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Search and bid on homes: Frequently asked questions

What is Tyne and Wear Homes?

Tyne and Wear Homes is a partnership between South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Newcastle and Gateshead where you can apply for and bid for council homes across Tyne and Wear.

This means that you only have to complete one application form to register for housing with all four local councils, and a number of Housing Association partners.

The authorities still have their own allocation policies, but you now only need to complete one application form.

Can I apply for council housing in more than one area?

Yes. You can apply for housing in one or more of the following areas after completing just one application form:

  • South Tyneside
  • North Tyneside
  • Gateshead
  • Newcastle

Your application will still be assessed against the local lettings policy used in the area where you want to live.

How do I apply for a home?

For information about applying for a home and how the process works, see Search and bid on homes.

Who can apply?

Anyone aged 16 years and over can apply.

In normal circumstances, you need to be 18 years or older to hold a tenancy. Applicants under the age of 18 will have their needs assessed by a specialist team.

Can I get help with my application or placing bids?

All new applications must now be completed online via the Tyne and Wear Homes website.

If you are unable to complete an application by yourself or are having difficulties, please contact the Homefinder Service.

What kind of housing am I eligible for?

For information about eligibility, see Search and bid on homes.

What is the banding system?

Once we have registered your application, we will then assess it and place it into one of five bands. We will then tell you which band you have been placed in.

Applicants in Bands 1+ to 4 will normally need to have a local connection to the borough of South Tyneside. However, individual circumstances will be taken into consideration.

  • Band 1+ - For applicants found to be in the critical need category.
  • Band 1 - For applicants who are in circumstances in the high need category.
  • Band 2 - For applicants who are in the medium priority category where rehousing would be beneficial.
  • Band 3 - For applicants who are found to be intentionally homeless (with or without priority) or who are sharing a kitchen or bathroom with another household. (This does not include sheltered housing or houses in multiple occupation).
  • Band 4 - For all other qualifying applicants. A local connection to South Tyneside is not required.

Where an applicant is placed in either Band 1+, Band 1 or Band 2 and a suitable property is available to bid on during the timescale specified in banding criteria, and they fail to place a bid, the applicant's priority may be demoted to Band 4. Such applicants will be entitled to request a review of this decision.

Will any checks be carried out?

Yes - we will ask you to provide proof of identification and we will also request that you provide references from current or previous landlords.

You will also be asked to provide written consent to allow us to carry out some checks. For example we may carry out police checks and ask for supporting documents from relevant agencies.

If you are an existing tenant, a home visit may be made to ensure that your home is not in disrepair and that you have not breached your tenancy agreement.

If you have breached your tenancy or your home is in disrepair, and this is not due to general wear and tear, you will not be offered a home. We will advise you on what you can do to put the situation right, and once you have carried out these actions you can continue to bid.

Any customers with relevant "unspent" criminal convictions or who have a history of unacceptable behaviour may not be allowed to join the register. However we will take individual circumstances into account before a decision is reached. Once we have decided we will write to you and tell you why the decision has been made and how you can appeal against it.

Can my application be refused?

There may be occasions where you will not be allowed to register. This can be if you are ineligible under government regulation, or if you or a member of your household has been found guilty of serious unacceptable behaviour which would have entitled the council to an immediate possession order.

I am Homeless. Do I qualify for emergency accommodation?

An assessment will determine if you qualify for emergency accommodation, such as a furnished council property, or a hostel. A charge will be applicable for accommodation provided.

If you have left your property without reasonable cause, it could be decided that you have made yourself homeless. Therefore, you may not be entitled to a new home from the council.

We will investigate all applications. Whether you are offered housing will depend on your individual circumstances and housing needs.

For information, please see Homelessness.

What if I have medical needs?

If your home affects your medical condition(s), our Health and Housing Team can complete an assessment. This will help us decide whether you should be considered for specialist or general housing needs. You will be placed in the relevant banding according to your needs.

Is every home advertised on the scheme?

There will be times when empty homes will not be advertised in the normal way. This will be used to directly let homes for emergency situations and for plans associated with demolition and maintenance.

What if I don't agree with your decision?

If you are unhappy about a decision we have made about your application you have a right to request a review of certain decisions. You can request a form from us, which must be returned and completed within 28 days.

The decision will be reviewed and you will be informed in writing. If you are still unhappy with the original decision, you have right to appeal.

For further details contact the Homefinder Service.

Can I find out who has been allocated the home if I'm not successful?

No. For confidential reasons we are cannot disclose the name and personal details of the successful applicant.

However, we can inform you what priority band and date the successful applicant had.