Homes by Choice
NPT Homes has its own Homes by Choice Scheme which allows for people to let homes across the County Borough service areas. This is a choice based lettings service and it gives you the opportunity of choosing the home that you would like to rent from us.
What is Homes By Choice all about?
Almost anyone anywhere in the country can apply to join the NPT Homes - Homes By Choice Scheme. The way the new Scheme works is that you no longer have to wait for an offer that someone else thinks is suitable, instead, you actively search for a home of your choice. In other words, you tell us what you want.
The Homes By Choice Scheme offers choice by advertising available vacant NPT Homes properties and inviting expressions of interest known as bids from registered Scheme members looking for an affordable home to rent from us.
Who can apply to join the Homes By Choice Scheme?
The Homes By Choice Scheme is open to almost anyone anywhere in the country who is
a legal U.K. citizen, over the age of 16 and in housing need, regardless of
their current housing situation (you may want to refer to Section 3 of our
Shared Lettings Policy). Members of the general public, existing NPT Homes,
Housing Association or private tenants, owner-occupiers, or persons in certain
temporary accommodation, etc. can apply to join the Homes By Choice Scheme. It
is preferable that persons aged 16- 18 years of age should provide a Guarantor
where possible. Some people will not be allowed to join our Homes By Choice
Scheme as they will be excluded under our NPT Homes Policy (you may want to
refer to Section 3 of our Shared Lettings Policy ).
How to join the Homes By Choice Scheme - what you need to do
In order to participate in our Homes By Choice Scheme, you have to agree to certain checks and proof of personal details being carried out, prior to admission to the Scheme.
If you are interested in joining our Homes By Choice Scheme, all you need to do is complete a Housing Application Form and return it to us in person or by post to your nearest NPT Homes' office.
Your application will be assessed to check eligibility for the Homes By Choice scheme, at this point you will receive a home visit from a Housing Services representative. The Housing Representative will interview you to establish, for matching purposes, the type and size of housing that will meet your needs, additionally your circumstances will be reconfirmed to check if you are eligible for acceptance on the Homes By Choice Scheme.
Once we have done this, we will work out your points, tell you if you have been accepted on the Homes By Choice Scheme and advise you of the type and size of home for which you qualify i.e. what size home you can bid for.
If you are accepted on the Homes By Choice Scheme, you receive / be sent a copy of the monthly Homes By Choice brochure. It is your responsibility to keep us informed of any changes in your or your household’s circumstances, as failure to do so could affect your membership on the Homes By Choice Scheme. Housing Application Forms are available from and returnable to:
- NPT Homes, Pontardawe One Stop Shop, Holly Street, Pontardawe, Swansea SA8 4ET
- NPT Homes, Neath One Stop Shop, Civic Centre, Neath SA11 3QZ
- NPT Homes, Port Talbot Civic Centre, Port Talbot SA13 1PJ.
Housing Application Forms are also available on our Homes By Choice website.
What homes are available?
All available vacant homes (with a few exceptions) owned by NPT Homes across the three service areas are to be included in the Homes By Choice Scheme. This includes all dwelling types, i.e. general needs, older and disabled persons accommodation. The size and type of home that you can bid for will depend upon the number of people in your household or any member of your household who requires, for example, adapted accommodation which is a home suitable for a disabled person, etc.
Where our homes will be advertised?
All available vacant NPT Homes’ properties throughout the service areas will be advertised. Registered Homes By Choice Scheme members will automatically receive one of our Homes By Choice brochures by post each month. Our advertisements will also be available at the in the NPT Homes departments within Neath and Port Talbot Civic Centres and the Pontardawe One Stop Shop. Available vacant homes will also be advertised here.
The service can be accessed by anyone who has computer internet facilities. There are computer terminals at the public libraries in Pontardawe, Neath and Port Talbot, the One Stop Shop, Holly Street, Pontardawe and the main receptions at Neath and Port Talbot Civic Centres with internet access to the Homes By Choice website for public use, in order to log on to the Homes By Choice website.
When our homes will be advertised?
Our available vacant homes will be advertised on the last Friday of every calendar month, (except over the Christmas and New Year period when there will be no advertisement).
Anyone can see what homes are available and where. When a home is available, Homes By Choice advertisements will contain a photograph and description of the available home including cost of rent and service charges, location, address, any special features and for whom the home is suitable, e.g. a single person, a family with one child, etc. Each advertisement will also contain an advertisement number and a deadline closing date by which all bidding response coupons must be received by the Housing Service. It is your responsibility to ensure that your bid response coupon reaches the Area Housing Office by the deadline closing date on the advertisement.
How to match yourself to a home of your choice
When the homes are advertised, each advert will have information (matching
criteria) about the home, i.e. homes will be labelled with information to assist
you in matching yourself to a suitable home and making appropriate responses to
our adverts. This will increase your chances of bidding successfully for a home
you want to live in and prevent unnecessary bids. Please ensure that you fit the
matching criteria by referring to the Applicant Category Classification Schedule
in order to prevent wasting your expression of interest or bid.
How to make a bid
When Homes by Choice are advertised, if you see a home that you like, just complete the bid response coupon and return it to us to let us know that you have expressed an interest in any of the homes we have advertised.
You must complete your bid response coupon with your Housing Application registration number, your name, current address plus the reference number and address of the home you are bidding for. You may use the same coupon to list your choice of homes in order of preference i.e. first choice, second choice, etc.
Return your bid response coupon to us by the deadline closing date stated on the advert. If your bid response coupon is received after the deadline closing date it cannot be considered.
How to submit a bid
You may return your completed bid response coupons to us by post or in person at the NPT Homes Offices, One Stop Shop, Holly Street, Pontardawe, Swansea, SA8 4ET, if you are bidding for a home in the Pontardawe service area.
Alternatively you may return your completed bid response coupon to the NPT Homes Offices, Civic Centre, Neath, SA11 3QZ if you are bidding for a home in the Neath service area or the NPT Homes Offices, Civic Centre, Port Talbot SA13 1PJ if you are bidding for a home in the Port Talbot service area. If you are bidding for homes in all three of the service areas, then you may submit your completed bid response coupon to either the Pontardawe, Neath or Port Talbot Area NPT Homes Offices. You may prefer to bid online via the Homes By Choice website.
Our Homes By Choice email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone bids will not be accepted.
Remember. to make a bid for a home of your choice, you must be a registered member of the Homes By Choice Scheme.
How many bids can be made?
As long as you are registered on the Homes By Choice Scheme, you can bid for up to a maximum of five homes each time we advertise. You can bid using the same bid response coupon to let us know that you are interested, provided that you match the criteria (i.e. you match what the advert asks for - refer to the Applicant Category Classification Schedule). This is subject to your household size and specified personal requirements. Alternatively, you may just want to bid for only one of the advertised homes. You can choose to overlook certain homes and wait until the size, type and location better suits you. You can only bid for homes advertised during the current advertising feature.
Who gets an offer of a home?
Homes By Choice still involves the use of points to assess the priority of all registered persons on the Scheme to decide who gets a home. After the deadline closing date, once all bid response coupons have been received by
you, we will check through the list of people who expressed an interest in our homes. Coupons will be listed in point order (from the highest to the lowest number of points). If you respond to an advert by bidding and you have the highest number of points plus you meet the matching criteria (property information) which means the home is suitable for you, you will be contacted and offered the home. If there is more than one person with equal points bidding for the same home, the offer is made to the person who has been registered on the Homes By Choice Scheme the longest. Please take note of the Order of Preference stated on the homes we advertise. Successful bidders (i.e. those who get an offer of a home) will generally only be made one offer per month, that will be in their highest ranked choice of home.
Only applicants whose bid is successful will be contacted.
How many refusals will be allowed?
If you make a successful bid for a home and are made an offer of that home, you do not have to accept it as you have a right to refuse, giving your reasons for this. Please remember you now only have one offer of accommodation, a refusal may result in your application not being eligible for a period of up to 12 months.
If you are made an offer of a home, you will be invited to attend an accompanied viewing of that home. This means that you will be able to meet one of our Area Housing Officers at that home and have a look around before deciding whether or not you want to accept the offer of that particular home.
How long to accept an offer?
At the accompanied viewing stage, you will be asked to complete an offer reply slip, either on-the-spot or within a 48 hour period of the viewing should you have any queries associated with the home on offer, e.g. maintenance issues, etc. NPT Homes reserves the right to withdraw any offer, subject to any further investigations being required.
Remember, there are 6 steps in the process
- 1. Register to become a member of the Homes By Choice Scheme by submitting a completed Housing Application Form.
- 2. Once you have received a home visit by a Housing Representative, wait for the homes to be advertised.
- 3. Bid for the home/s of your choice by the deadline set and await the outcome.
- 4. If you are offered the home of your choice, you will be invited to view it.
- 5. You decide if you want to accept the offer.
- 6. Sign up the tenancy agreement, receive the keys and move into the home of your choice.
Every month, we will publicise details of previous lettings. We will tell you the number of bid response coupons received for the homes previously advertised, the
category and number of points, by band, of the successful bidders. If you sent in a bid response coupon for an advertised home but were unsuccessful, you can check on the popularity of the particular types of homes and areas. You can compare your details with those who were successful and this information will help you to see how near the top of the Scheme you are to decide where you have the best chance of being rehoused. We will not publish names or any other personal details about our bidders. You can see that we are being open and fair.
For further advice or details regarding the NPT Homes - Homes By Choice Scheme you may contact the NPT Homes Housing Teams based at the:-
- Port Talbot Area Housing Office,Civic Centre,Port Talbot,SA13 1PJ
- Neath One Stop Shop,Civic Centre,Neath,SA11 3QZ
- Pontardawe One Stop Shop,Holly Street,Pontardawe,SA8 4ET
- or by telephoning us on 0300 777 0000
Our Homes By Choice email address is: email@example.com
If you have any comments or suggestions that you may wish to make regarding our Homes By Choice Scheme, we shall look forward to receiving them.