Empty homes (North Tyneside Council)

The team are working hard to arrange viewings and tenancy start dates for applicants, we will contact you once we have an update on homes which you have been offered, please do not contact the team for an update on viewings or tenancy start dates as we are working hard to move you into your new home as soon as we can safely do so, your patience is appreciated during this time, please see below guidance issued by the Government about moving home.  

Viewings

In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should continue to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet. It is important that everyone continues to follow the safe hygiene practices and you should let in fresh air if people are viewing your property.

It will also be important for the Landlord to discuss with applicants and tenants their state of health, level of vulnerability and their arrangements for moving (including any assistance required) before proceeding with the move.

Landlords should avoid moving tenants who are showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating. There may be exceptions to this (e.g. safety reasons) and in these scenarios Landlords should speak to the local Public Health team about appropriate infection control measures before taking any action.

Although your Landlord will place no pressure on you to move where you are not ready or able to do so, they may also be unable to hold onto a property you have successfully bid for. We therefore advise that you only bid on properties where your circumstances have been considered and you are in a position to move. 

If you have concerns about any of this guidance or would like further information about any of the revised practices, please do speak to your Landlord. 

Empty Homes Team

The Empty Homes Team can be contacted as below: 

Housing and Property Services

Block A, The Killingworth Site, Harvey Combe

Killingworth, NE12 6QQ

 

Telephone 0345 2000 102.
Email : emptyhomes@northtyneside.gov.uk

 

 

 

How to bid on a property?

Each week we advertise our available homes, the cycle runs from 12:01am Thursday until 11:59pm on Monday, please note that lettings cycles are subject to change or cancellation to accommodate Bank Holidays and other holiday periods.

Each advertised property will contain information such as: property size, the area where the property is located, weekly rent and the type of heating installed. It will also set out the minimum size of household that will be considered and you will need to meet this requirement to be eligible.

Applicants who have an active application with Tyne and Wear Homes can bid on 3 properties per week through the regular bidding cycle.

Properties which have not been let through the bidding cycle will be advertised as 'Available Now' and applicants are able to bid on as many properties as they wish which are being advertised in this way, these properties are listed continuously until a suitable applicant is offered the property.

Only bid on properties which you are interested in.

You can bid online through the Tyne and Wear Homes website https://www.tyneandwearhomes.org.uk, by text, telephone, in person or with your permission, through your carer/support worker or family member.

How will I know if my bid has been successful

All successful applicants who have made an expression of interest during a standard choice based lettings cycle will be contacted within 3 working days of the advert closing at 11.59pm each Monday (excluding the period between Christmas and New Year).

The team will contact all successful applicants, you can also check your bidding position by logging onto your account on the Tyne and Wear Homes’ website. 

You will only be contacted if you have been successfully matched to a property which you have expressed interest in,  all properties are offered to the applicant placed in the highest priority band based on the date of their application or where a property is adapted this may be matched to an applicant requiring those adaptions. 

Once you have been matched to a property and you have verbally accepted the offer of accommodation, you will be unable to express interest in any other properties.

Any offer made will be conditional until your tenancy agreement has been signed and your tenancy has commenced.

If you are contacted regarding a conditional offer and you have rent arrears over £500 your application will be closed and no offer of accommodation will be made.

If you have rent arrears under £500 you will be given 1 working day to clear these arrears, if the arrears are not cleared the offer will be withdrawn and this will be classed as a refusal.

If you place more than one bid in the same week and you are top of the list for more than one home, we will ask you which home you would prefer to be offered. We are unable to make more than one offer at any time and if we cannot get in touch with you we will decide which home you will be offered.

If we contact you regarding an offer of a property you will be given one working day to respond. If you fail to respond within this time we will remove the offer from you and this will be considered a refusal, we will contact you by telephone and email, It is your responsibility to update your contact details on your housing application. We do not contact applicants by letter to make offers of accommodation.

When being made your conditional offer of accommodation you may take 2 working days to decide if you wish to accept the offer.

If you are transferring between two North Tyneside Council properties, a pre termination inspection will be arranged to ensure your property meets the moving out standard and your tenancy agreement has been adhered to, you will be given a short period of time to bring your property up to standard if it fails to meet the moving out standard, if your property fails to meet the moving out standard the offer of accommodation will be removed and this will be classed as a refusal.

At the end of your tenancy we expect your home to be to an acceptable standard, this is the "moving out standard" if your home fails to meet this standard we may not allow you to move, you can read the moving out standard document here  : https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/sites/default/files/web-page-related-fil...

What happens if I refuse a property?

In some circumstances a property may be refused and would be considered a ‘reasonable refusal’, such as:

  • The property does not have the correct adaptations for the applicant and cannot be adapted;
  • Medical reasons prevent the applicant accepting the property;
  • There was an error in the adverts details.

If you refuse three reasonable offers of accommodation within a twelve month period you will be disallowed from bidding on North Tyneside Council properties for six months in line with North Tyneside Council’s Letting Policy.  In order to have your application reinstated you will need to contact us within 21 days of the final date which you are disallowed. If you do not contact us within the required timescale your application with North Tyneside Council will be closed and a new application will need to be made. This will mean that your date of registration and banding priority are subject to change.

If you are classed as statutory homeless and you refuse a reasonable offer of accommodation, North Tyneside Council will discharge its duty to find you accommodation and no further offers of accommodation will be made. 

If you disagree with the outcome, you have the right to request a review.

If you have been made a direct offer you cannot bid on other properties and if you refuse an offer your application will be reassessed which may result in your priority being reduced or be removed from the housing register.

How to Appeal

If you disagree with being disallowed from bidding on North Tyneside Council properties, you have the right to ask for a review of the decision. You must request your review and tell us your reasons for requesting a review in writing, within 21 days of the decision.

Can I afford a property?

As part of the North Tyneside Councils Letting Policy we can carry out an affordability assessment prior to any formal offer of accommodation to ensure a property is affordable to an applicant. The assessment takes in to consideration all current income and calculates the expenditure based on the property which you are being offered. 

The financial assessment is completed online via the following link, this link will be emailed to you at the point of offer: 

Benefit and budgeting calculator | Policy In Practice (betteroffcalculator.co.uk)

You must complete the affordability assessment within 48 hours, failure to respond will be considered a refusal of the property which you are being offered. 

Things which you will need to complete the affordability assessment:

Any outgoing expenditure – we calculate this amount as a weekly figure but please ensure you have ALL outgoings detailed for your assessment. These details must be submitted on the 'budget' tab of the affordability assessment. 

Any incoming wages and benefits – Please ensure you have provided proof of all income as this will be required to ensure the assessment is accurate.

If you are unsure about any costs associated with the new property, please tick the 'average costs' box, please do not contact us to request this information. 

All applicants will be asked to provide three months bank statements and payslips if you are working or proof of benefit entitlement. If you are receiving Universal Credit the team will need to know the exact amount, payment date, any deductions and if applicable which work group the DWP have placed you in. 

An affordability assessment can be checked and verified by an officer at any point following the offer of accommodation depending on when a property is due to be available to let

If the property is not affordable the offer will not proceed and this will not be considered a refusal of the property by you, further advice and guidance will be given to allow you to maximise your income and understand which properties are affordable.

If the property is affordable and is available an appointment will be made for the viewing and signing of your tenancy. If the property is not available yet, you will be contacted closer to the time to arrange a viewing and signing of your tenancy.

 

How long will I wait for my property?

The team will contact you to make a verbal offer of accommodation and advise you of the date we expect repairs to be completed, this is not a confirmed date as there may be additional repairs required, please do not make arrangements for removals at this stage. 

North Tyneside Council advertise properties as soon as we receive the termination notice from the existing tenant therefore a property can be offered to an applicant weeks before the vacating tenant has moved out.

Once the vacating tenant has left their property we ask our repairs team to complete an inspection and repairs to ensure the property is in a lettable standard. 

This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on how much notice a departing tenant is giving and how much work is required within the property. 

On occasion properties are offered to applicants when they are ready to let, if you are being offered a property which is ready to let we will notify you at the offer stage. In these circumstances you may be rehoused within a few days of being offered a property.

You must contact North Tyneside Council if you have been offered a property but may not be available to contact e.g. you are due a hospital stay or are going on holiday.

What happens during a viewing?

Once they keys are available for the home you have been offered your New Homes Officer will contact you to arrange a viewing appointment between 10am and 4pm on a weekday (Monday to Friday), you will be expected to be available during this time.

We ask all successful applicants to refrain from attending properties prior to the arranged viewing as our properties are advertised whilst still occupied.

The New Homes Officer will attend the property 15 minutes before your viewing to take meter readings and complete a moving in standard checklist, after the viewing and sign up you will be asked to sign the moving in standard confirming you are happy with your new home. 

Please ensure that a maximum of 2 people attend the viewing except in exceptional circumstances, after looking around the property you must make a decision as to whether you wish to accept the property.

At the viewing you will receive the keys to your new property and sign your tenancy agreement, the tenancy will commence the next working day.  

The New Homes Officer will give you meter readings they have taken and advise which utility supplier provides gas and electricity at your new home, once you have made contact with the suppliers you need to call our contact centre to make an appointment to have the gas "un capped" until you do this you will not have any gas or electricity. 

What to expect from your new home?

The property will be decorated to the council's moving in standard, we no longer offer decorating or paint packs 

The property will have either a gas or electric cooker point.

The property will meet the North Tyneside Council Moving In standard.

What happens to my application for rehousing?

Once you have signed for the tenancy we will close your housing application. If you think you may want to move again in the future you will need to submit a new application using your previous reference number and memorable date.  

Find out about Council tenancies

Your tenancy agreement is an agreement between you and your landlord, It sets out your rights and responsibilities.

North Tyneside Council use Any Day tenancies for all lettings, your tenancy will start the day after your viewing and tenancy signing, there are some situations where vulnerable applicants may be given a longer period to start their tenancy, this will be discussed at the viewing of the property.

There are two types of tenancy used by North Tyneside Council:

Introductory Tenancies

Are offered to all new tenants who have not held a tenancy with a Local Authority or Housing Association immediately prior to their offer of accommodation, introductory tenancies are effective for a 12 month period and are converted to a secure tenancy If the tenancy is conducted in a satisfactory manner.

Secure Tenancies

Secure tenancies are provided to applicants who are transferring from another Secure Tenancy with North Tyneside Council, another Local Authority or are moving from a Housing Association as an Assured tenant.

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