Frequently asked questions

How will I find out if my bid is successful?

  • Once the advert has closed the landlord of the property will then carry out any outstanding eligibility checks.
  • If you are top of the shortlist you will normally be invited to view the property. if the first applicant is not suitable, the next person on the list will be contacted and so on until the property is let.
  • Depending on which authority you are applying to, you will be contacted under different timescales.
  • If you are at the top of the list for more than one of the properties you bid for, you will be contacted to decide if any are suitable. If you cannot be contacted, a decision will be made by a lettings officer.
  • Please make sure that your contact details are up to date so we can contact you as soon as possible when bids close.
  • If you are offered a property you will not be offered another home until you have decided to either accept or refuse it. You can only be on offer to 1 property at a time.
  • If you accept the property you will be invited to sign your tenancy agreement and will be advised when you can collect the keys from your Allocations Officer.
  • You will not be contacted if your bid has not been successful.
  • You can also log in to your account to check the position of any bids you have placed

Who can apply for properties through South Tyneside Homes?

You must have been accepted onto South Tyneside Homes' Housing Register to be able to apply for rented accommodation. Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register.

What do I do if my circumstances change?

It is very important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances so that we can amend your application. You will be informed of any changes in your banding. If a property offer is made on inaccurate information the offer can be removed.

Do I need to renew my application each year?

Yes, once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application you will be contacted, you must complete and return the housing renewal within 28 days. If you fail to return the form your housing application will be closed.

What if someone in my household has a medical condition?

If someone in your household has a medical condition you will be asked to provide details, this will be used to assess your housing need. You can continue to choose which properties to express an interest in but must be mindful of your condition and only express interest in suitable properties such as ground floor flat or bungalow if you cannot climb stairs.

What information will the property adverts contain?

The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, size, rent and other features of the property. Where available a photograph of the property or a similar house type will be provided and you will be able to access information about the local area and facilities. The advert will also tell you if there are any special requirements that the applicant must meet, such as age requirements, which bands may bid for the property and which will be given priority for the property. It also tells you the number of bedrooms that applicants applying for the property need to be entitled to. If your bedroom entitlement is different to this you will not be able to bid for that property

How do you decide who is offered a property?

Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is drawn up. The shortlist is in order of eligibility according to the criteria stated in the advert details for that property. The applicant at the top of the list will normally be offered the property.

If I successfully bid for a rented property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me?

You may not be invited to view the property for the following reasons:

  • You owe rent or have other housing related debts
  • You are a Council or Housing Association tenant and legal action has been taken against you because you have broken your tenancy conditions
  • You have sufficient resources to solve your own housing problems
  • You have not provided the required documentary evidence to support your application by the date given
  • Your circumstances have changed and this results in a reduction in your level of priority. 
  • You have provided incorrect or misleading information, which has resulted in your application being awarded a higher priority than it deserves.

If I am offered a property, will I be able to view it before making up my mind?

Yes. You will be given an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you would like to accept it.

What if I don’t like the property when I have seen it?

You may be be penalised for refusing a property that you have been offered but you will still be able to express interest in properties that become available.

What about feedback on previously advertised homes?

Feedback on homes that have been let is provided in the recent lets section, which can help members decide what to bid for in the future by showing the popularity of certain areas.

It will highlight:

  • The estate where the property is based
  • The street name of the property
  • Whether the property was advertised under housing need
  • The type of property
  • The number of bids placed
  • And the longest waiting time of the successful member.
  • You will be able to see your own position from your housing application account.

How will this information help me?

It will give you a better idea of how popular a particular property or area is and how long you would normally have to wait. You can then decide whether to look for other types of property or areas where you may not have to wait as long.

Are carpets and appliances provided?

No. You will normally have to provide your own carpets and appliances.

What if I become homeless?

Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness should contact our Housing Options Team to arrange an interview to discuss your circumstances. We will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you. If this is unsuccessful you may be offered temporary housing. You may still express an interest in properties currently being advertised, providing your application has been accepted on the Housing Register, but in most cases it is unlikely that this will be in time to resolve your homelessness, as most applicants will have to wait a long time before being successful.

How do I request a review of a decision?

If you disagree with any of the following decisions you can request a review: 

  • You are not eligible to join the housing register
  • You are not eligible for an offer
  • Your application has been cancelled other than at your own request
  • You think that you have been placed in the wrong band or given the wrong priority date

To request a review you must contact the Housing Solutions Team within 21 days of the date you are notified of the decision and the reason for it. You may provide additional information in writing that you wish to be taken into account when the review is carried out. You be advised of the outcome of your review.

What is meant by spent convictions?

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act a conviction becomes spent after a period of time. The rehabilitation period varies according to the sentence given. For a custodial sentence the rehabilitation period is determined by the original sentence, not the length of time that has been served.

A custodial sentence, also known as a sentence of imprisonment or detention, is where the offender is detained in custody for a period of time.

This list is for guidance only.

The following sentences become spent after fixed periods from the date of conviction

Rehabilitation period


Over 18 when convicted

Under 18 when convicted

Prison sentence of 6 months to 2 and half years (including suspended sentences

4 years

2 years

Prison sentence of 6 months or less (including suspended sentences)

2 years

1 and a half years

Fines, probation, compensation, community service, reparation orders, curfew orders

1 year

6 months

Absolute discharge

Spent Immediately

Spent Immediately

Custodial sentence of more than 2 and a half years but not exceeding 4 years

7 years

3 and a half years