Looking for a home

Below is a list of some Frequently Asked Questions that relate to looking for a home.

If you can't find the answer to your question you can send us a question.

Click here to be taken to the Ask A Question page.

How do I apply for housing?

There are many methods of applying for our housing. Details of how to apply and any criteria you may have to meet can be found on our website by clicking here to visit the 'Applying for a home' page.

How much is the rent?

Rents for rented accommodation are set in line with government regulations and will vary depending upon the local authority, the number of bedrooms and the value of the property. Rent for other types of accommodation is set out in your leasehold agreement. Depending upon your type of accommodation you may also have to pay a service charge for items charged we buy on your behalf and then recover from you e.g. gardening, communal heating and lighting, window cleaning etc. For more information please contact our area offices.

Can I still have my carer if I move into a Two Castles Housing Association property?

Yes. Many residents receive support from home carers and support workers to help them maintain their tenancy within the development.

Can I have visitors?

Yes, you can have visitors, although you are responsible for their behaviour.

Can my family have keys?

Yes. You are provided with three sets of keys when you become a tenant. We recommend that you pass a set to your family as key holders, so that we can contact them in the event of an emergency.

Can I keep pets in my home?

Yes. You can keep domestic pets in your home as long as you receive prior written permission from us, and as long as keeping the pets do not contravene any laws such as the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Residents are responsible for the behaviour of any pets owned by themselves, anyone living in their home or anyone visiting their home. For more information, you should contact your area office.

Can I redecorate my home?

Yes. You may decorate the internal areas of your home to your own individual tastes and style.

If you have any further queries regarding the above, please contact our Maintenance Department at the relevant area office.
 

Can I have an electric scooter in my home?

We will try to accommodate you wherever possible. Some of our schemes are more difficult than others due to the nature of site. You must obtain permission from your local office before bringing the scooter onto the development. We will not normally refuse permission without good reason, but you must nevertheless obtain permission. In most circumstances the scooter must be kept in your own home and charged using your own electricity. To obtain permission, or to find out more, contact your local office.

Will the terms of my tenancy change?

The terms of your tenancy are within your tenancy agreement. The rights you have are either rights given to you by law or contractual ones and these cannot be changed without consulting you.

Can married couples/same sex couples apply?

Yes, we have a variety of accommodation suitable for couples. As an Association we do not differentiate housing needs based on marital status or sexual orientation. As a couple we would ask you to sign a joint tenancy agreement.

Will you need to know my financial circumstances?

Depending upon the type of home you choose, we may need to confirm that you’re able to afford the charges and will request that you sign an agreement to pay. We will treat all personal information as strictly confidential.

How long will I have to wait to get an offer of a home?

There may be a short registration period before we actively consider an application. We can make exceptions in emergencies. The time depends on the type of home you need.

Do you have any homes to buy?

We offer many shared ownership schemes for people who cannot afford to buy their own home outright. They must be in housing need and be unable to afford an outright purchase. You buy a share of a property and pay rent to a housing association on the remaining share that you do not own. In most cases you can buy further shares of the property until you own the whole property. Some rural properties are restricted so that you can only ever own 80%. For more information on the scheme please click here to read about Shared Ownership.

How do I apply for a transfer if I already live in a Two Castles Housing Associations home?

For a transfer within Two Castles please contact your local area office. For a transfer outside of Two Castles, either contact your local area office or if a Common Housing Register exists in the local authority area in which you live, you should apply to the local authority then you can be considered for vacancies in all the participating landlords' properties.

I am homeless or threatened with homelessness - can Two Castles Housing Association help?

Yes we work closely with the local authorities and other agencies to prevent you becoming homeless, or where you are homeless, to assist you.

What does my rent include?

Apart from paying to live in your house, (your rent) we MAY include a service charge for communal services, for example a charge for any heating and hot water provided by communal systems. This will be shown separately from your actual rent, but you make one payment to us made up of both rent and service charge.

Can I buy part of a house?

If you live in rented accommodation you cannot, given current law, buy a part share of your home. As a tenant in rented accommodation you may have the right to buy your entire home from us under the current law. For further information please contact your local area office. You can buy part of a home under our home ownership scheme, please click here for more information on home ownership.

Are mutual exchanges possible - can I swap homes?

If you are one of our tenants, one of the Council’s, or another housing association and you have a secure or assured tenancy agreement, then you qualify for a home exchange. For more information speak to your local office.

Does Two Castlesí provide sheltered housing?

We run 18 sheltered housing schemes. These enable just over 600 rented homes to be provided for older residents to enjoy their independence, with the added security of knowing that help is available if and when they need it. To qualify you need to be aged 55 or over.

Where am I on the waiting list?

It is difficult to answer this question as the waiting list changes daily as new applicants are added to the list. It will depend on your circumstances and the area and type of property that you are waiting for. We should give you an idea of how long you might wait when you apply to us. Some schemes have very few properties and vacancies. We may ask you to extend your choices to improve your chances of being housed quicker.

How do I complete my Housing Benefit form?

If you need any advice on how to complete the form please contact your local area office.

Can I apply to take in a lodger?

You cannot take in a lodger without our prior written consent. We would not unreasonably refuse to give consent, but we may refuse it, for example, if you are asking for an unreasonable rent or deposit, or if the property would be over crowded.

Can I apply for succession to a tenancy?

There are 3 levels of priority for someone to inherit a tenancy after a death:

Level 1: A joint tenant, a spouse or co-habitee (provided the house was their only or principal home at the time of the death, and in the case of the co-habitee they had also lived in the house for 6 months).

Level 2: A member of the deceased’s family over 16 years of age (provided the house was their only or principal home at the date of the death). Family in this context means parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, stepchild or adopted child.

Level 3: A carer over 16 years of age who is providing or has provided care for the deceased or a member of the deceased’s family (provided the house was their only or principal home at the date of the death and they had given up their only principal home before the death).

The order of priority for succession starts with qualifying people in level 1, then level 2 and lastly in level 3. If more than one person qualifies under any level, they decide between them who should be the new tenant. If they cannot agree, we will make the decision.

If anyone wishes to succeed a tenancy, they should notify us within 28 days of the death. We will process their request in accordance with the qualifying criteria outlined above.
 

Why I can not apply for a house in some areas like the lake district?

In some areas where we provide housing, particularly in rural areas, there are government restrictions as to who is eligible for housing. These are known as S106 or local occupancy restrictions. They are designed to protect rural and other communities by ensuring there is housing for local people. They are also designed to prevent homes being sold to people as holiday homes. These types of occupancy restrictions vary from property to property as well as between local authorities. Your housing officer will discuss this further with you if it is causing you concern.