The Council is legally required to have a Housing Allocation Policy 2021 (PDF) to determine housing priorities and a procedure to be followed when allocating accommodation in the social housing sector.
Bexley Council is a non-stocking authority, this means that we don’t own any properties. Therefore, social housing in the borough is owned and managed by a range of Registered Providers - also known as Housing Associations. Bexley partners with a number of Housing Associations, but the three main providers are Orbit South, London and Quadrant (L&Q) and Peabody; each housing provider will have their own lettings agreements. You can find a full list of our Registered Providers at Bexley HomeChoice.
The Council works in partnership with the Registered Providers and has nomination rights to properties that become available. These are either advertised on a bidding platform called Bexley HomeChoice or allocated as a ’direct offer’.
How to apply to the housing register
Applications to the housing register should be made directly to Bexley HomeChoice.
There are 2 steps when applying to the register, firstly you must register your household with your name, date of birth, NI number and current address. Until that is provided, you will not be able to register. Once you have done so, you will be allocated a unique login reference number.
You will then need to log in using that number with the details you have set up and complete the housing register application form online where you will be asked for:
- all household member names
- all household member dates of births
- National Insurance Numbers for all members over the age of 16
- five-year address history, including tenure type and landlord details
- any relevant medical information
- current employment status
- current combined household income
- proof of eligibility
- proof of address
Again, it is essential that this is provided as your application cannot be assessed until you have done so. Once submitted, your application will be sent to the Bexley Allocations Team, who will then assess your application to determine if you are eligible to join the housing register. The assessment is based on what you have informed us about of your individual circumstances, and the eligibility criteria in accordance with the Council’s Housing Allocations Policy 2021.
The Allocations Officer will carry out the assessment, and you will be provided with the decision in writing. Whether you are eligible or not all decisions made are given in writing, with the right to seek a review if not in agreement with the decision.
If you are eligible, you will receive a registration letter advising you of the awarded banding, bed size requirement and effective date. You may then start to place bids.
It is important that you keep your housing register application up to date with your current circumstances including your address and contact details. This will ensure that if you successfully bid and are shortlisted for a property the relevant provider or a member of the allocations team is able to contact you quickly to discuss any property offer.
Please note that being accepted to join the register does not guarantee an offer of social housing as demand significantly exceeds supply. This is particularly the case for larger homes.
Who cannot join the housing register?
The 1996 Housing Act says that you cannot register for housing if:
- you are from abroad and subject to immigration control
- you are from abroad and you are not habitually resident in the UK or
- you are a British citizen and you are not habitually resident in the UK
- you do not have five years' continuous residency within Bexley Council
Exclusions and suspensions
Applicants can be excluded, and people on the housing register can be suspended from the register. If we decide to exclude or suspend you from the register, we will tell you in writing. If you disagree with the decision, you can ask for a review. We will then give you more information about the review procedure.
Applicants can be excluded or suspended from the register for the following unacceptable behaviour or actions:
- failing to pay rent
- breaching a term of the tenancy agreement
- causing a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours
- assaulting or persistently using abusive or racist language towards a member of the Council’s or the landlord’s staff or a contractor
- being convicted of an arrestable offence committed in, or in the vicinity of, their home
- causing the condition of the property to deteriorate by a deliberate act or by neglect
- making a false statement to obtain a tenancy
Full details about housing register suspensions and exclusions can be found in the Housing Allocation Policy 2021 (PDF).
Bidding for properties
Properties are advertised on a weekly basis; each advert will include the marketing information that you need to consider prior to placing a bid. You must ensure that the property is suitable for you in principle, such as the size, location, floor level, whether it has a lift if relevant and the rental amount. A range of icons is used to help describe some of the properties' other options such as pets permitted, heating types, maximum occupants as some examples. If you are successful with a winning bid, you may be invited to viewing where you will then see the property in person with an officer from the advertising Housing Association.
You may place up to 3 bids a week; the platform will only let you place bids on properties that are the correct size for you for example if you are a single person, you may only place bids on studios and one-bed homes. Bidding is open from Thursday midnight and ends on Monday midnight each week. Once the bidding cycle ends on Monday during the night, the system will place all the bids into the correct order by priority banding and then the effective date.
In accordance with the Housing Allocations Policy 2021, each applicant will be permitted three offers via the bidding system in total. For example, if you have refused two prior offers via your bids, the 3rd offer would need to be accepted. If you refuse three offers in total, you may be removed from the housing register. If you are made a direct offer, then that will already have been assessed by the Council as affordable and suitable. If that happens, you are strongly advised to accept the tenancy and request a review if you feel that the Council assessment is wrong. If you refuse the property, the Council may decide it has discharged its duty to you. If that happens, you would be removed from the register, and any future assistance would be advice only.
If you accept the offer of social housing, your housing register application will subsequently be closed as you would be deemed adequately housed. Once removed from the register, you may not re-join for 24 months commencing the date of the offer of accommodation unless you meet the housing priorities set out in Priority Bands, One, Two, Three or Four of the Allocations Policy.