You will find the most frequently asked questions about applying for housing in this section.
- Choose a category
- Financial restrictions
- Adapted properties
- West Kent tenants who want to move
- Not eligible or low priority
- Choose a category
- Low cost home ownership, shared ownership and Help to Buy
Sevenoaks District Housing Register
General needs: For all our homes your total household income must be less than £33,383. For most homes your assets and/or savings must not exceed the current housing benefit limits (currently £16,000).
Emerald homes (available to the over 55s): For all our homes your total household income must be less than £33,383. You can have up to £350,000 in assets and/or savings.
Other local authorities
Financial limitations are set by the specific local authority. Please contact them for details.
If you're over 55
If you own your own home and you’re over 55 you can apply to live in our Emerald homes. You’ll need to provide a valuation of your property to ensure your assets are below the limit. If we offer you a property, we’ll give you a short term tenancy until your property is sold and you can show your assets are below the limit. This must happen within 12 months of you moving into an Emerald home.
If you're under 55
If you’re under 55 and own your own home you can only apply in exceptional circumstances.
Can I bid on a disabled adapted home if I am not disabled?
Each property is different. You may bid on an adapted home but we’ll only consider offering it to you if we don’t receive any bids from someone who does have a disability. We are unlikely to remove any of the adaptations in the property.
Joining the housing register
Use the pre-assessment tool on Kent Homechoice to see if you qualify to join the housing register in the area you want to live.
If you're already a social housing tenant
Low priority means you could have a long wait for a home. If you’re already a tenant with West Kent or another social housing provider it might be quicker to swap with another social housing tenant by completing a mutual exchange.
You could also consider buying a share in a new home and pay rent to a landlord on the part you don't own. If you can't afford to buy a property outright, shared ownership (or low cost home ownership) might be suitable for you. Shared ownership means you part buy a percentage of the property and rent the remainder from a landlord (usually a housing association).Mutual exchange
If you're not a social housing tenant
- Private renting: The Shelter website has useful information about how to rent privately. If you don’t have the cash for a tenancy deposit, you may be able to apply for a rent deposit, rent guarantee or bond scheme. Visit Crisis to search for a scheme in your area.
- House sharing: Sharing a home with others can be cheaper than renting on your own. Websites like Gumtree and Spareroom advertise shared accommodation. For information on rights and responsibilities when sharing a house visit the Shelter website.
- Shared ownership: You could buy a share in a new home and pay rent to a landlord on the part you don't own. If you can't afford to buy a property outright, shared ownership (or low cost home ownership) might be suitable for you. Shared ownership means you part buy a percentage of the property and rent the remainder from a landlord (usually a housing association).
How to register
Register and apply online.
There is no waiting list. Your priority is based on your housing need. The higher your priority, the sooner you'll be offered a home.
You can find out if you’ve come in the top five by logging into your account at Kent Homechoice
Are all homes advertised on Kent Homechoice?
Sometimes homes are let directly to people. This can be for a number of different reasons. For example when:
- someone takes over a tenancy from tenant who has died (succession)
- we have an applicant who has suffered domestic abuse or serious assault and needs to move urgently
- we have to move someone in an emergency such as fire
- homes have been advertised through Kent Homechoice but we’ve received no suitable bids
- the home is adapted or extra care and there are no eligible bids
- a local authority asks us to do so, for example if someone is homeless
- we receive nominations from partner agencies for short-term supported housing or move-on housing provided for people with special housing needs, (such as learning disabilities, mental health) and for homeless people.
Can I go on the transfer list?
We don’t operate a transfer list. All applicants, including existing West Kent tenants must join the local authority housing register in the area they wish to move to.
How are our homes allocated?
Most of our homes are allocated through the Sevenoaks District Housing Register (SDHR). You can read the full Sevenoaks District Housing Register allocations policy here.
You can apply to as many local authorities as you choose. You have to meet the conditions for housing at each one before you will be accepted though. Please contact the local authority you wish to apply to for their allocations policy.
How long does it take?
As long as you’re eligible to join the housing register and you’ve given the right documents with your application, you'll receive an application pack telling you what happens next. If you submitted your application form and other documents more than four weeks ago, and you haven't heard anything, give your local authority a call to ask for an update.
Why has my application been refused?
It may be because you don’t have local connection to the area, or your current home seems to meet your current needs. You can only re-apply if your circumstances have changed. It could just be that you haven’t sent in all the documentation asked for - if that's the case follow the instructions on your letter.
I don't agree with the decision
If you don’t agree with the decision you can ask for a review by contacting the local authority you applied to.
Why have I been excluded?
West Kent will exclude you (including your partners, spouses and household members) from our homes for any of the following reasons:
- Losing a previous tenancy
- Owing money to your current landlord
- Anti-social behaviour
- Exclusion by local authority
- Support need
- Temporary exclusion.
What are my other options?
If you're homeless, or are likely to be made homeless, you should approach the local authority where you live for help. They will decide if you meet their homeless criteria and either offer to help you find a private rented home or possibly offer you temporary accommodation.
Visit our Find a Home pages to see what your other housing options are.Find a home
What to bring to a viewing
You need to bring your proof of identity and the first week's rent. Even if you are receiving benefits you will have to pay the first week’s rent when you sign up for your new home. This payment is not refundable, even if you qualify for full housing benefit.
We often invite more than one applicant to viewings but we will tell you whether you are first or second in the bidding.
You only get medical priority if your housing situation directly impacts your medical condition. You’d have to provide supporting medical evidence of this impact from your GP or consultant.
If you or someone in your household has a disability we’ll try to match you to a home with adaptations already in place. We may not allocate you a home you bid for if it’s not suitable or can’t be adapted (within a reasonable timescale and cost) or when there is a more suitable home available.
Apply to join the register
Apply at Kent Homechoice to join the housing register for the area you want to live, if you have not already done so. Homelessness is not a quick route into social housing and we’re not able to offer emergency housing.
Approach your local authority
You'll need to speak with the duty homeless officer at your local authority who will be able to give information on other housing options. If you are homeless or about to be made homeless you must show supporting evidence, such as a Notice to Quit from a private landlord, or a letter from a parent telling you to leave.
Change of circumstances
If you are already registered, but your situation has changed, please log into your Kent Homechoice page to change your details. You’ll need your reference number and date of birth. You should update your details if:
- someone has left your household, or come to live with you permanently
- you’ve moved home or changed the contact details we have for you
- you’ve lost or found employment
- something else has happened that might affect your housing application
- you are having a baby. Send the MAT B1 form or copy of the birth certificate to the Housing Options team.
If you can't afford to buy a property outright, shared ownership (or low cost home ownership) might be suitable for you. Shared ownership means you part buy a percentage of the property and rent the remainder from a landlord (usually a housing association).Shared ownership
Speak to our shared ownership team
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them on 01732 749466 between 8.45am and 5.15pm Monday to Thursday, or 8.45am to 4.45pm on Fridays.
Still got questions?
If you have any further questions, please contact us.
You can also call us between 8.45am to 5.15pm Monday to Thursday, or 8.45am to 4.45pm on Fridays on 01732 749400.