Last updated: 8 December 2023

Bid for a council or housing association property

You’ll need your bidding number first.

If you’re not sure what it is, call us on 020 8496 4197 and choose the housing option. We’ll then ask a few security questions before giving you the information you need.

How to bid

Properties are advertised from Thursday to Sunday each week. You can bid any time from 12:01am on Thursday morning until midnight on Sunday.

It does not matter when you bid, as we will not decide who will be offered a property until bidding has closed.

You cannot bid for more than two properties a week. You should only bid for homes you would be ready to accept and move into. 

Some properties are advertised as only being available to certain groups, so you may not be able to bid for every property available. Please check the advert to see if this applies.

If you bid successfully, the next step will normally be that you are contacted by us within a few days to verify your details. If the top priority bidder is not eligible or turns down the property, we will normally offer it to the next highest priority person who bid, in which case they may be contacted later.   

To see the properties you can bid for, and for more information about bidding, log into the Choice Homes bidding website.

Guide to bidding successfully

The number of people bidding far exceeds the amount of housing available, so most people will never be offered housing. 

Popular areas and property types, such as houses rather than flats, attract more bids and therefore you are more likely to be outbid by someone with higher priority. To maximise your chances of being successful you should therefore bid for as many different property areas and types as possible.

This is a general guide to what the different levels of priority mean in practice. This is for illustration purposes only, and assumes you are seeking a typical property of three bedrooms or smaller, and there are no medical or other restrictions on the location or type of property that may be suitable.

Band 1:

You will outbid almost everyone for every property.

Band 2:

You will outbid most people for most properties. If you bid widely you could be housed within a matter of months, but if you bid for a small number of properties then it will take longer.

Band 3:

Your priority in Band 3 is based on how long you have been in this band. Your priority within Band 3 will therefore increase over time as those ahead of you are housed or leave the housing register. Those in Band 3 who bid successfully have typically been on the housing register for over 5 years, but exactly how long it may take depends on what is available and what you bid for. In addition, many properties are only available to specific groups, so you should check the advert and bid for as many properties as you can.  

Band 4:

You are very unlikely to bid successfully.

Band 5:

You are not allowed to bid.