Accessing Council Housing
We are the biggest local provider of social rented housing in Moray. Our housing stock is well distributed throughout the area but there are concentrations in the main towns of Buckie, Elgin, Forres, Keith and Lossiemouth. You can access more detailed information on stock locations and relets in our Guide to Housing Options in Moray.
- Our Allocations Policy
- Who can apply?
- What is the housing list?
- How do I apply (or make changes to my application)?
- Will I need to give you any other information?
- Our points system
- Checking your position on the Moray Council waiting list
- How long will I have to wait before I am offered a house?
- What if I need special accommodation?
- What if I am homeless or at risk of homelessness?
- What if I owe money?
- What if I receive a poor tenancy report from my landlord?
- How do you decide who to give properties to?
- What happens if you offer me a property?
- What if I refuse an offer?
- Can I apply for a mutual exchange?
- What happens to all of the information that I give?
- What if I disagree with your decision?
Our allocations policy aims to tackle housing need in Moray. Where possible, we take account of what you would really like as a new home. This policy helps us decide who we think is in most need of housing and how to make the best use of the housing we have available.
Anyone over 16 can apply for one of our homes and we will place them on the housing list. In line with our policy we will assess everyone in a fair and consistent way and will treat everyone equally.
The housing list includes the homeless list, the waiting list and the transfer list. Anyone aged 16 years and over is entitled to go on the housing list.
- The homeless list includes people who have been assessed as unintentionally homeless (they have become homeless through no fault of their own).
- The waiting list includes people who do not currently rent from us but who would like a council property in Moray.
- The transfer list includes people who are already our tenants but who would like to transfer from their current home to another.
Quotas to guide the number of allocations made to each of the three lists are reviewed annually by the Communities Committee. The current quotas (last reviewed June 2014) are as follows:
- Homeless 40% (+/-5%)
- Waiting 40% (+/-5%)
- Transfer 20% (+/-5%)
We have developed a Common Housing Register (CHR) called apply4homes. This means you can make a single application for social housing in Aberdeenshire and Moray to any of the partners. Find out more about apply4homes.
Confirming your pregnancy
If you, or anybody who will be living with you, are pregnant, you must tell us in the date the baby is due. You should send us a copy of the certificate of pregnancy as soon as possible and a copy of the birth certificate when the baby is born.
If you need an extra bedroom because you have children who regularly stay with you overnight, we will ask you for proof (for example, a solicitor's letter or court papers).
If you think that any of the rooms you use for sleeping are too small to allow two persons to share you should contact us on 0300 123 4566. We may need to visit your home to confirm this.
We will ask which areas you will consider living in. However, if you only want to live in one area or just a few, you may have to wait longer for a property to become available.
We award set levels of points for different types of housing circumstances (for example, overcrowding or lack of facilities). After we have checked your form and made sure that we have all the information we need, we will work out the total points for your application, depending on your circumstances. The number of points that we give your application will decide your place on our housing list. Find out what we may give you points for.
For the points system to work fairly, we will not award extra points if we believe you have made your housing situation worse. Instead we will award points as if you had stayed in your previous home.
If your health could be improved by moving to a new home then we may award medical points. Get more information on the medical assessment process.
If you are placed on the homeless priority list, your application will not be awarded points. Instead your position on that list will normally depend on what date you made your homeless application.
You can check your position on the Moray Council housing waiting list(s) by entering the reference number you were allocated when you applied for Moray Council housing on the Appy4homes web site into our online position checker. When you enter your reference number it will return information on your position for all the categories you applied for.
Please note that your position on the list can go up or down. Should you check your position on the list at a later date it may have changed. Additionally, if you have recently made changes to your housing application they may still need to be processed.
There is no average waiting time. How long you wait for a house will depend on:
- the number of points we give your application (for waiting and transfer applicants only);
- how popular the area is that you have applied for;
- the size and type of property you need; and
- how often vacant properties come up.
We provide a range of housing, which has been specially designed, built or adapted to meet the needs of certain groups, particularly elderly people and people with special needs.
When you apply for housing you will be asked to select the type of housing that you would accept. We will consider what type of accommodation will suit you. For more information, see housing options for people with disabilities or contact us.
You should get information and advice on homelessness and suitable accommodation in Moray. You should contact our Housing Options Team as soon as possible for free housing advice.
Housing Options Team
10 High Street
Phone: 0300 123 4566
If you become homeless after 5pm or on a weekend, contact our out-of-hours emergency service on 03457 565656.
If you are behind with your current rent, owe rent from a previous tenancy or have other housing debts, you must make an arrangement to clear the amount you owe. We may suspend your housing application from receiving any offer of accommodation unless:
- the housing debt is no more than 1/12 of the total amount of yearly rent you owe on your tenancy or previous tenancy; or
- you have made a payment arrangement with your current or previous landlord and you have kept to this for at least three months. You will need to prove that you have kept to the repayment agreement. If you still owe some of the debt, we will expect you to continue to make repayments.
We may suspend your housing application from receiving any offer of accommodation if:
- you have not kept to the terms of your current or former tenancy in a satisfactory way;
- there is proof that you or a member of your household is responsible for anti-social behaviour; or
- you or a member of your household has been evicted.
For each empty home, we produce a shortlist of people who are looking for that size and type of home in that particular area. This list will include people on the homeless priority, waiting and transfer lists. For the transfer list and waiting list, we usually offer the home to the person on the shortlist with the most points. For the homeless priority list, we usually offer the home to the person who has been on the list the longest. However, we may not do this in every case. This is because:
- we need to let homes to people from all the lists to make best use of our housing;
- we consider quotas set for each of the lists to allocate properties fairly to people most in housing need;
- we try to take account of anyone who has a particular need to live in that area, perhaps because they work there, or live there already;
- we will consider any exceptional circumstances when we decide your position on each list;
- we try to take account of any person who has a medical problem or disability and needs a certain type of accommodation (for example, if the house has special features, such as wheelchair access or does not have stairs); and
- we also look at the preferences you have shown on your form, for example, if you say you only want a home with gas heating, we will not consider you for a home with electric heating.
We will write and tell you. Our letter will give you details of the home that we are offering you, when you can see it and how long you have to make up your mind. If you accept the offer, your new tenancy will normally start as soon as the property is ready for you to move into. We will charge you rent from the date the tenancy starts.
You have the right to refuse any offer. However, if you refuse two reasonable offers of accommodation within a period of one year, we will not make any other offers of accommodation to you for six months from the date of your last offer. If you are going to refuse an offer of accommodation, you should discuss your reasons with the area housing officer who deals with the area the property is in before you make a final decision. This is because it may be some time before we can make another offer to you.
You can apply for a mutual exchange if you are:
- our tenant;
- a tenant with another local authority; or
- a tenant with a housing association
A mutual exchange is where you exchange your home with:
- another of our tenants;
- a council tenant from another local authority; or
- a tenant from a housing association
House Exchange is a website that brings people together who are looking to swap their home. To register you will need to visit the House Exchange website . If you do not have Internet access at home you can visit your local library. If you need help registering call us on 0300 123 4566.
The landlords of the properties must give permission before a mutual exchange can take place. We will not withhold our permission unreasonably.
We may ask for information about your health, sex, family, housing needs and previous addresses. We will use the information you give to assess and meet you and your dependants housing need.
We may also use the information for statistical or planning purposes used for future requirements. We need these types of information to make sure that we protect your rights and make sure we keep to any relevant laws. In some cases we can share personal information with other agencies, such as the health service, if you agree.
We may share personal information with our partners, however we will not give this information to any other organisation unless you give us your permission in writing or we have to provide it by law.
By law, we must take part in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercise. Any information you give us on your application will be used for cross-system and cross-authority comparison for the prevention and detection of fraud.
We may take court action against you and take back any tenancy we may have granted on the basis of false or misleading information.
If you are not satisfied with the decision we have made about your application, you should write to:
Senior Housing Needs Officer (Allocations)
Housing and Property
PO Box 6760
Housing and Property
0300 123 4566