Allocation Policy

1. Introduction

Mid-market rent (MMR) housing is designed to assist those households who are unlikely to have sufficient priority to enable them to access social rented housing, but whose income is at a level that means they cannot afford to access private rented accommodation at full market level or buy property.

Manor Estates Housing Association (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Association’) will develop MMR housing in order to provide:

  • Greater tenure choice by providing properties for rent at a level between social rent levels and private renting or purchase costs; and
  • Give applicants the opportunity to obtain alternative affordable housing.

The Association will lease properties developed as MMR to its subsidiary, Manor Estates Associates Ltd (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Company’), who will manage the properties on behalf of the Association.

The City of Edinburgh Council’s Affordable Housing Policy identifies a range of criteria applicable to households seeking mid-market rent housing the Company will adopt these criteria for the purposes of allocating properties at mid-market rent levels.

2. Applying for Mid-Market Rent Housing

Applications should be submitted to the Company.

3. Assessment and Selection of Applicants

Income Criteria
Applicants for mid-market rent housing will be expected to be able to pay the rent without assistance from housing benefit. Minimum and maximum income levels will be agreed annually and will reflect the levels set by City of Edinburgh Council.

Age Limits
Applications will be accepted from anyone aged over 18. (Note, in the case of joint applications, both applicants must be aged over 18).

Priority
Priority will be awarded to eligible applicants who are already registered with EdIndex, with those who have been registered for the longest period of time being considered first. Where applicants are not registered with EdIndex, they will be prioritised by date of receipt of application.

Advertising of Properties
The Company will make arrangements to advertise properties at the time of handover through a range of mechanisms, for example:

  • Agencies such as Citylets or S1 Homes;
  • Own website;
  • EdIndex website.

Application Process
Applications will be submitted directly to the Company and administrative checks undertaken to ensure that:

  • The applicant(s) meet the specified age and income criteria;
  • Where relevant, tenancy references are satisfactory;
  • Confirmation of employment status and salary is received from the applicant’s employer;
  • The application form contains no contra-indications in respect of previous tenancy-related issues; and
  • Credit checks are satisfactory.

It is anticipated that there demand for the properties will be in excess of the number of properties available. Once applications are active (i.e. all checks completed satisfactorily), they will be filed in order of priority as follows:

  • EdIndex-registered applicants, in date order; followed by
  • Non-EdIndex-registered applicants, in date order.

4. Property Size

Applicants will be offered accommodation of a size appropriate to their household requirements and allocations should not result in significant under-occupancy or overcrowding.

In principle, the following criteria will apply:

Property Size Household Type
1 person x 2 apt Single person
2 person x 2 apt Single person
Couple
3 person x 3 apt Couple + 1 child
Single person + 1 child
2 x single persons
(Couple)
4 person x 3 apt Couple + 1 or 2 children
Single person + 1 or 2 children
(2 x single persons)
(Couple)

5. Waiting List

Following the initial allocation of the first phase of MMR properties, those applicants who have been unsuccessful will be invited to remain on a waiting list for a period of 6 months. Should any vacancies arise during that period, these will not be advertised, but we will seek to identify suitable applicants from that list.

Any applicants remaining on the waiting list at the end of the 6-month period should be advised that those applications are now redundant and that any future vacancies will be advertised, at which time they will have to reapply.

Depending on the volume of applications received each time properties are advertised, we may take the 6-month waiting list approach again.

6. Tenancy Agreements

Tenants will be offered a Standard Short Assured Tenancy, conferring all rights, responsibilities and obligations in accordance with the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988.

Tenancies will be for an initial period of 6 months and will be renewed monthly thereafter. Tenants will be served with an appropriate Notice at the time of signing the Tenancy Agreement that will enable termination of the tenancy at an appropriate time.

7. Tenancy Deposits

Tenants will be required to pay a deposit equivalent to one month’s rent at the start of the tenancy. This is a security deposit and will be retained to meet the costs of any damage caused to the property by the tenant or for any unpaid rent after the property has been vacated.

The deposit will be held in an approved scheme in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (Scotland) Regulations.

At the end of the tenancy, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme provider will repay the deposit unless there is a dispute between the tenant and the landlord. If there is a dispute, the Scheme provider will ask for evidence from all parties as to how they feel the deposit should be allocated. It will then carry out an adjudication process and issue a draft report for review by all involved.

Allocation Process

1. Receiving and Assessing Application Forms

Applications will be date-stamped on receipt and we aim to process applications within 5 working days of receipt.

The Housing Assistants (or other administrative staff) will check:

  • That all information has been completed. Where information is incomplete, we will try to contact the applicant by telephone to seek clarification. Where this is not possible, the application will be returned to the applicant.
  • That income levels declared meet the requirements of the policy.
  • That 6 months bank statements have been submitted, and highlight salary income shown.

Where the applicant has indicated that they are registered with EdIndex, the Housing Assistant will check details and enter confirmed application date on the MMR application form.

Applications will then be held in a pending file, awaiting completion of references.

2. Reference Checking

The Housing Assistants will issue reference requests:

  • To the applicant’s employer; and
  • To the applicant’s previous landlord, where applicable.

The Company will register with a credit check company and also undertake relevant credit checks for applicants.

3. Acknowledgement

The applicant will be advised that their application has been received but will not be considered as active until the reference process has been completed

4. Active List

Unsatisfactory references
The applicant will be advised that unsatisfactory references have been received and their application will not be considered.

Satisfactory references
Applications will be transferred to the active list, which will be maintained in date order, with EdIndex-registered applicants listed effectively from date of application to EdIndex and others being listed in order of date application submitted to ourselves.