Applying for Council housing
Who can apply for housing - eligibility
The Council applies qualifying criteria in order to decide who can join its Housing Register. It does this because there are insufficient vacancies to meet the wishes of all potential applicants. Applicants will only be registered where the applicant(s):
- Is aged 16 or over
- Has a local connection to the area (see below)
- Have a housing need assessed in accordance with the Lettings Scheme
- Do not have current rent arrears, or a history of serious rent arrears, owed to social or private landlord where the Council is satisfied about the reasons why the arrears have accrued or by the actions taken by the applicant to resolve the debt. (see below)
- Has not perpetrated unacceptable or anti social behaviour in their accommodation which has led to legal action and where the Council is satisfied that the behaviour has been addressed (see below)
- Is not a home owner.
- Based on the average wage levels for North Warwickshire does not have a total income of £26K if it is a single applicant or £39K if it is an application from a couple or capital assets which would enable the applicant to source their own alternative accommodation.(see below)
Applications will be accepted from people who do not have a local connection to North Warwickshire if their circumstances mean they meet one of the statutory reasonable preference categories. However their application will be given a lower priority than those applicants in the same category who have a local connection to North Warwickshire .
All applicants who are advised that they do not qualify to join the Housing Register will be provided with written notification of the decision and the reasons for it. They also have a right to request a review of that decision and will be encouraged to submit any new information about their application.
Applicants or persons in their household who might reasonably be expected to reside with the applicant who fulfils any the following will be classed as having a local connection:
- If they are normally resident in the Borough which means that they currently live, or have lived, within North Warwickshire and have done for at least 6 out of the last 12 months or for not less than 3 years out of the last 5 years.
- Have close family associations in the Borough with the family members concerned currently living in the North Warwickshire area and have done for at least five years or more. This would normally be parents (including adoptive parents), adult children, brothers or sisters provided there are sufficiently close links in the form of frequent contact, commitment or dependency. Other family associations such as grandparents would also be considered if sufficiently close links are shown.
- If they are working in the Borough and have a permanent contract of employment or of self employment.
- If they have special circumstances which might include the need to be near special medical or support services which are available only in a particular district.
In order to pay for the services it provides the Council has to collect rent from its tenants. Applicants with a poor rent payment history could pose a risk to the Council's income due to none payment of rent. For this reason any applicant who has current or a history of rent arrears will need to provide clear information about the reasons for the rent debt to their landlord and explain the steps they have taken to address the issue. The Council will consider all of the facts, including documentary information, before deciding whether to place the applicant on the housing register. If the information indicates that the income of the applicant was sufficient to cover rent payments (as a priority debt) but rent arrears still accrued, with occupancy of the property put at risk, a decision may be made to exclude the applicant from the Register. In some circumstances an applicant will be expected to accept appropriate support to assist them if they are included on the housing register.
The Council provides tenancy management services to ensure that its estates are nice places to live. As part of its lettings scheme it will act to ensure it is able to sustain the standards its tenants expect. For this reason applications may not be accepted from persons guilty of unacceptable behaviour serious enough to make then unsuitable to be a tenant, or where a member of the applicant's household is guilty of such behaviour. Examples of such behaviour are:
- Behaviour that has caused or is likely to cause significant nuisance or annoyance in a neighbourhood or to neighbours.
- Using a property for illegal or immoral purposes.
- Violence or threatening behaviour towards employees of the Council
The Council will consider all of the facts, including documentary information, before deciding whether to place the applicant on the housing register. If an applicant has recently been evicted from or had to leave a property because of nuisance behaviour, or is not able to show a change in behaviour since they left the property, and there is an indication that this behaviour would continue if they were the tenant of a Council property it may be decided to exclude the applicant from the Housing Register. In some circumstances an applicant will be expected to accept appropriate support to assist them if they are included on the housing register.
Home owners will not be placed on the Housing Register unless they have exceptional circumstances. This could be because of significant financial hardship or serious medical circumstances. For example elderly owner occupiers may have a serious medical condition which will be resolved by moving home (for example to sheltered accommodation) and no alternative to social housing accommodation is available to them.
If an applicant has the financial resources to resolve their own housing issues they will not be placed on the Housing Register. Based on the average wage levels for North Warwickshire this will include total income of £26K for a single applicant or £39K (a full time average wage and a part time average wage) This will include consideration of other resources available, such as capital assets, which would enable them to source a housing option other than Council accommodation.
See our Letting Scheme for a detailed descriptions about eligibility.
Last updated Tuesday, 11th October 2016