Bid for a home: frequently asked questions

  • Who can bid on a property?

    Households who have successfully applied to join the council’s housing register are eligible to bid for social housing. Further information or to apply to join the housing register

  • What do I need to bid?

    Before you can bid, you will need to register for My Account and then register for a Housing Online account. To register for Housing Online, you will be prompted to input your name, date of birth and one of the following pieces of information: housing application reference, rent account reference (if H&F tenant) or person reference number.

    You can find this information on correspondence we will have previously sent you. If you are unable to locate correspondence with this information, you can contact our customer service centre via the following ways:

    For further information on how to register, following this link to our Housing Online user guides.

  • What if I have forgotten my login details?

    If you have forgotten your login details, you should first try recovering your log-in details via the Housing Online log-in page. If you are not able to recover your log-in details, you can contact our customer service centre via the following ways:

  • How do I bid on a property?

    Bidding for a property is easy!  We have created some helpful step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process. 

    Please follow this link to access our Housing Online user guides.

  • What is a bid?

    A bid is your expression of interest for an advertised property. You are telling us that you are interested in and willing to accept the property if it is offered to you.

  • When can I bid?

    You can bid anytime while the bidding cycle is open, which begins every Wednesday at 10am and ends on Sunday at midnight.    

  • How many times can I bid?

    You can bid for a maximum of 3 properties during each weekly bidding cycle. 

  • What is the best time to bid?

    There is no best time to bid. When you place your bid, you will be given a bid position for that property which will change as more people bid. Your banding and priority start date determines the final bid position for any property you have bid on. There is no advantage to bidding early in the bidding cycle. 

  • What happens if I do not bid?

    Bid for a home provides you with an opportunity to express an interest in where you want to live. If you do not bid, you will miss the opportunity to move to the property or area of your choice. Bidding ensures the property that is offered to you is the one you want.

    The council will review bidding activity and reserves the right to make a direct offer of housing to you. Some applicants will have restrictions on the number of offers they may receive and/or have limited time to secure a move through Bid for a Home, however we will advise you accordingly.   

  • What will be my final bid position?

    Once you have placed a bid, you can check your bid position during the bidding cycle. You can also see your final queue position after the cycle has closed. You can view this once you have accessed Bid for a Home, by clicking “Actions” and then “Current bids”.

    For a guide on how to check your bid position please see our Housing Online user guides.

  • How do I check my bidding history?

    You can do this on this via Bid for a Home. You can see your current bids with your bid position as well as properties you have bid on in the past. You view once you have accessed Bid for a Home, by clicking “Actions”, then “Current bids” and then “Bid history”.

  • Can I change my mind and withdraw my bid(s)?

    You may withdraw any or all of your bids during the bidding cycle in which the property is advertised. You cannot withdraw your bid once the advertising cycle closes.

    Place your bids carefully and only place bids for homes you are interested in. If your bid is successful and you are offered the property, we will count this as an offer of suitable housing. 

    You should consider visiting the area and checking out the location before making a bid so that you are sure that you are interested. You can withdraw a bid up to the closing date, but not afterwards. Only bid on properties if you are sure you would accept an offer if you are the successful bidder.

    For a guide on how to withdraw a bid, see our Housing Online user guides.

  • How do we decide who is offered a property? 

    Once the bidding cycle has ended, up to five households may be invited to view the property. The property will be offered in strict order of priority Band and time spent in the Band. 

    Properties may be advertised with restrictions. For example, ground floor properties may only be open to applicants who cannot manage any stairs. Some properties may have medical adaptations such as a level access shower, or wet floor areas. Applicants who need those adaptations will be prioritised for those homes. In the advert, we will be very clear about any restrictions or conditions that will apply.

  • How will I know if my bid was successful?

    If your bid was successful, you will receive an offer to view the property, normally within 10 working days of the bidding closing date. 

  • Will I be contacted even if my bid is not successful?

    Our aim is to contact successful applicants within 10 working days of the void cycle closing. If you have not been contacted, you have not been successful.    

  • Can I refuse an offer?

    If you have bid for a property, and been made an offer of that property, we will expect you to accept the tenancy. If you do not, you will have the opportunity to provide reasons as to why the property is not suitable for you.  The Council will consider your refusal reasons and tell you whether it accepts your reasons or if the offer will count. If we decide that the offer is suitable, this will count as a formal offer. 

  • What is a direct offer?

    A direct offer is when the council makes an offer of housing directly to an applicant on the council’s housing register.

    Direct offers may be made in cases of emergency or in pursuance of a statutory duty.  

  • How do I update my medical needs, or add or remove someone from my application? 

    You need to inform us if your circumstances have changed so that we can carry out a reassessment.  For example, we will need to do this if your household has increased in size (you have a new baby), if your medical needs have changed, or if family members have left or joined the household. 

    To inform us of a change to your circumstances, you need to complete and submit a Change of Circumstances form.

  • If I accept an offer, will I need to move in straight away?

    Most council tenancies will start on the Monday following your sign-up appointment. The housing officer at your sign up will advise you of your new tenancy start date.

    Please use the time between the viewing and sign up / tenancy starting to pack, arrange your removals and obtain any items such as white goods (fridge, freezer, washing machine and oven).   

  • What happens if I need more time to make arrangements to move?

    If you need more time to make arrangements to move, this should be discussed with your housing officer before you sign the tenancy agreement at the tenancy sign up. In exceptional circumstances, a tenancy start date delay may be agreed e.g., if the property needs to be specially adapted for you. 

  • Where can I find more information on how the council allocates properties? 

    For full details of the council’s lettings policy, please see the council’s Housing Allocation Scheme.

Auto-bid FAQs

  • What is Auto-bid? 

    Auto-bid is a smart feature within Bid for a Home that allows the system to bid on your behalf. The system will automatically place up to 3 bids each week on eligible properties which match your chosen property preferences. 

  • Who can use Auto-bid? 

    Auto-bid can be enabled by households with a current Housing Register application and have registered for Housing Online.

  • How do I opt into Auto-bid and choose my property preferences?

    To opt in and select your preferences, you will need to complete the online Auto-bid Preferences form through our website at Bid for a home.

  • What are the benefits of using Auto-bid?

    Opting into Auto-bid means you are telling us that you want the system to bid on your behalf, so that you do not have to. If you find that you do not have the time each week to bid on properties yourself, or if you don’t have access to a digital device, you may want to consider opting into Auto-bid. 

  • Can someone help me complete the Auto-bid form?

    Yes. Try asking a friend, family member or support worker to help you complete the Auto-bid form. You will need to provide them with your housing register application reference number so they can complete the form.

    Our officers can also help you complete this form and select your property preferences. Call us on 020 8753 1888 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) so we can help. 

  • What preferences can I choose from?

    If you opt into using Auto-bid, you will need to select your property preferences for the following:

    • General Housing, Sheltered Housing, or both
    • Areas within the borough, as well as out of borough Maximum floor level where a building has a lift
    • Maximum floor level where a building does not have a lift
    • Wheelchair adapted
    • Access to a garden
  • What if I don’t like the property Auto-bid has chosen for me?

    Auto-bid will only bid on properties which match your expressed preferences, with bids placed on your behalf at the beginning of the weekly bidding cycle. You can choose to withdraw a bid placed by Auto-bid, anytime during the cycle. If the cycle has ended, you can update your Auto-bid preferences for the next bidding cycle. 

  • Can I refuse a property that Auto-bid has chosen for me?

    If you have opted into Auto-bid and you are made an offer of housing which matches your auto-bid preferences, this will be treated as if you bid for the property yourself and we will expect you to accept the tenancy. 

    If you do not, you will have the opportunity to provide reasons as to why the property is not suitable for you.  The Council will consider your refusal reasons and tell you whether it accepts your reasons or if the offer will count. If we decide that the offer is suitable, this will count as a formal offer. 

  • What else should I know about Auto-bid before deciding to use it? 

    Your Auto-bid preferences may lead to a longer waiting time for an offer. This is because the system will wait to bid on properties that meet all of your preferences. For example, if you indicate that you are looking for a home with a garden, AutoBid will only bid on homes with gardens, even if other properties with the right number of bedrooms are available.  

  • Do you have any tips on reducing the waiting times for rehousing?

    In our experience, shorter waiting times can be achieved if you can be flexible and open to rehousing offers without restrictions


Translate this website