Homefinder UK is a national housing mobility scheme that allows tenants and homeless households of participating social landlords to move home. Homefinder UK is compliant with the Homelessness Reduction Bill and can be used by participating landlords for homelessness prevention. Landlords advertise their available homes through the Homefinder UK website and applicants express interest in a property by bidding as they would on traditional Choice Based Lettings systems. Households can also access mutual exchanges through Homefinder UK's partnership with House Exchange. At the time of writing Homefinder is the only scheme that offers available properties and mutual exchange opportunities through the same site via a single sign-on. Homefinder UK is delivered by Home Connections Lettings Limited in partnership with House Exchange part of the Clarion Housing Group.
I am not a tenant of a participating borough or housing association. Can i still apply?
Yes, however, you will not be eligible for Case Management support provided by Homefinder UK. If you would like to receive support with your property search process, you can request your local council or housing association to join Homefinder UK.
If you are unable to complete an online form you may wish to visit your local housing office for assistance or you can contact the Homefinder UK team by telephone at 020 7619 9705. Internet access is usually available at libraries.
If I apply, how long will I have to wait to be housed?
It is impossible to say as it can depend on a number of factors including the availability of properties in the area(s) to which you wish to move; the number of other people are registered and the level of priority you have (housing priority is determined by the receiving landlord's allocations policy). You should note that Homefinder UK cannot guarantee any applicant a move. You can improve your chances by being flexible on the type of property you will consider and where you are prepared to live.
Properties are advertised on the website. Once you have applied, you will be given log in details that will enable you to search for properties relevant to your bed need and bid for any that interest you. If you do not have access to the internet someone can do this for you. Please note that on certain occasions landlords can and do withdraw properties from the advertising cycle due to their business reasons. Homefinder UK can take no responsibility for such actions.
Can I request a move to an area where properties are not currently advertised?
Yes. If you are an applicant from a member council or housing association then Homefinder UK will attempt to source a property for you in your area of choice subject to local availability of properties.
How many bids can i make?
You can view information about bidding process here.
What happens if I want to change my bids?
You can change any of your bids at any time until the bidding period for those properties closes.
What happens if I am being considered for a property?
If you are being considered for a property, the Homefinder UK Team will give you a call to discuss your bid and to answer any questions you may have. If you are still interested, your details will be put forward to the receiving landlord who will give you a call within a week and provide further information on the property. They will need to check that the details on your application are accurate and will invite you to visit the property. When you visit the property you will be expected to make a decision on whether you wish to move so it makes sense to be prepared before undertaking a visit.
What happens if I refuse a property?
If you refuse a property without a valid reason e.g. medical, something wrong with the property, your landlord/council has the right to suspend your application.
If I have bid for some properties and the bidding has closed, can I still bid on other advertised properties?
Yes. However if you have been offered a viewing on a property you cannot bid for any more properties until you have accepted it, refused it or decided you are not interested for any other reason.
How are bids prioritised?
Your priority will be based on the information you provide on your application form and determined by the receiving landlords published housing allocation policy. The individual council housing waiting list does not apply to the scheme, however, participating landlords apply their own local policies when determining which applicant receives highest priority. This may mean that your priority is different in different areas.
Do you give any priority for my medical circumstances?
No, the scheme does not take medical circumstances into account and the receiving landlords policies will apply.
What should I do if my circumstances change?
You will need to log into your application and complete the change of circumstances section. Your application will then go back to your landlord for them to approve the changes you have made.
I am willing to consider a smaller property if I move. What size properties am I able to bid for?
Your assessed need is based on the Government's bedroom standard. However some landlords may allow you to bid on properties which are one bedroom larger than your assessed need. So for example, if you are a couple in a three bed house your assessed need would be for a one bedroom property but you may be able to successfully bid for a two-bedroom home. However, if you are in receipt of housing benefit landlords may not be prepared to offer a home with more bedrooms than your assessed need. This is because the rent incurred through those additional bedrooms will not be covered by housing benefit following the Social Size Criteria changes (known as welfare reform or Bedroom Tax) changes introduced in spring 2013.
The application form asks for my ethnic origin, sexuality and religion? Why do you need this information and will it affect my chances of being rehoused?
This information is only asked for statistical purposes and has no bearing on your application or chances of being rehoused. The application form allows you to select a 'prefers not to say' option from the list provided so you can choose not to disclose this information.
I have tried to apply but my borough is not listed so I cannot complete my application? Why is this?
Those landlords listed are those who have paid to join Homefinder UK. If your landlord / council is not listed, please select ‘Other’ and continue with the application. However, your application will receive 0 points.
I wish to move to London. Can I move to the capital through this scheme?
Very few immediately available properties in London will be advertised on the website and you can apply for these like any of the others. You should also consider other options such as a mutual exchange.
Who should I contact if I have a question or wish to make a complaint?
Please contact the Homefinder UK team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by telephone at 020 7619 9705 or in writing to Homefinder UK, Home Connections, United House, North Road, London N7 9DP
If I apply to the scheme does this mean staff from every participating landlord will be able to see the information I provide?
No. Only your current landlord and Homefinder UK staff can see your information. If you are successful in bidding for a property the landlord of that property will be able to see some of your information as they will need this information to enable them to contact you and check your eligibility.
If I apply, can I include people who are not currently members of my household?
No. You can only include people who currently live with you on the application. Your landlord needs to approve and verify your application before you can start bidding for property and they will not be able to do this if there are extra people that they have no information about. You should also be aware that if you move you must leave your current home with vacant possession. This means that no-one can remain living there after you have moved out, unless you are moving out due to overcrowding.
What do I do if I cannot complete my application because I do not have time or do not have all the information I need?
At most points during the application form there is a 'finish later' button at the bottom of the page. If you select this option the system will allocate you a temporary login so you can return to the application form at another time. This login will allow you access for ten days. If you leave it any longer than this you will need to start another application.
I do not want any information sent to my home address. Can I give a different address for post to be sent to?
Yes, at the end of the registration form there is the option of including a correspondence address. If you complete this, all mail will be sent to this address instead of to your home.