Who can use the service?
To be able to join the Birmingham City Council's housing register you must complete an online application form.
You must be aged 16 years or over and have the right to live in the UK.
Your application will only be accepted if you are eligible and qualify to join the register.
Who cannot use the service?
There are some people who will not be eligible or do not qualify to join Birmingham City Council's Housing Register.
Who is not eligible for housing?
Everyone who applies is asked about their legal status. The law states that the Council is not allowed to offer a home to certain people. This includes anyone subject to immigration control within the meaning of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 (unless he or she comes within a class prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State) or who fall within a class of persons from abroad prescribed as being not eligible.
Who will not qualify for housing?
Not everyone will qualify to join the Council’s housing register. Reasons for not qualifying include:
Unacceptable behaviour or actions
Unacceptable behaviour can include (but is not limited to):
• The applicant or a member of the household having been evicted from a tenancy due to a breach of any tenancy condition
• The applicant or a member of the household having a possession order made against them for arrears of rent regardless of tenure
• The applicant or a member of the household having left owing rent at a former property
• The applicant or a member of the household having been served with a legal Notice of Seeking Possession because of behaviour or conduct. Either linked
to a property or in the locality
• Some perpetrators of domestic violence
• The applicant or a member of the household having been convicted of using a property for immoral or illegal purposes
• The applicant or a member of the household having an unspent criminal conviction committed in, or in the locality of a property
• The applicant or a member of the household having obtained public funds or services fraudulently
• The applicant or a member of the household having displayed: threatening, violent or otherwise abusive behaviour towards an employee of the Council or
a related organisation.
No assessed housing need:
When someone applies for housing, they are asked about their housing circumstances and an assessment will be completed to determine their housing need, or priority.
Applicants who do not have an identified housing need (or priority) will not normally qualify for social housing.
Household income and assets are taken into consideration. Households with or above the income or assets threshold, currently a net income in excess of £57,880, will not normally qualify for social housing. This is because a sufficient income or levels of assets or savings would enable access to market housing within the City.
Applicants who own their homes in the UK or abroad, that is suitable for their occupation, or with savings over the threshold of £16000 (consistent with the Government’s upper limit for savings set out in the common rules of the DWP Benefit and Pension Rates), are also unlikely to qualify for social housing, unless there is an exceptional need. For example, where an owner of a property within a Council approved clearance or regeneration area/scheme is subject to a compulsory purchase order and vacant possession is required within 6 months is considered unsuitable.
No local connection to Birmingham:
With the exception of Armed Forces personnel and survivors of domestic abuse, an applicant will be required to have a local connection to Birmingham in order to qualify for social housing. A local connection will be established if:
- The applicant has lived, through choice, in Birmingham for a minimum period of the last 2 years. Exemptions to residence conditions will apply to Homeless households (as defined by the Housing Act 1996, Part 7) and care leavers owed a duty by the Local Authority placed outside the local authority area.
- The applicant is a transfer applicant, who has not been resident in the Local Authority area for a minimum of 2 years, however, is under-occupying social housing and wishes to downsize to a smaller home.
- The applicant is employed in Birmingham or has an offer of employment in Birmingham, including an apprenticeship. A connection established by employment will be limited to the usual place of work.
- The applicant has family relationships in Birmingham. A connection established by family will be limited to near relatives who have been resident in Birmingham for a minimum period of the last 5 years.
- The applicant can evidence a continuing caring responsibility for someone resident in Birmingham and that this care could not be provided unless they were resident in Birmingham.
- The applicant needs to be near specialist medical or support services which are only available in the Local Authority area. The applicant will be exempt from local connection requirements.
- The applicant is a Care leaver aged 18-21 or a Care leaver aged up to 25 who is pursuing a programme of education agreed in their pathway plan, who are owed a duty of care by the Local Authority.
Incapable in law of holding a legal tenancy
If the applicant is unable by law to hold a tenancy they will not normally qualify for social housing unless:
• They are in the care of the Council, or a care leaver
• They are a child in need as a result of a statutory assessment
• They are owed a full statutory homeless duty following a statutory assessment
• They have an adult or adults who will act as a trustee(s) for them and hold a legal tenancy until the legal incapacity to hold a tenancy ends.
Refusing offers of social housing
All applicants are subject to a limit on the number of suitable offers they can refuse. Upon refusal of a final offer or nomination, applicants will be reduced in preference for a period of 12 months, resulting in a demotion from either Band A, B or C down to Band D. A suitable offer will be a home of an adequate size in an area where the household is not at risk:
- Band A applicants are entitled to one refusal of a reasonable offer of accommodation, except those who are homeless or owed a homelessness duty who will have no entitlement to a refusal of a reasonable offer of accommodation.
- Band B applicants are entitled to two reasonable refusals, except those who are homeless or owed a homelessness duty who will be entitled to one reasonable refusal
- Band C applicants are entitled to two refusals of a reasonable offer of accommodation.
- Band D applicants have no cap on the number of refusals of a reasonable offer of accommodation
The Council recognises that there may be exceptional circumstances where it becomes necessary to reconsider the qualification criteria in the case of individual applicants who would not normally qualify. The Council may reconsider the qualification of these individuals in extreme exceptional circumstances, for example where there is a threat to life and no other housing options are available.