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Bidding for housing

Once you have been accepted onto the housing register you can start to bid for available properties. Before you start you should read this important information, so you know your chances of making a successful bid.  

Very few properties become available to let. Of those that do, there are usually hundreds of people on the housing register bidding for the same property. Properties with more bedrooms get more bids, so you may spend a lot of time placing bids with no real chance of success. 

The council has a duty to accept certain people who are in housing need onto the Housing Register and there are currently over 5000 people on our waiting list. Only three to four hundred properties become available for bidding each year.

Important information  

Unless you are a high priority, you are better off looking for alternative housing such as private rented accommodation or moving to another area where more social housing is available. You can find out more on Homefinder. If you are working, you might be able to rent below market rates. You can find out more about affordable housing at Reside

Priority for bidding

The council decides who has priority for bidding and this is shown in the sections below using something called "preferences". Once you have been accepted onto the housing register we will write to tell you what kind of preference you have and how many. There is one type of bidder who will always be the top priority because they currently live in a council property in the borough and have to move because the council is demolishing it or carrying out major works.  These are called "decants".  

The complete policy can be found in the council's housing allocation policy (PDF, 355 KB)

Decants are the highest priority Toggle accordion

These are people who currently live in a council property but have to move because their property is being demolished or major works are being carried out. If more than 1 decant bids on the same property, the person with the oldest tenancy start date will be selected.  

Awarded an additional preference are the next highest priority Toggle accordion

If more than 1 person with an additional preference bids on the same property then the person who has been on the register for the longest will be selected.     

  • Those who have an urgent medical or social reason and there are exceptional circumstances 
  • Members of the armed forces (who left in the last 5 years or are due to leave in the next 6 months) 
     

Awarded 2 or more preferences are the next highest priority Toggle accordion

The more preferences you have, the higher the chance of making a successful bid, however bear in mind that if people with additional preferences and decants bid as well they will be successful and not you. If more than one person with the same number of preferences bid on the same property, then the person who has been on the housing register for the longest will be selected.     

  • People who are homeless (within the meaning of Housing Act 1996, Part 7, as amended)
  • People who are owed a housing duty in accordance with homelessness legislation by any local authority, until such time as those duties are discharged
  • People who are living in insanitary or overcrowded housing or living in unsatisfactory housing conditions
  • People who need to move on medical or welfare grounds (including any grounds relating to a disability)
  • People who need to move to a particular area in the borough to avoid hardship

   

Awarded 1 preference are the lowest priority Toggle accordion

If you have only been awarded 1 preference, you are very unlikely to make a successful bid for a property. You are better off looking for alternative accommodation.     

  • People who are homeless (within the meaning of Housing Act 1996, Part 7, as amended)
  • People who are owed a housing duty in accordance with homelessness legislation by any local authority, until such time as those duties are discharged
  • People who are living in insanitary or overcrowded housing or living in unsatisfactory housing conditions
  • People who need to move on medical or welfare grounds (including any grounds relating to a disability). 
  • People who need to move to a particular area in the borough to avoid hardship

   

Check available properties and bid

Available properties are listed at East London Choice Homes. You will need your bidding number we sent you in the letter about your application to join the housing register.  

Properties are advertised every week on a Friday and are available for bids until the following Monday at 12am (midnight). You can only make 1 bid each week.