The HomeOption website was relaunched on Thursday 12 May 2022.
The new website will make it easier for you to bid on properties, update us with any changes to circumstances and provide supporting documents.
Changes to the website will not affect existing housing applications in any way. Your points allocation and bedroom size entitlement will remain the same unless your circumstances have changed.
To use the upgraded HomeOption website, existing customers and new applicants will need to create new login details using an email address and a secure password. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause but you will not be able to access your account until you complete this step.
A step-by-step guide can be found at HomeOption, please read this carefully.
Information about the housing register
Expressing an interest in available homes
You need to be registered to allow you to express interest in available Council or Housing Association homes in the Borough through HomeOption (Choice-based Lettings).
The rules applicable to eligibility and allocations are contained within the Allocations Policy 2021 pdf. We would advise you to read this prior to applying.
Please note: Just because you register, does not mean you will be successful in being housed in the short or medium term. There is a significant shortage of accommodation across the Borough compared to the number of people looking to be housed. The length an applicant may have to wait will depend upon their individual circumstances and how often bids are placed through HomeOption.
Our policy is that only applicants on the Transfer List may bid on houses. This enables the flats and maisonettes currently occupied by transfer applicants to be made available to applicants on our housing register (HomeSeekers), which we consider to be the fairest way of allocating property.
HomeSeekers are applicants not currently in social accommodation, or whom are in social accommodation outside of the Borough.
Transfer Applicants are those individuals who are existing tenants of Brentwood Borough Council or were nominated by Brentwood Borough Council to a Housing Association property within the Borough.
View the Allocations Policy 2021 pdf.
Am I eligible to apply to be on the housing register?
The criteria for eligibility for the Housing Register (home seekers) is:
- You have to have a local connection to the Borough (please read the Allocations Policy above)
- You do not have a single income exceeding £30,000 or combined income exceeding £50,000 per year which includes savings & employment income
- You do not have savings/assets exceeding £16,000
- You must be in housing need, for example you are currently in accommodation that you do not have a legal entitlement to reside in. If you hold a secure or assured tenancy with another Local Authority or Housing Association which is suitable for your needs then you will not be eligible to join the Housing Register.
We give additional priority to those:
- Who are in employment or in employment related training
- Who are unable to work due to a disability or illness who are in receipt of a disability related benefit or grant
- Where there is an accepted 'Prevention Duty' under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
- Tenants who need to downsize to smaller accommodation due to medical support or financial needs
- Increased medical priority for those where their current accommodation is being affected by their health which is confirmed by the Council's Independent Medical Advisor
Do I have a local connection?
Please review the criteria by reading the Allocations Policy above.
None of these apply to me: can I still apply for the housing register?
No, you will not be eligible for the Housing Register.
I have a combined annual income of £50,000 or more per year, can I apply for the housing register?
No, to be eligible you must have an income of less than £50,000 per year. We will also take into consideration any savings/assets when assessing your income.
I have savings or assets exceeding £16,000, can I apply for the housing register?
No, if you have savings/investments etc. of £16,000 or more then you wouldn't be eligible for the housing register.
Will I need to provide documentary evidence again to confirm my circumstances?
Yes, you will be required to provide evidence to support your application.
We would advise where possible you email your documents to email@example.com at the time you apply online to ensure there are no delays in assessing your application. Remember to attach your document checklist and quote your on-line reference number and housing application reference when sending any documents.
I cannot send documents by email; can I send them by post?
Yes, but to ensure no unnecessary delays to your application, please send within 7 days of completing your application. Remember to send your document checklist and quote your online reference number and housing application reference when sending any documents by post.
You can post your documents to: Housing Options Team, Housing Needs Section, Brentwood Borough Council, Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 8AY.
How to apply
By completing the online application and returning all required documents, your application will be assessed and you will be notified if you have been accepted on to the Housing Register or not.
Transfer applicants are required to have a clear rent account of at least 6 months prior to any offer of accommodation. If a Transfer List applicant has rent arrears within the previous 6 months they will be bypassed (see Allocations Policy 2021 (PDF) for more details).
If you have rent arrears, contact the Estates Management team to discuss how you will be resolving this issue.
To enable us to fully assess your application, you must provide all information requested. You will also be required to provide supporting documents.
You can submit these documents to us online.
You will be required to provide all documentary evidence to support your application within 7 days of submitting your application. You should not apply until you have all documents available ready to submit.
Once the application form and all documents are received, they will be assessed. It's your responsibility to ensure the documents required are all submitted together. If we do require evidence we will notify you in writing and you will be required to send all outstanding documents within 7 days or your application will be cancelled.
Due to the high volume of applications, assessments may take a significant period of time. Don't contact us during this period unless you have been requested to do so.
You will have received a reference number sent to your email once you have applied, which indicates we have your application. If you haven't received a reference number, it's likely the form has not been completed. If you have fully completed and submitted but do not have the reference, you should contact us to check we have received it.
If your application is assessed and you're considered to not be eligible for the Housing Register, you will be notified of the reason in writing. You will have the chance to appeal this decision in writing within 21 days. It is always beneficial to provide any documents or evidence to support your appeal request.
Once your application has been assessed and we have received all required information to support your application, we will write to you and advise you of your application number and points allocation.
If you're eligible for the housing register, your application will be backdated to the original date of receipt.
A scheme user guide will be sent to you from HomeOption, which will give information and guidance on accessing and using the HomeOption choice based lettings scheme.
If you're already a tenant of Brentwood Borough Council, you may also register for a mutual exchange via Homeswapper.
If you need advice on your housing options, you should complete the online form:
Report a change of circumstance
If you are already registered for housing and there is a change of circumstances for anybody that has been named on your application it is important that we are notified of the change as we will need to reassess your application as the change may affect the points previously awarded to you.
Examples of a change in circumstances that must be reported are:
- Change to a member of the household
- Change of address details
- Change of financial details (homeseekers only)
- Change to employment status
- Change to medical details
- Criminal offences and convictions
- Change in name (homeseekers only)
Please note: Depending on the type of change of circumstance that you are reporting, you may be required to provide documents to confirm the change.
Please report your change of circumstance through the HomeOption website by signing into your account and clicking “Have your circumstances changed?”
Please be aware that if false information is given to gain a tenancy, the Council may have grounds to regain possession of the property that the Council or Housing Association has provided.
What happens next?
We aim to process applications within 28 working days. Please do not contact the Office within this time period as it causes delays in processing. If your application is accepted, you will be written to accordingly. Applications may not be processed if you fail to supply the required documentation within 7 days of submission. Please check the online guidance, FAQs and directions on the forms themselves.