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How to use the service

 

Getting Started              

To become a member of Homes First Lettings you must register as a home seeker or transfer applicant with either Lewes or Eastbourne Councils.

If you are not already a member, start by completing the Housing Options Assesment Tool.

Once you are a member you will be given a registration number so you can make bids on properties advertised through Homes First Lettings in the authority where you are registered.

It may be that you might not be eligible to be on either councils housing register. You can obtain further information from the Lewes and Eastbourne Council's website.

 

Registration

When you have been accepted you onto the register, Homes First Lettings will write to you to give you your registration number and memorable information. The letter will also tell you which band you are in (band A*, A, B or C), your registration date and the number of bedrooms you are eligible for.

You must keep your authority informed on any changes in your circumstances - this means changes to your email, postal addresses, phone number, medical conditions, household size or anything else that affects your housing situation that would bring about a change. This is very important as it may result in a changing of your band or your eligibility for certain properties. If you don't inform them of changes then this could put you in a position where an offer of accommodation is made and then withdrawn due not having the correct information on your application.

 

Bidding

All the available properties are advertised each fortnight through the Homes First Lettings website. You will be able to see an advert for each property which will include all the information you need to know about that property helping you choose which are suitable for you. Please keep in mind that you are only eligible to bid on properties in the area you are registered in unless they appear otherwise on your bidding page.

We want to make sure everyone will be able to view the vacant properties, even if they can't look on the website. So please contact your authority if you feel you or someone you support will have difficulty in bidding for properties.

Properties will be advertised every other Thursday and you have until 11.59pm the following Wednesday to bid. This is the bidding cycle. You can bid on up-to three properties during any bidding cycle. You can also withdraw you bid for a property at any time during this period.

 

You can bid using any one of these:

  • Logging in

  • By telephone - 01323 410000 (Eastbourne) and 01273 471600 (Lewes)  - Only for those without an email address

 

Offers

All the bids for the properties are recorded in priority order by band, local connection and time on the register. In the case of rural properties we will allocate to the person who is highest on the shortlist, with a local connection to the village. Even if you are at the top of the list you may not be offered the property if you have outstanding rent arrears or a history of anti-social behaviour.

If you are successful in your bid for a property we will contact you to arrange a viewing. If you do not attend the viewing, or make alternative arrangements, we will treat this as a refusal. When you have viewed the property you will need to let us know by noon the next day if you are going to accept it. If we do not hear from you within this timescale we will treat this as a refusal and the property will be offered to the next applicant. 

Some landlords invite more than one applicant to view a property at the same time, which helps to speed up the lettings process. The property is still always offered to the applicant with the highest priority who attends the viewing.

If you are made an offer you will not be shortlisted for another property until you have made a decision to refuse the other offer.