Frequently Asked Questions

Not everyone is eligible or able to be considered for social housing. If you have any questions before you apply please check to see if you can answer these in either the Commons Allocations policy or the How the Scheme Works Help Guides.

Usually you will need to have some degree of local connection, personal needs or difficult circumstances in order to qualify. Your priority will be based on these housing needs. You may then have to wait a long time to be successful (if at all) as there is a very limited supply of social housing property available, especially for larger families.

If you want to start an application (see ‘How do I join the Scheme?’) after completing the first part of the form you will generate an action plan which gives you advice on all the housing options available to you. (Remember, existing A2Dominion residents should contact them directly to apply).

Check the junk folder of your email to see if any communication has been held there. If you provided an email address when applying this is the usual way we respond.

If this is not successful please contact your Search Moves partner to check if the application has been received electronically and is awaiting validation.

Please include details of your medical condition in your application. If you have any further information you wish to submit, please send it in all together so that your Search Moves Partner can arrange to get it assessed as a whole.

If your medical needs change significantly please contact your Search Moves Partner – you may need to complete a change of circumstances form or need to provide further information.

If you are an existing applicant, log in to Search Moves and on the applicant dashboard click on the button labelled ‘Have your circumstances changed?’ This will take you to a version of the application form to complete with your new details, which will enable your application to be reassessed.

Read the allocation policy first, and see what we are able to take into account when we assess your priority This is based on the information you provided in the form.

If you still think your priority band is incorrect, then contact your Search Moves partner to discuss your application further. You can also speak to CAB for independent advice.

This depends entirely on your level of housing need (priority banding) and the number of properties suitable for your size of household which become available. Some applicants may never be rehoused. Social housing is always prioritised to those in greatest need, waiting time does not contribute to housing need in its own right, but when shortlisting applicants in the same band they will be placed in the order of who has the earliest application priority date.

Once bidding has closed on the property, a shortlist is produced placing all the bids into an order according to their priority band and date awarded to their application. If you have been shortlisted then you may be asked to provide documents to your Search Moves partner, in a checking process called verification. Assuming this verification is completed successfully your details will then be sent by the Council to the landlord of the property (this is called a nomination). You will then be contacted by the landlord. You may need to run through some questions to confirm your circumstances before you are able to view the property.

In some situations a property will not be offered to the highest banded applicant who has bid. Shortlisted applicants can be bypassed for a number of reasons and these are set out in the Allocations Policy.

Initial contact will usually be made by the landlord within a few days of bidding having closed. However, if you were not the first shortlisted applicant and other applicants have been bypassed or may have turned the property down it may take them longer to work down the shortlist to reach you. Also see Feedback on your bids and ‘How soon can I view the property' in FAQ.

For successful applicants it might be several weeks before you can view the property if major repairs are being done, or you might be invited to view before any minor works are carried out. We know that waiting is an anxious time, and getting your viewing arranged will be a priority for the landlord too. Please don’t start to arrange any removals or deliveries though until you have confirmed when you will get the keys to your new home.

Please make sure that you write down the date and time of your viewing appointment. The landlord may be able to text you a reminder, but if you can’t attend you must let them know. Applicants who fail to attend viewings might have their applications suspended or demoted.

You should only ever go to the property with a member of staff from the landlord company. Remember there may still be someone living there when it is advertised. If contractors are working in the property they will not be able to let you in unaccompanied either, for health and safety reasons.

If you view a property it will almost always be completely unfurnished and without floor coverings. Occasionally some items might be left which would be ‘gifted’ to you to take responsibility for.

There are a number of second hand furniture schemes in this area and your new landlord will be able to offer advice should you need it.

You can also find further information about the Surrey Local Assistance scheme by visiting the website - Surrey Local Assistance Scheme

Social housing properties are now advertised as fixed term tenancies so, rather than offering a tenancy that can be in place for life these tenancies will have a fixed term, usually for 5, 6 or 10 years – this will be stated in the advert.

Fixed term tenancies will mainly apply to family homes & general needs flats including those with an age restriction. Sheltered or Independent Living flats & bungalows will normally continue to be offered as lifetime tenancies.

Current social housing tenants may be able to keep their existing tenancy. This will be discussed as part of the offer process.

Please read each advert carefully to ensure you understand what you are applying for as our different housing providers may be offering different terms and conditions with their fixed term tenancies.

When the fixed term comes to an end, you circumstances will be reviewed. In many cases, another fixed term tenancy will be issued. Only in exceptional cases would the landlord not renew it.

Exceptions could include:


  • Persistent rent arrears
  • Persistent delay in paying rent
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Neglect of property
  • Under-occupancy
  • No longer meeting the qualifying criteria for social housing