FAQs about bidding for properties
How do I join the housing register?
If you meet the relevant criteria you can join the Sandwell housing register. Our join the housing register page has all the relevant information you need.
Where are available homes advertised?
Properties are advertised on our website and in our neighbourhood services centres. You can also view the properties we have available in our Property Shop Newsletter.
Who can bid for properties?
Anyone who is on our housing register can bid for available properties if they meet the right criteria for the property.
What properties can I bid for?
Each property advert shows the preferred household size that is best suited to the property, this is determined by the property household criteria table.
Other restrictions may also be included in the advert.
Why can I not bid on houses?
Only applicants who have a child aged 16 years or under moving with them, whom they claim child benefit, will be eligible to receive an offer of a house. If you are successful in being accepted onto the housing register and you do not have children you will be offered a flat, apartment or maisonette.
Households in Band 5 are not able to bid for houses for 26 weeks from their registration date.
How do I express interest in a property?
The easiest way to make bids via our website. You can also bid by phone by calling 0800 027 0463 or in person by visiting your local centre.
How do I make a bid on the website?
If you're registered and logged in to our online service you should click on the 'Bid for property' link. This will display a list of all the properties that you are eligible for - based on the property household criteria.
Click the property reference number for more details about a property, including the weekly rent cost.
If you are interested in a property tick the 'interested' box on the results page and choose whether the property is your first, second or third choice (you can bid for a maximum of three properties).
Once you've selected which property (or properties) you are interested in click the 'update choices' button at the bottom of the page.
If your bid is successful we will contact you to let you know.
Why can't I see available properties on the website?
You need to be registered with our online service and logged in to see the 'Bid for Property' link.
Also, if it is a Tuesday properties aren't available for bidding.
How many expressions of interest (bids) am I allowed to make?
You can make a maximum of three bids in any one week (excluding Tuesdays).
You should consider the property criteria of each property before bids are placed.
When you express an interest for a property online or through the telephone service, you will be informed what position you are in for that particular property at that point in time.
You may withdraw your expression of interest and move it to a property where you are in a higher ranked position if you wish.
It is important to note that the information you are given about your position reflects the situation at that time. It may change at any point up until the advertising closes as more people express an interest or withdraw their interest in a property.
Do I have to bid for three properties every week?
No. Only express interest in the properties that are of real interest to you. Bids for properties that you are not eligible for will not be considered.
If you refuse three offers of accommodation your membership will be cancelled and you will not be able to re-apply for a further 12 months.
Why has my shortlisting position changed?
Your shortlist position can change at any time up until midnight on the Monday after you have placed your bid. This is due to other bids that have come in from households with a higher priority.
What does 'may become available' mean within the property advert?
Properties advertised as 'may become available' are usually under four weeks notice. This means that the current tenant has told us that they intend to move.
We usually advertise these properties at this time so that we can offer them as early as possible once keys are available. Sometimes these properties will not be come available if the existing tenant changes their mind.
How will I know if the property is suitable for me?
You will be able to express an interest for any properties that you are eligible for in terms of size.
Each property will have a preferred household type known as the property criteria.
The property criteria is determined by guidance available within the Choice Based Lettings Policy and/or the Local Lettings Plan.
If your circumstances do not match the property criteria, you will not be allowed to apply for the property. If a Local Lettings Plan has been developed for your area it will be made available to view at the relevant local centres.
How will properties be let?
Applicants within the highest band will be considered first, starting with those who have been in that band the longest.
30% of houses will be shortlisted based on registration date only. This is to ensure that those home seekers who do not have priority have the opportunity to access housing through the scheme.
It is important to note that properties let through housing associations or private landlords will be let using their own criteria and policies and these may not be in accordance with our Housing Allocations Policy.
What is a priority?
Priority within the scheme may be awarded to those households whose circumstances are such that they have an urgent need for accommodation. Details of the priority and how it works can be found on our priority bands page.
What if the property I am offered is not suitable?
You may refuse the offer, however, you should consider the reasons why you have refused this offer and take this into account when you are expressing interest for properties in the future. If you refuse more than three offers of accommodation your membership of the scheme will be cancelled for a 12 month period.
How will I be notified about the outcome of my expression of interest?
Only the successful bidder will be contacted, they will be notified in writing.
If I am offered a property will I be able to view it before accepting it?
Yes, a viewing of the property will be arranged as soon as possible.
What if I am homeless or likely to be homeless?
Please see our homeless or at risk of losing your home page for information.
How long can I remain on the choice based lettings scheme?
You will stay on the system until you are re-housed or withdraw your application for re-housing or your circumstances change as such that you are no longer considered eligible.
Where can I get help to fill out a registration form or get more information?
Help and information is available by calling 0121 368 1166 or by visiting any local centre.
How can people who are unable to access this service get help and assistance?
Arrangements can be made for those people who are unable to access the service for themselves.
We have a strong commitment to ensure that as far as possible no section of the community is excluded from participating in the Choice Based Lettings Scheme.
Home visits may be arranged for those who have genuine difficulties in accessing the service in order to explain the process and complete appropriate forms.
We can provide mail shots on a regular basis with details of properties that are being advertised and previous results.
Vulnerable people may also nominate a representative who may bid for properties on their behalf.
The telephony service is available in seven minority languages plus English. We are also more than happy to translate any letters or other documentation upon request.
What should I do if my circumstance change?
Please contact us as soon as possible of any change in circumstances so that we can amend your details and advise you accordingly. It is very important that you notify us of any changes in circumstances as this may affect which band you are placed in.