WELCOME TO Herts Choice Homes

Bidding Cycle

Bidding on:

Issue 440

closes Tuesday:

18 December at noon.

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How Herts Choice Homes works

Step 1 Registration
Once your application has been registered, you will receive a letter (with this User Guide and some postal bidding coupons), from Herts Choice Homes. This will confirm your Herts Choice Homes number, Priority Band, Priority Date and the number of bedrooms for which you are eligible.

Please note that you will only be able to bid for properties advertised by the
council(s) with which you are registered, plus the properties in the Cross Partner section. Although the five participating councils have very similar allocations policies, there are some slight differences. When allocating the properties in the Cross Partner section, it is the policy of the council in which the property is situated which will apply.

You must keep your local Council informed of any changes to your circumstances, for example, changes to your household size or address. This is very important, as it could result in a change to your banding or the type of property you are eligible for.

Step 2 Bidding

Properties are advertised every week on the Herts Choice Homes website. If you are housebound, we can arrange to post details to you of the properties you will be eligible for, if you ask us to do this.

The adverts give you information about each property, for example number of bedrooms, rent level, garden and local amenities. A photograph will be included if available.

Every week there is a 5-day period when you can place bids for properties you are interested in. This is called the ‘bidding cycle’. Weekly bidding cycle runs from Friday at 9am to the following Tuesday, closing at 12 noon. Your bids must reach us by this time or they cannot be counted.

You can bid for up to 3 properties in each cycle, but you can only bid for properties that you are eligible for. For example, if you are eligible for a 2-bedroom property you cannot bid for one with 3 bedrooms.

We can give you help to bid if you need it. You can also ask a friend, family member or support worker to bid on your behalf. Please contact your local council if you need help bidding or advice about the process.

Step 3 The Offer

At the end of the bidding cycle, a shortlist of bidders is drawn up for each property. The shortlist will only include applicants for whom the property is suitable. We will also check whether bidders have any rent arrears or any other tenancy issues, and the condition of their current property, as offers will not normally be made in these circumstances.

The bidder who is in the highest priority band and has been waiting in that band longest will be at the top of the shortlist. The bidder at the top of each property shortlist will be contacted by the landlord. If they refuse the property, or if the landlord decides the offer is not suitable, the property is then offered to the next person on the shortlist, and so on until an offer is accepted. People at the top of a shortlist will normally be contacted within a week of the bidding cycle closing.

If you successfully bid for more than one property in the same bidding cycle, you will be asked which property you would prefer as your first choice. Whilst a property is under offer to you, you will not be considered for any other properties.

You do not have to accept an offer of a property, although if you are a homeless applicant to whom the council has accepted a main duty, special rules may apply. Please contact your local council if you have questions about this. For other applicants, if you refuse three offers we will contact you to discuss how we can support you to bid for a home you want. We may also review your circumstances, especially if you are in a high band and need to move urgently.

Step 4 Feedback

It is not possible to tell you individually if your bids have been unsuccessful but you can get this information from the Herts Choice Homes website (see ‘bidding history’ after you have logged in).

All properties that have been advertised will be listed on the Feedback page on the website once they have been let. This will show you the band of the person who the property was let to and how long they had been waiting in that band. It will also tell you the total number of bids received for that property. No personal information will be shown though. The feedback will help you decide whether you need to re-consider what to bid for. You may need to think about choosing a different area or property type.