How Do You Move From Private Rent To Council Housing?

If you are wondering how you can move from private renting to council housing, you will find the answer to your question in the following blog post. We will not only discuss the process of moving from private rent to council housing but also analyse the pros and cons of such a move.

How Do You Move From Private Rent To Council Housing?

The process of moving from private rent to council housing can be a lengthy and complicated one. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account, such as the following:

  • your current financial situation 
  • your housing needs 
  • your eligibility for council housing

In most cases, tenants choose to apply for council housing when they are unable to afford their privately rented property. This can either be due to a fall in income through earnings and benefits or a rising cost of living. However, moving into a council house is not based on one’s choice but their ability to meet the eligibility criteria for council housing.

This is the reason why, the first step in the process is to research your options and find out if you are eligible for council housing. The basic eligibility criteria for council housing include the following:

  • the applicant(s) must be a British citizen, a European Economic Area (EEA) national, or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • they must be in need of housing, for example, if they are homeless, living in overcrowded or unsanitary conditions, or have a medical condition that requires them to live in a specific type of housing
  • the applicant’s household income must be below a certain level to qualify for council housing 

If you are eligible for council housing, the next step is to fill out an application form and submit it to your local authority. Once your application has been processed, you will be informed by your local council office whether your application is approved or rejected. If your application for council housing is approved you will be placed on a waiting list based on the priority rank assigned to you by your local council authority. 

However, the waiting list for council can be a long one and it is not necessary that you will be able to find a council house that meets your housing needs. Therefore, applicants would need to be patient until their priority ranking for council housing increases. 

In the meantime, one can look for other affordable housing options that may be more suitable for their needs.

What Is The Process For Moving From Private Rent To Council Housing?

The application process for council housing is different for each local authority. Generally, you must fill out an application form, provide supporting documents, and submit it to your local council. The application form is usually simple; you can find it on your local council’s website.

You will have to provide proof of identity, proof of earnings and a bank statement. You will need to provide evidence that you have made reasonable attempts to find private rental accommodation, as well as proof of your current housing situation. You will also need to disclose any information regarding housing benefit payments or other benefits you have been receiving.

Once your application is submitted, it will be assessed. The council will look at your individual circumstances and decide whether or not you are eligible for council housing. You may also need to attend an interview to provide further information. Once your application is approved, you will be placed on a housing waiting list for your local area.

Council housing is in high demand, and waiting times can vary from a few weeks to several years, depending on the availability of housing in your area and your priority level. While waiting for an offer, you may need to continue renting privately or stay with family or friends.

Once the council offers you a property, you will need to decide whether to accept or decline the offer. The offer will usually be for one property, and you will have a limited time to decide whether to accept it.

If you accept the offer, you will need to sign a tenancy agreement and pay a deposit and other fees. You will then be able to move into the council property and start your new tenancy.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Private Renting Versus Council Housing?

Renting a property from a private landlord has both advantages and disadvantages when compared to living in a council house.

The main advantage is that you typically have more independence and control over the selection of your home and the features that come with it. Also, applications for private renting are generally easier and faster to obtain and require fewer documents than those for council housing. 

On the other hand, private renting isn’t always an affordable option. Often, private landlords will try to get the highest amount of rent out of their tenants, which can make renting unaffordable.

When it comes to council housing, the main advantage is that it is usually much more affordable than private renting. Also, in most cases, the selection process is more organised and structured. In addition, you also have the added benefit of having access to a number of services and facilities offered by the local council.

However, the downside of council housing is that the waiting list might be quite long and you may be unable to move quickly. You are also not able to choose where you live, or the features of any home you get.


Moving from private renting to council housing can have a significant impact on your life, but it can provide more security and stability in the long term. It’s important to carefully consider your options and seek advice if you are unsure about the process.


Moving from private to a housing association — MoneySavingExpert Forum

Getting a council home – Citizens Advice

Renting Council and Social Housing