Questions and Answers
Welcome to our Questions and Answers page. Here you will find a list of the most common questions we are asked.
If you do not see your question here, please CONTACT us.
You can use the categories to quickly find what you’re looking for.
Tees Valley Homefinder is a way to let council and housing association homes, as well as other housing options like private rented homes and low cost home ownership options. Our available homes are advertised and people who have an account with us can express their interest in these properties by applying for them. Tees Valley Homefinder is an open and transparent way of letting properties as you can actually see what is available.
Our helpful staff can help to guide you through the process until you are able to do things for yourself. We’ve also included a customer help page that has some handy documents to guide you through the process or managing your account online. Click here for more information.
If you are particularly vulnerable and cannot access the service by visiting, telephoning or using the online service, we can look at others ways to help you. Our Contact Us page will help you to direct your call to the right partner.
We will advertise the majority of our available homes, but a small amount will be let directly in cases where emergency housing is needed, for example, where a tenant needs to be moved because of a fire.
Anyone aged 16 and over can apply to join the housing register. You only need to do this once to be eligible to apply for available properties across all five Local Authority areas in the Tees Valley.
There are also some people who will not by law be eligible to join the housing register. These are:
- Certain people who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act
- Certain people from abroad who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland
In some cases, we may not allow you to join the housing register if we receive evidence to suggest that you or a member of your household have a history of behaviour which we think would make you unsuitable to be a tenant. Examples of this are;
- People who have very high housing debt in their current or former tenancy
- People who have been found guilty of anti social behaviour
- People who have certain types of criminal convictions
For more detailed information contact the Tees Valley Partner operating in your area, or take a look at our Policy
If we think that your behaviour is serious enough for you not to be a suitable tenant, we may not allow you to register for rehousing with us or we may prevent you from applying for properties for a period of time. However, we will look at each case individually and always let you know our decision as soon as we can.
Our policy will tell you who we will give priority to for housing, to reflect what the law says about how our homes should be allocated. More details on our policy can be found here
In order to assess everyone’s housing needs, we use a Banding system. The band you are in will depend on your level of housing need, most people are placed in Band 4 when they first register. If you are later found to have an urgent, high or medium need for housing, you may be moved to higher band depending on your circumstances. If your circumstances change, you should let us know as soon as you can because this could change the band you are placed in and the type of home you can have. Our Policy contains full details of what circumstances we can consider for a priority move, you can take a look at this here.
You can see which Band you are in from your customer account.
If you are homeless or at risk of losing your home, you should contact your local Council for advice and you may be given a priority for housing. If you are given a priority, you will need to apply for homes that meet the needs of you and your household. If you do not apply for properties, your Council may contact you to find out why and you may lose your priority. Contact details for your council can be found below.
Yes, you can apply for any home in any area, however, you will only have priority for homes that are in the Council area that you live in now.
If you have told us about your medical conditions when you apply for housing, we may contact you to carry out a medical assessment to see if your conditions mean that you can be awarded a priority. We may also ask you to provide some supporting information from your GP, Occupational Therapist or other healthcare professional to help us with this.
We will contact you and ask you which property you would prefer to take. The other would then be offered to the next person on the list.
Yes, we encourage you to view a property before you decide whether you want to accept an offer. Sometimes, we may invite more than one person to view a property, but we will always give priority to the person who is higher on the list. We usually give you 2 working days to decide whether you want to accept the property, but in some cases, we may allow you a little more time.
If you are in Band 1, 2 or 3, you may have your priority removed if you refuse an offer of a property that meets your needs for what we would see as an ‘unreasonable’ reason. If this happens, you will be placed into Band 4 for 6 months and then you would need to approach us again for an assessment. We will look at each case on its merits and inform you of any decision we make in writing.