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Or is this a fair way to let homes?

(62 Posts)
bridge83 Wed 20-Apr-16 14:07:14

Me my dh and our two children are currently in a three bed private rented house that is really expensive ie rent, council tax, utilities etc. We've had our name down on the council list for six years but as there are only two areas that we would consider living and these are very popular areas we haven't had any luck.

So a few months ago I got a letter though from the council telling us that they now have additional service and another way of getting homes. Usually you bid for any properties you like on a weekly basis but now they've introduced a section of their website were there are homes available now as in you can have one straight away. The only catch is that it's a first come first served basis. I know this probably does sound very fair but as there is no telling when these properties come up you have to check their website every day or more like multiple times a day.

So I've expressed my interest on a few properties in our area recently that would have been perfect but obviously we weren't the first to register our interest as we would have heard something by now. Today for instance there are three properties that have come up close to were we live and I've registered for them all. I checked their web page this morning and there were no properties listed. I took my dd to school and checked again when I got back and there were properties that had just been put up. I know I haven't won any of them as the council email you straight away if you're the first bidder. But how the heck can I secure a property if they are put on so randomly throughout the week. Aibu to think that this is an odd way of allocating properties? Unless I check their site every five bloody minutes I don't have a chance do I?

EarthboundMisfit Wed 20-Apr-16 14:45:47

I don't know. It certainly sounds incredibly frustrating. To be honest I think there's a huge amount wrong with how council properties are allocated.

OurBlanche Wed 20-Apr-16 14:54:53

Is there no way to set alerts?

That is weird, unhelpful and just distressing!

bridge83 Wed 20-Apr-16 15:23:49

You can set alerts but they only go to your email and not a ping or such like. I have the app on my tablet so it's actually quicker to check properties on there as opposed to logging into my email. It is frustrating because perfectly good properties that would suit our families needs are just going so fast. I work as well so I haven't the time to keep checking multiple times a day.

icklekid Wed 20-Apr-16 15:27:21

Put your email on your phone so you do get alerts when they are sent?

OurBlanche Wed 20-Apr-16 16:41:41

^^ it should only take a couple of minutes and you will get a bit more of a chance!

Boolovessulley Wed 20-Apr-16 16:46:01

It does seem an odd way of doing it.

Am I wrong in thinking the council allocate homes based on need.

bridge83 Wed 20-Apr-16 16:48:49

Yeah they allocate a set amount of homes based on need and the banding system (we are in the bottom band) but they also keep back some properties for the homes available now section, to give people in lower bands a "fair" chance. I'll look into setting email alerts to my phone. I never thought of that lol.

Akire Wed 20-Apr-16 16:49:40

Sounds odd are they only letting you apply if you have the points though? spunds more like these are hard to rent places that will take time and money to do up or in "interesting" areas. If they are perfect homes with a queue of people waiting can't see why they would do it this way?

Once a home is empty and you bid it's quick process isn't it? This way someone just on lust with low points get it over someone who needs it urgent just out of pure luck

bibbitybobbityyhat Wed 20-Apr-16 16:52:54

I'm sorry, I have no experience, but it does sound just plain wrong! And also - what a lot of council houses you have available in your area!

bridge83 Wed 20-Apr-16 17:00:34

No anyone can bid and they seem to be good properties. Most in good areas with new kitchens and bathrooms etc. The last one I registered for was a three bed parloured house with a new kitchen, new bathroom and a huge garden it was really nice. I think they've done it as they think it will give people on the lower bands a better chance but if you don't see the property in time you miss out.

bridge83 Wed 20-Apr-16 17:01:46

Yeah we aren't in London or another big city just your typical town really. It's can be hard if you need a certain type of property in a particularly popular area but it's no where near as bad as some councils.

GarlicShake Wed 20-Apr-16 17:50:03

It's giving you a chance, though, isn't it? In most areas, nobody gets a home if they are not high needs.

Think about the cut-throat rush to compete for private rentals in cities these days. Take the same approach - book a few days off work and sit in front of that website all day. Good luck!

wonderingsoul Wed 20-Apr-16 17:52:08

I actually think its s good idea. It will give those at the bottom of tbe list just that more chance.

Like you kno youv been on there for 6 years.... it takes a while to get a house but your odds have increased.

GarlicShake Wed 20-Apr-16 17:53:34

Incidentally, I'm "high needs" and am in a flat I got from the housing association's nobody-wants-these website! I stood no chance of a place with a garden or space to swing a cat (my cat's probably grateful.) This local authority owns NO council homes.

You've got a great opportunity there - use it smile

MiniMum97 Wed 20-Apr-16 22:45:37

I work for a charity involved in housing advice and this very surprising. There is a massive shortage of local authority housing and usually only people in dire need (usually band A only) get allocated housing. Being homeless on its own is not enough, you have to have other needs too. Even on the bidding system, the people with the greatest need get priority. I would be extremely surprised if the council were allocating housing to people in a lower band when there are thousands of people waiting with greater need.
Have you spoken to the council about the new system to get a clear idea of how it works and how likely you are to get allocated a property?

Foslady Wed 20-Apr-16 23:08:45

If you're not in an area of high demand they could be 'hard to lets'. - properties that have been through the bid cycle a set number of times but have not had anyone suitable bid on them (new kitchens & bathrooms might be that they've been put in for upgrade a bit sooner than their lifetime span to try and attract bidders). might be worth just checking again if there's a set day that they generally go on.
Good luck!

Brokenbiscuit Thu 21-Apr-16 00:43:01

Sounds very odd to me. As far as I'm concerned, council houses should be available to those who need them, not just randomly allocated to whoever happens to spot the vacancy first!

Medusacascade Thu 21-Apr-16 06:20:18

When I was absolutely desperate I lived on Homechoice obsessively watching my bid go up or down and swapping where necessary. This is a great opportunity for lower bands. It's just a case of constant watching if you are desperate enough.

Thisisnotausername Thu 21-Apr-16 06:35:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MattDillonsPants Thu 21-Apr-16 06:49:12

I agree that it is a GREAT thing. You just need to be more organised.

Mooey89 Thu 21-Apr-16 07:01:32

This is a great opportunity for you.
Some people are so desperate to be housed that they can't afford to 'only have two areas they will consider'

I think you sound unbelievably fortunate.

Fratelli Thu 21-Apr-16 08:04:54

I agree with pp who said book a few days off work and do it that way. I've private rented in a popular city before and it is first come first served tbh. I think if you were that desperate you would be considering more areas. Look at it as an opportunity.

IceMaiden73 Thu 21-Apr-16 08:12:49

I think this is a great system, it is giving people a chance who otherwise might not get this opportunity

You need to check it as often as you can - what about taking a few days annual leave? Can your partner help too? What about any other family?

antimatter Thu 21-Apr-16 08:14:01

Fo you have smartphone? You can download app fir toyr emai (I use yahoo and gmail), set up one account which is only fir house searching and set it so that you get an update as soon as that email arrives. You can then check website throigh the lonk.
Obviously my assumption is that you also have accesd to mobile internet on the go wherever you go during the day. At home is easy to switch to wifi. Going out and about sometines means your mobile internet is unavailable.
On another note if there are hundreds of homes available that way there's no way there are many left for people patiently waiting in the queue.

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