Seaside and Country Homes

Seaside & Country Homes FAQs

Please contact the Housing Mobility Team if you would like to ask us something not listed on our web pages, in the FAQs below or in the Seaside & Country Homes Scheme Guide or the Seaside & Country Homes Areas and Properties Guide.

How are Seaside & Country Homes allocated?

We prioritise applicants by the size and type of property they will leave behind if they move. The larger the home they free up, the higher priority they receive. This is because there is huge demand for social housing in London from people who are homeless or in homes that are too small for them.

Do you use a waiting list and can you tell me where I am on it?

We are unable to tell you where you are on a list, or how long it might take to receive an offer, because who lettings go to varies according to a combination of a number of factors. These include what areas people have chosen, how many bedrooms people would free up and what properties become available. The situation can change on a daily basis because new applicants join the scheme all the time and existing applicants can change their area preferences at any time. Applicants are contacted when a property becomes available in an area they have chosen and according to their priority.

Will I be given higher priority if I have medical reasons to move?

No. Seaside & Country Homes' applicants are expected to be able to independently maintain their tenancy when they move as the properties on offer may have stairs and/or gardens. You may wish to discuss your application with your landlord who could contact the Housing Mobility Team if there are other circumstances behind your reasons for wanting to move.

Can I have my priority reassessed?

Yes, you can contact the Housing Mobility Team by email or letter explaining why you think your application has been reviewed incorrectly, or if your housing situation has changed. We will respond to you within five working days of receipt. A review does not necessarily mean that your priority will be altered.

Can I be guaranteed a move?

No. This is because we can only nominate people to properties when the current resident moves out. Usually around 200 households move each year and we have more than 1,000 people registered on the scheme.

Which areas do you have available?

We have homes mainly across the south coast of England. Some are flats and some are bungalows. For more information please see the Seaside & Country Homes Areas and Properties Guide.

Can someone else move with me?

Yes, if they are your husband, wife or partner, a joint tenant with you in your current home or your registered carer who lives with you on a permanent basis. If you are moving with a carer we will normally expect to see evidence of this. This can be confirmation of receipt of carer's allowance, or a letter from social services or a doctor.

My household has three people, can I move to a SCH property?

In certain circumstances three person households can apply. This is usually when the third person is a dependent relative or live-in carer.  If you are unsure if this applies to you, please contact us for advice. You should note that our two bedroom properties have one double and one single bedroom.  Therefore, we cannot accept four person households or larger.

Are the Seaside & Country Homes properties wheelchair accessible?

While many of our properties have a level access shower, no other adaptations come as standard across all of our properties. It is possible that further adaptations could be made, but this is something that the landlords of the Seaside & Country Homes properties would consider on a case by case basis. The only wheelchair accessible properties available through the scheme are the flats in Brighton. Please see the Seaside & Country Homes Areas and Properties Guide for further information.

Can I bring a pet with me?

All our bungalows accept pets although there may be a limit on the number you can take with you (normally two). Most, though not all, of the flats do not accept pets. Please refer to the Seaside & Country Homes Areas and Properties Guide to find out whether pets are accepted where you want to live.

Am I entitled to assistance to help me move?

There is no entitlement, but some London boroughs and housing associations offer assistance to households who free up properties. Your landlord will be able to advise you of anything they may be able to offer you.

Will Housing Benefit cover my rent if I have a spare bedroom?

Since 1 April 2013, some people living in a council or housing association home who have one or more spare bedrooms may have their Housing Benefit limited to the amount they would receive for the size of property they need. This could affect you if you move to a home with a spare bedroom through the Seaside & Country Homes scheme.

Does this apply to everyone?

No. You will not be affected if you or your partner are of pension credit qualifying age. You can find out the date from which you qualify by using this state pension age calculator (external website).

Are people who move to or live in Seaside & Country Homes properties affected?

Many Seaside & Country Homes properties have two bedrooms and most of the people who move in or live there have a spare bedroom. However, if you or your partner are of pension credit qualifying age you will not be affected by the new rule.

But the Seaside & Country Homes scheme allows some people to move to a smaller home but still have one spare bedroom. Would I still be affected if I did this?

You may still be affected, as the Housing Benefit rules for people moving through this scheme are the same as those for everyone else.

If you think you may have a shortfall in your housing benefit in the home you move to, you should speak to your current landlord.

If you think you are affected and have moved, or are currently moving, to a new home through either of the schemes, you should speak to your new landlord about your options. You may also wish to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

How do I know if my home is too big?

You are allowed one bedroom for

  • every adult couple
  • any other adult (16 or over)
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • two children under the age of 10 whether they are a boy or a girl
  • any other child
  • a child unable to share a bedroom because of severe disabilities
  • a carer who does not normally live with you but provides you or your partner with overnight care.

You can work out whether a home you are interested in is too big by using the bedroom calculator (external website).

How much of my benefit would be cut?

If you move somewhere with one ‘spare’ bedroom your housing benefit will reduce by at least 14%. If you move somewhere with two or more ‘spare’ bedrooms your housing benefit will reduce by at least 25%.

How will SCH contact me?

We will always try to telephone you and will call all the numbers you have given us. If we cannot get hold of you, we will leave a message if able to do so and you will have 24 hours to get back to us. So you should check your answer phone messages regularly. You should always ensure that we have the correct number for you, so please advise us if you have a new landline or mobile telephone number.

I'm being considered, but I've not been contacted for a viewing.

If you are top of the list, the landlord of the property will contact you to arrange a viewing. Usually if we have told you that you are second, third, fourth or fifth on the list, the landlord will contact you only if the people above you on the list don't want the property. However, sometimes landlords will invite several people to a viewing at the same time, but the person at the top of the list will have priority. If you haven't heard from the landlord within a month, you should assume that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion. We will only contact you again if and when another suitable property becomes available.

Will I have to view the property?

Yes, you will have to view the property before being made an offer. In exceptional circumstances a family member may be able to view on your behalf. If you want this to happen you should discuss this with the landlord when they telephone to offer you a viewing.

If I view a property do I have to decide if I want it immediately?

No, although many people do. You have up to five days (including weekends) from viewing the property to decide, as you may need some time to think about it or to discuss with your family or friends.

Will I be penalised if I refuse a property?

We accept that a move is an important decision and there may be a number of reasons why a property is not suitable for you. However, if you unreasonably refuse a number of properties you will be suspended from the scheme.

Will I have to reapply if I'm unable to move for a period?

Normally, no. If you are unable to consider a move for a short period we can suspend your application temporarily. You will then need to inform us when you are ready to move again. If this period is more than six months we may need to request an update of your circumstances and tenancy details from your current landlord first.

Who do I contact if I want to complain about the scheme?

Please contact the Housing Mobility Team by email or letter. We will respond to you within two working days of receipt.