist is in order of eligibility according to the criteria stated in the advert details for that property. The applicant at the top of the shortlist will normally be put forward for the property to the landlord. The bidding cycle ends on Monday at 11.59pm.

If I successfully bid for a rented property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me?
If you are at the top of the list and the landlord feels there is a reason why you are not suitable to be offered the property they will tell you. If you do not agree with this decision you will need to contact the landlord direct.

If I am offered a property, will I be able to view it before making up my mind?
Yes. You will be given an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you would like to accept it.

How will I know what has happened to the properties advertised? Information about homes that have been successfully let is published in the feedback area (that applcants can see when they have logged in). For more information please see the - Feedback section of the scheme guide.

How will this information help me?
The feedback information will give you a better idea of how popular a particular property or area is and how long you would normally have to wait before you might be successful given your band and effective date in band. You can then decide whether to look for other types of property or areas where you may not have to wait as long.

What other options are there for housing?
There is a severe shortage of homes in the Dorset area. Most applicants on the Housing Register will have to wait a long time for re-housing and many of those in the lower bands will still have little chance of re-housing in the local area. Depending on your circumstances you may wish to consider other options such as renting in the private sector. For more information please look at our - Housing Options information.

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