Sheffield City Council in South Yorkshire is the allocating council for its own social housing and partner Housing Association properties through the Property Shop Sheffield website.
If you’re looking for social housing, Property Shop Sheffield aims to give you more options about where you want to live. Each week the available properties to rent will be advertised on the site.
- The structure of Property Shop Sheffield
- Who can use the service
- How to register with Property Shop
- The banding system
- Bidding, shortlisting, and offers
Dive in to find out more!
The structure of Property Shop Sheffield
There are four stages to the system:
- Identification and references
Who can use Property Shop?
Anyone aged over 16 can apply to join the Housing Register, but Property Shop houses are usually allocated to the over 18s. Applicants must be able to prove they have eligible immigration status; local authorities must act in accordance with the provisions on this contained in The Housing Act 1996.
People not eligible include those subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act, those who are not habitually resident in the UK or are guilty of unacceptable behaviour.
How to register
You must complete an online application form for Property Shop Sheffield. You’ll be given a login reference number. After applying, you must provide documentation including identification and a reference. You may be asked to provide proof of your immigration status.
It’s advisable to get this documentation ready before applying as delays may mean having to start the application again. Then you need to complete a `Social Housing’ application form to join the Housing Register, which enables you to browse and bid for available properties.
Identification and references
Proof of ID and a reference must be submitted within 28 days of submitting your application.
Valid ID includes:
- One form of primary ID with a photograph, e.g., passport, marriage certificate, birth certificate, or driving licence
- Proof of address
- One form of primary ID for each household member
- Proof of Child Benefit for all children aged 16 or under who are named on the application
- A reference from a suitable person (usually your most recent landlord)
- A non-UK national may be asked for proof of immigration status
Validating your application
Upon receipt of your documents, your application will be validated, which may happen within 7 days. Once validated, Property Shop will contact you to confirm your details and you can look for houses.
Changes to an existing application
You may need to provide ID to make changes – if so, Property Shop will let you know.
The Property Shop Banding System
On acceptance onto the Housing Register, applicants are given a banding according to need. These are:
Band A – priority band critical. This is for people who must be rehoused due to circumstances. Three out of four houses will be offered to Band A customers first.
Band B – urgent need to be rehoused.
Band C – customers with circumstances needing extra consideration.
Band D – for customers with waiting time, which will cover most applicants. Properties with a waiting time preference will be offered directly to Band D applicants. Band D also applies to owner occupiers with a local connection to Sheffield.
Band E – for applicants with no local connection to Sheffield or have refused three property offers in B and D, or they, or a household member has shown unacceptable behaviour.
Property Shop Sheffield operates a `Choice Based Letting System’ which allows applicants to bid for properties they are interested in. You can place a maximum of 3 bids per week on properties (bidding does not involve paying any money). All the available council and housing association properties are advertised weekly on the Property Shop website.
You must meet a property’s eligibility criteria to bid on it. Guidance on eligibility can be found in Sheffield City Council’s Allocations Policy. Housing associations may have their own eligibility rules which will be clarified in individual adverts. The website will show your real-time bid position, which will change as other bids are made.
Properties are advertised each week on a Thursday at 12.01 pm and bids can be made up to the following Tuesday at 11.59 pm. The time of your bid doesn’t matter unless you’re bidding for a `First Come First Served’ property. The adverts give details of the landlord, location, rent, size, and information about the local area.
Bidding can be done via the Property Shop website or by calling the automated bidding phone line on 0300 111 0134.
Shortlisting and offers
After the deadline, Property Shop will sort the bids based on eligibility criteria.
- Properties advertised according to waiting time will be allocated to customers in Band D first, with priority given to applicants waiting the longest time, before they are offered to other bands in this order – A, B C, E.
- Properties advertised via the Housing Register will be offered to customers with Band A priority first, in order of the oldest application. If there are no takers, the house will be offered to customers in other bands B, C, D, E.
- Properties advertised on the `First Come First Served’ basis will be offered to customers who placed their bid first, providing that they meet eligibility requirements.
You can check the progress of your bid by logging on to the Sheffield Property Shop website. If your bid was successful, you’ll be contacted about viewing the house.
Receiving a property offer
You’ll be invited to an accompanied viewing where you must provide your ID. If you want to accept the property, you may sign the tenancy agreement at this appointment, or at a later date.
If you decide to refuse and stay on the register, you are eligible to receive 3 offers within a 12-month period. If you are in Band D and refuse all 3 offers you will be placed in Band E for 12 months. If you refuse 3 offers while in Band E, your application will be cancelled, and a 12-month disqualification period will begin.
The results of each let are put onto the Sheffield Property Shop website.
This can happen when council or housing association tenants in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have a legal right to exchange their tenancies under section 92 of the Housing Act 1985. The exchange must be done with Sheffield City Council’s permission.
Sheffield City Council is the allocating council working in partnership with all major housing providers in the city and South Yorkshire. Partner Housing Association properties are available via Sheffield Property Shop to offer potential tenants more options.
To apply for these properties, register with the Housing Register and bid for housing association properties through Property Shop Sheffield’s Choice Based Lettings; apply directly to the Housing Association for homes not advertised through Sheffield Property Shop. Application processes for the various Housing Associations vary.
Have you used Property Shop Sheffield?
If you would be willing to share your experience, please leave a comment below.