If a candidate finds a suitable home and prefers it as their residence, they may inform the council of their intent by applying for it online. This is called “bidding”. Through this article, we will explore how to proceed with the next steps in the bidding process as well as priority criteria for council housing. 

What Is Bidding Queue Position On Council Homes?

Once your council housing application is approved, you will receive a letter from the council office confirming your position to be on the waiting list for council housing. This means that you will not be allotted a council property immediately and will be part of a bidding queue.

Each week, there will be council properties advertised on the housing website (details of which will be shared with you by your council authorities). If you find a property according to your needs, you can place a bid on it. Similarly, there may be other bidders offering their interest to avail the property.

Depending on the Band assigned to you in your council housing confirmation letter, you will be assigned a bidding queue position that determines your level of priority to be considered during the bidding process as well as your banding date. This means that a council housing claimant who is assigned Band A and was approved earlier will be allotted a council house based on their bid earlier than someone who is assigned Band B and had their application approved much later.

Individuals with emergency needs such as medical conditions or disabilities will have a higher bidding queue position for council housing and will be allotted Band A. Meanwhile, those who may have less extraordinary circumstances will be assigned Band B.

To improve their bidding position, applicants may follow the tips given here:

  • Remain open and flexible: If you have requested a three-bedroom council house in your application while you are being offered a two-bedroom one, do consider it. If your children are younger, perhaps they can share a bedroom for some time and as they grow up you may re-apply for a larger space. 
  • Communicate with the council regularly: If there are changes to your living conditions or employment status, an increase in the health needs of your family members, or someone from your household has decided to move out or move in with you, do share these changes with your council office as it affects your housing needs as well as the council hosing priority allotted to you by authorities. 
  • Confirm your band allotment: Depending on the personal circumstance stated in the council housing application, councils assign priority bands to applicants with some of them being assigned a higher band for higher priority and a lower band for lower priority. While these bands are assigned by local councils, you must check if you have been assigned the correct band based on the information that you have provided. If you disagree with your band allotment, you can provide evidence and negotiate with the authorities to increase your priority level.
  • Use your housing bids wisely: Once your council housing application is accepted, you will be allowed to bid online on available properties. Applicants can bid thrice per advertising cycle. You must make the best use of this window of opportunity to bid on suitable properties so that a higher number of bids lead you to more options to choose from. At the same time, bid on suitable housing. If you need a single bedroom flat, it would not be advisable to bid on a larger property as it would be a waste of opportunity.

Who Gets Priority For Council Housing?

While each council has an individual allocation scheme to follow in terms of assigning priority to council housing applicants, claimants who fulfil any of the following criteria are expected to be higher on priority:

  • if someone is legally homeless 
  • they have to move homes due to a serious medical condition or disability
  • due to hardship-anything from medical treatment or potential danger to changing jobs
  • currently residing in an over-crowded house or under poor living conditions

As per a recent news report, Cherwell District Council: Foster parents and key workers to get higher priority for housing | Oxford Mail in some areas. Foster parents and adoptive parents are being assigned Band 1 to extend the maximum benefit to their children. In recognition of their work during the pandemic, key workers have been assigned Band 2 (The total number of bands is 4 with Band 1 being the highest on the priority list).

Why Can’t I Get A Council House?

According to an article titled How To Get A Council House Quicker: Our Top Tips And Tricks | PPO even after a claimant’s council housing application is accepted, it may take anywhere between 12 to 16 months to find a 2-bed council house and between 36 to 70 months to get a 4-bed house.

During this time, claimants remain on a waiting list and are informed as and when a suitable property becomes available for them. In case there is a change in their circumstances, claimants must inform their local council authorities of this.

Generally, each council has their own rules for the provision of council homes. This is called an “allocation scheme”; according to which applicants’ eligibility criteria and priorities are assigned.

However, as a basic rule, anyone who is above 18 years of age, low on income and savings can apply for council housing. Some councils also require a “local connection” of the applicant. This means that either they have lived in the vicinity for a number of years or they have a family or job in the area.

If someone’s council housing application is based on medical grounds (applicant’s personal condition or of an immediate family member) whether due to health reasons or disability, they are on a priority list for council housing and will be considered much earlier than others.

How Can I Apply For Council Housing?

To apply for council housing, candidates are required to apply to their local council (mostly online), which will then consider based on their criteria for awarding priority to those from certain demographics and or social classes. To find out details about your local council click on this link Find your local council

Even if the local council accepts and prioritizes the application, it does not mean that the applicant will be provided with occupancy rights immediately. They will simply be confirmed to be eligible and added to a waiting list. The time between application and occupancy varies from council to council and may also depend upon the size of the waiting list.

Candidates are advised to share as many relevant details as possible in their application and also include any supporting evidence to back up their claims. This may include medical reports or doctor’s notes, in case the application is being raised on medical grounds. 

Details of the following may be required:

  • income and/or benefits
  • employment history
  • long-term medical conditions or disabilities
  • savings 
  • assets in possession such as automobile
  • visas or immigration documents (if the applicant is not from the UK)

What Happens After A Home Is Offered?

Applicants will need to check with their local councils whether a place of residence will be chosen and assigned by the council or the residents be given the option to choose. In the case of the latter, once the application is approved, the local council may share an online platform where the process of “bidding” takes place.

The local council contacts candidates directly to inform them once they’ve been assigned a council home. Additionally, they also indicate the time frame that a candidate has to accept or refuse the premises being offered. There is usually a small window for candidates to respond before the council home is offered to someone else.

In the case of mutual agreement, a contract is drawn up and signed. Candidates may be offered a fixed-term contract (this may be for a year or more) or a long-term tenancy agreement. The council indicates the dates when occupants may move into the premises. They will also inform you of the dates when rent payments will be expected.

What Should I Do If My Application is Refused? 

In case of refusal of their application for council housing, candidates may challenge the decision by asking the local council for a review.

Decisions about priority bands assigned by the council as well those stating refusal for housing may be requested for review if the candidate carries substantial evidence to prove their claim. It is only with proof of supportive documents that an application may be challenged for review.

Conclusion:

Your bidding queue position on council is an estimation of how soon you may be allotted a council property to move into. This means that applicants with certain conditions will be assigned a higher priority as compared to those not facing severe challenges. You are advised to use your bids wisely as too many bids or too many refusals to recommended properties may delay the allotment of your council housing.

FAQs: What Is Bidding Queue Position On Council Homes?

What is a bid position?

A bid position is an indicator of how applicants rank in order of priority for council housing. Once their council housing application is approved, claimants will still have to stay on a waiting list and bid on recommended properties until they are allotted one to meet their needs.

What does your rank mean on housing bidding?

Your rank on housing bidding means your level of priority for council housing. This means that a council housing claimant who is assigned Band A and was approved earlier will be allotted a council house based on their bid earlier than someone who is assigned Band B and had their application approved much later.

What is the home choice queue position?

Your home choice queue position is based on the Band assigned to you for council housing as well as the effective date of your application. This means that a council housing claimant who is assigned Band A and was approved earlier will be allotted a council house based on their bid earlier than someone who is assigned Band B and had their application approved much later.

What does it mean to be shortlisted for a council house?

Once the bidding cycle completes, a list is made of all those applicants who have shown interest in a recommended property. This is being shortlisted for a council house.

How does council house bidding work?

If a candidate finds a suitable home and prefers it as their residence, they may inform the council of their intent by applying for it online. This is called “bidding”. Once your council housing application is approved, you will receive a letter from the council office confirming your position to be on the waiting list for council housing. This means that you will not be allotted a council property immediately and will be part of a bidding queue. Each week, there will be council properties advertised on the housing website (details of which will be shared with you by your council authorities). If you find a property according to your needs, you can place a bid on it. 

References:

Bidding and Shortlisting – Wiltshire.

Bidding Process – Homeseekers

How our choice-based letting system works | Swindon Borough Council

Crawley-Homechoice – Frequently Asked Questions

Getting a council home – Citizens Advice

Council housing – GOV.UK

How To Get A Council House Quicker: Our Top Tips And Tricks | PPO

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?