SEARCH MOVES is a choice based lettings (CBL) scheme provided by Spelthorne Borough Council, Elmbridge Borough Council, Runnymede Borough Council, A2Dominion Group and Elmbridge Housing Trust. Under this scheme housing applicants have choice about where they want to live.
• From December 2013 Runnymede BC are withdrawing from the cross partner element of Search Moves scheme. They will no longer advertise any cross partner properties. Also if a Runnymede applicant bids on cross partner properties advertised by other Search Moves landlords after this date they will be bypassed, so please do not waste your bid by placing it in this way.
• New Allocations Policies. In the last year the Search Moves partners consulted widely on potential changes to their allocations policy. A new policy has been agreed by Spelthorne BC, Elmbridge BC, EHT, and A2D. The changes will take effect from spring 2014. This affects how applications are assessed and given priority. See below for more detail of the changes.
• Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) will be adopting an independent allocations policy called RBC Living and Homes. From Spring 2014 no RBC property will be advertised within Search Moves
• New online application process from spring 2014. All existing applicants will be invited to reapply for housing online on the Search Moves website (except A2Dominion Group tenants) and/or the RBC Living and Homes website. This is so we can assess all the applications fully against the relevant new allocation policy.
• If you wish to live in the Runnymede area (and you have a local connection) you should apply separately to them as soon as possible. If you have a connection to both Runnymede and the Search Moves area then you will need to re-apply to both schemes.
The following are the main changes for the Search Moves scheme:
• The remaining Search Moves partners will operate a 4 banding system, instead of the current 5 banding system.
• The criteria for local connection due to residence has changed – The remaining Search Moves partners will now require local residence for the last three years as a qualification.
• Applicants with no local connection to the boroughs of Spelthorne or Elmbridge will be removed from the housing register and any future applicants with no local connection will not qualify to register.
• Households earning £50,000 or more per annum (gross) or with total household savings are greater than £30,000 will not qualify for the Search Moves scheme.
• Property owners in the UK or abroad will not qualify for the Search Moves scheme.
• The Search Moves criteria for calculating bedroom shortage (or bedroom need) has changed.
• Private sector tenants (with an Assured Shorthold tenancy) with no other housing needs will be placed in band D (no housing priority.)
• The priority date for band B (urgent housing need) applications will change to the date their application was moved into that band (not the original application date.)
• Armed forces personnel will be given additional help under the new Search Moves scheme.
• Working households will be given additional help – a small proportion of advertised properties will be set aside exclusively for working applicants.
Full details of the new policy will be published shortly and everyone on the Search Moves housing registers will be contacted individually with details of any changes that affect them.
For further details on Runnymede Borough Councils’ new allocations policy and scheme please click here to see their website.