How we advertise properties

Where do I look to see if there are any vacancies available?

Between Friday morning and 12 noon on the following Tuesday we advertise available homes in the following ways:

  • On our website
  • If we have an email address we will send you the list of vacant homes each week.
  • For customers who need assistance we can ‘Search & Apply’ on your behalf.  For further details of our ‘Search & Apply’ service contact 01226 787600.


How do I apply for a vacant property?

If you are interested in any of the properties advertised, you need to apply before 12 noon on the Tuesday following the publication of the vacancy list.

You can apply for vacancies you are interested in and want to live in by:

  • visiting our Homeseeker website  (you will need your application number, surname and the date of birth of the first applicant);
  • For customers who need assistance we can ‘Search & Apply’ on your behalf. To find out whether you qualify for our Search & Apply service please contact us on; 01226 787600 or fill in our contact form


How many properties can I apply for?

You can apply for up to three properties a week.

How do I find out if I have been offered a new home?

We only contact those applicants who we want to offer the property to.  This usually take up to a week after the advert has closed but can take longer.

If we are able to make you an offer of a home we will contact you. This is normally by letter, but sometimes we will phone, email or  visit you to make the offer.

We will tell you:

  • the address of the property;  
  • information about the property (number of bedroom, rent payable, heating type etc.);  
  • the date the tenancy will start;
  • the type of tenancy we will offer; and  
  • who and when to contact us about the offer.
I’ve been offered a property what happens next?

You must then contact us to tell us whether or not you are interested in the property. Usually we give you 2 working days to contact us. The offer letter will tell you the latest date you can tell us your decision. If you contact us after this date we may have offered the property to someone else.

If you are interested in the property we can make arrangements for you to view it and then sign the agreement. If you are not interested we can offer the property to someone else. We will update your application to take account of your decision. If you do not contact us we will cancel your application and you will no longer be on the housing register.

If you want the property we will check that your circumstances have not altered. If there have been no changes we will ask you to sign the tenancy agreement and we will tell you everything you need to know about being a Barnsley Council tenant. If your circumstances have changed we will make sure you are still eligible for the property.

If you are a ‘priority’ applicant with Band 1,2 or 3 priority if you refuse an offer of accommodation and the offer meets your needs, you could have your priority reduced by one Band.


When do I move in?

Your rent starts as soon as the tenancy starts so it’s in your interest to move in as soon as possible.  In rare circumstances we may agree to start the rent at a later date.   You only qualify for housing benefit if you have moved in to the property.  

You must move into the property as soon as you can after the tenancy has started. If you have not moved in within 6 weeks of the start of the tenancy, we will take legal action to end your tenancy. If you do not move into the property you will not qualify for housing benefit.

What if I refuse the offer?

We would encourage you to not apply for vacancies you are not interested in living in.

If you refuse the property without a good reason and you are in priority bands 1, 2 or 3 we may reduce your priority by one band (eg from band 1 to 2).  If you have been accepted as homeless the council may also discharge its duty to find you housing.

If you are in priority Bands 4 & 5 and refuse five or more offers without good reason, we may suspend your application, so that you cannot apply for vacancies, for six months.

If you decide to refuse the property we will discuss with you what effect this will have on your application.

You can ask us to review a decision we have made about your application by completing our Appeal Form.  You must do this within 6 weeks of us making a decision.

You can also write to us:

Berneslai Homes

PO Box 627


S70 9FZ

Or you can ring us on: 01226 787600

When you contact us we will need to know:

  • your name,
  • your address,
  • your housing application reference number;
  • the reason(s) why you disagree with our decision; and
  • any other information you wish to take into account when looking at you appeal.

Families who the council have decided are homeless and awarded priority should discuss the offer with the Housing Options, Advice and Homelessness Prevention Service as they may reduce / remove the priority if you refuse an offer of a home.

Can I find out who a property has been let to?

For data protection purposes we do not publish the details of who we have let a property to.  But to help applicants work out how long they are likely to be waiting for rehousing we do publish some information about the lettings we have made, including the number of applications received, the priority Band and the date of priority for the successful applicant.  Visit the ‘What we’ve let’ section for more information.  

How long am I likely to be waiting before being rehousing?

It is very difficult to give anyone an accurate idea of likely waiting times as it does depend on many things including the locations and property types requested (houses and 2 bedroom bungalows are higher demand than flats) the demand for the accommodation you are seeking and the number of vacancies we get coming empty.

To give you an idea of likely waiting periods we have detailed the average waiting period families have been waiting in the priority band in the year 2021/22 (see below). As with any average, some people will have waited longer and some shorter depending on their priority, locations requested and turnover of vacancies:

  • Band 1- approximately 4 months
  • Band 2- approximately 8 months
  • Band 3- approximately 8½ months
  • Band 4- approximately 24 months
  • Band 5- approximately 8 months