Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) has affordable homes for rent and Shared Ownership across Stafford Borough and surrounding areas.

Most of our homes are let through the SARHomes website, where you can view and apply for a home that suits your needs.

There are some times when SARH has a selection of homes which are available to let immediately without needing to register. These homes can be found on the Homes Available Now section of the SARH website.

Who can rent a SARH home?

Anyone who is a UK resident can apply for a SARH rented home. However in certain circumstances customers may not be eligible to have a SARH rented home - if, for example, they are subject to immigration control or do not have the right to rent. These eligibility criteria are set out by law and further information can be found in our frequently asked questions.

The SARH Lettings Policy sets out a number of reasons why you may be asked for further information before you are able to complete your registration and apply for a SARH Home. If you fall within one of these categories this does not mean that you cannot have a SARH home, but SARH will need to look at the information you are asked to supply in more detail before making a decision. Further information on customers who may not be able to apply for a SARH home is set out in the SARH Lettings Policy and in the frequently asked questions.

Some SARH properties will have restrictions placed upon who can apply for them. These are known as home criteria and are set to ensure that SARH make best use of its homes. These criteria may include nomination rights, local lettings policies, criteria relating to rural properties, and requirements that customers have a connection to the area in which the home is located.

See The Right Home for Your Needs for more information.

How do I apply to rent a SARH home?

Most of our homes are let through the SARHomes website, where you can view and apply for a home that suits your needs.

To apply for an affordable rented home you will first need to register on SARHomes. See below for the information you will need to complete this form.

A member of your family, a friend, carer or support worker can apply for homes on your behalf.
Please contact us us if you require help with part or all of the application or registration process.

There are some times when SARH has a selection of homes which are available to let immediately without needing to register. These homes can be found on the Homes Available Now section of the SARH website.

Information you will need to register for SARHomes

To complete the Housing Registration Form, you will need to provide:
• National Insurance number for yourself and any other household member over the age of 18.
• Addresses for you and your partner for the last 5 years, including the dates you moved in and out.
• Dates of birth for all household members.
• The value of your property and the amount of equity you have in your home (if you or any other members of your household are owner occupier).
• Income and savings amounts for you and your partner.

If you are offered a SARH home you may be asked to provide a reference from an existing or former landlord, as well as other information to support your application.

What happens once I have registered for SARHomes?

In the majority of cases, once you have completed the registration form on SARHomes you will be accepted as a SARH customer and will be able to start applying for SARH homes within 24 hours.

You will receive confirmation from SARH that your registration is complete and your unique Registration Number which you will need to use to log into the SARHomes website. You will then be able to log in using your Registration Number and begin applying for homes.

There may be some occasions when SARH need to request further information before your registration is accepted. If this is the case you will be contacted by a member of staff to discuss the information needed.

The circumstances in which further information may be requested include:
• Where there is evidence that the customer, or a member of their household, is guilty of serious unacceptable behaviour, including violent behaviour, serious noise nuisance or anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, or using a home for illegal purposes
• Where a customer owes rent or other debts to a current or previous landlord, and has not entered into and maintained an agreed repayment plan. The amount and cause of the arrears, and any actions taken to reduce them will be taken into consideration
• Where a current SARH customer wishes to move to another SARH home but has breached the conditions of tenancy in their current home
• Where a current SARH customer wishes to move to another SARH home within one year of their tenancy starting
• Where the customer’s household has an income in excess of £60,000 per annum and/or savings in excess of £30,000
• Where a customer owns a property
• Where a customer has the Right to Rent in accordance with the Immigration Act, but is not entitled to claim welfare benefits, tax credits or housing assistance, and is not in permanent employment
• Where a customer has a history of criminal offences which may affect where they can be housed
• Where a customer has given false or fraudulent information in their application

Once this information has been approved you will be notified if your application has been accepted.

Please be aware that based upon the information you provide in response to the above circumstances you may be excluded from using SARHomes. If this is the case SARH will notify you in writing of the reasons for this and any action you may need to take to have the decision changed.

Are all vacant SARH homes advertised?

The majority of vacant SARH homes are advertised on SARHomes. On some occasions SARH may let a home directly to a customer without advertising the property. These will be classed as Direct Lets and will be used in cases where an urgent need is identified that does not fall within one of the priority groups set out in the SARH Lettings Policy.

Within its specialist housing stock SARH provides a number of Extracare homes, designed for customers with care needs. A full assessment will be undertaken for customers applying for Extracare housing to establish their individual needs and the support they require. These assessments are usually carried out jointly with a care professional, and are discussed at a dedicated Extracare Housing Panel to ensure SARH is able to offer the most suitable home to meet these needs.

Your Tenancy Journey

New SARH Customers are invited to attend a Tenancy Journey workshop. The workshop is an opportunity for SARH to explain your rights and responsibilities and give you further information about the benefits of being a SARH customer, and for you to ask questions about your tenancy arrangements.
There is an online interactive version of the Tenancy Journey workshop which will guide you through the process of applying for a SARH home and more.

Why rent a home from SARH?

• Renting is usually cheaper than owning and bills are more predictable.
• It's less hassle than being an owner as you won't need to pay for property maintenance - most of that will be done for you.
• SARH offers longer term agreements than are usually offered by private landlords.
• Unlike private landlords, SARH do not ask for a deposit and you do not have to pay any agency fees. We only require that you pay the first week of rent up front.
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For more information about applying for a home through SARHomes, see Frequently Asked Questions.

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Have you tried our Frequently Asked Questions? See www.sarh.co.uk/faq