Duncan Lewis

Residential Property

Commercial Property

How to apply for a council home

Date: (22 April 2013)    |    

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You can apply for council housing through your local council and normally there is a waiting list which you have to join and above it there is no guarantee that you would get a property. Ask your council the time period you are likely to wait.

The basic criteria to apply are you must have attained 18 years and in some cases some council allow you to apply if you are 16 and over. You may apply even if you are not living in the area where you are making your application.

Waiting list

Those who are on the waiting list are selected by the councils based on points or banding system. Points and bands are based on housing need. For example, you may be given preference if you are homeless, live in cramped conditions or have a medical condition made worse by your current home.Once you’re high enough on the list, your council will contact you about an available property.
Choice-based lettings
Some council have a choice-based letting scheme. You can tell the council your choice of properties. It depends on the council, but once you’ve been accepted onto the waiting list, the basic steps are:
1. Find a property: check in local papers, on council websites, in council offices or in local libraries.
2. Check you can apply for it: some properties are only suitable for single people, families, or disabled people.
3. Apply: this is known as ‘bidding’, but it doesn’t involve money. You can bid online, or by phone or text.
4. Get the council’s decision.
Getting an offer
Normally you only have a short time to accept a housing offer. If you don’t accept it, you can usually stay on the waiting list (or bid for other properties), but you may be put lower down the list.
If you keep rejecting offers, you may be taken off the list temporarily.
If you’re not happy with your council’s decision, you can appeal.