Bid for social housing

How to bid for social housing

Use your bidding number to bid for homes on the East London Lettings Company.

You can bid for:

  • one property a week
  • the number of bedrooms you have been assessed as needing, or one bedroom less if Hackney is the landlord

Properties are advertised every week from Friday morning (midnight on Thursday) to midnight on Monday.

You can bid at any time in the bidding period. There is no benefit to bidding early in the bidding period. If you’re the first person to bid for a property it may appear that you’re the leading bid, but this isn’t correct. You need to wait for the bidding period to end to learn your final bidding position. You may find that your bidding position drops over the course of the bidding period as other people on the housing register submit their bids for the same property.

Bid for social housing

The Hackney bidding information (PDF 350kb) is a printable guide on how to bid for Hackney properties.

Successfully bid for a property

Bidding successfully depends on how often you bid and the type of property that you bid for. 

See estimated times to successfully bid for a property

Finding a privately rented home is a quicker option to find somewhere suitable to live.

After bidding closes

When bidding closes on Monday the bids received for each property are ranked according to our allocation policy. 

If you have bid you can view your final queue position on the East London Lettings’ Company website.

The successful bidder is the person in the highest band with the earliest date in that band.

Before we invite the successful bidders to view the property we check to ensure the:

  • bidders’ circumstances haven’t changed
  • property is still suitable for them

If a property is no longer suitable for the successful bidder then they’re not invited to a viewing and we move on to the next highest bidder. There are a number of reasons a property may no longer be suitable, but it’s often because someone has joined or left the household or someone has had a new child. This is why it’s important you tell us if your situation changes.

We contact the top 5 short-listed bidders and invite them for a viewing. We aim to contact the top five eligible bidders within a week by phone or letter. We don’t contact unsuccessful bidders.

Sometimes all of the top bidders attend a viewing at the same time. This is called a ‘multiple viewing’. We advise you of your position in the queue before attending a multiple viewing.

The bidder at the top of the queue is offered the property first. They have four days (Friday to Monday) to decide if they want to accept the property. If the person at the top of the queue does not accept the property then it’s offered to the next person on the list.

Problems when bidding for a property 

The most common reasons you cannot bid for a property include:

  • You’re trying to bid outside of the bidding cycle – you can only bid from Friday to Monday. If you try to bid between Tuesday and Thursday you get a message that says “you’re not currently eligible for any properties”. Try again during the bidding cycle.
  • You’ve been shortlisted for a property – if you’re in the top five bidders your bidding account may have been suspended whilst we check your details and prepare to invite you to a viewing.
  • You’ve told us your details have changed – we may have suspended your bidding account whilst we update your details. 
  • You need to reset your password on the East London Lettings’ company website.

If you bid but can’t attend the viewing

If you bid for a home and you’re invited to a viewing then you are expected to attend. 

If you can’t attend you should contact us to let us know before the day of the viewing. If you don’t attend a viewing and can’t give us a valid reason why then you may be penalised. 

Changing your mind about a property is not a valid reason for not attending a viewing.

If you fail to attend two different viewings then we suspend your application for 12 months. This means you cannot bid for 12 months. You can appeal the suspension.

If you are statutory homeless and don’t attend a viewing without a valid reason then we can make you a direct offer of a property we consider suitable. We can discharge the main housing duty that we owe to you if you then refuse the property that is offered.

If you missed the viewing because you did not receive your viewing letter

Let us know that you did not receive your invite letter to avoid the penalties of not attending a viewing.

We will investigate and check if other applicants invited to view the same property received their viewing letter. We also check whether you’ve moved address and not notified us. 

If you are offered a property but refuse to accept it

You must tell us why you’re refusing the property. 

If the property is suitable for your household then you’re advised of the consequences of refusing a further offer of suitable accommodation. 

If you don’t think the property is suitable then you have the right to request a review of suitability.

If you’re statutory homeless and refuse to accept a suitable property then the main housing duty will end. This means that:

  • our duty to secure you with accommodation as a homeless person will end – we notify you of this in writing
  • We’ll ask you to move out of temporary accommodation
  • you’re no longer considered homeless on our housing register – unless you fall into another category of housing need then it’s likely you’re removed from the housing register and can no longer bid

If you’re statutory homeless and thinking about refusing an offered property then we recommend you seek independent advice. See the housing charity Shelter –  Final offers of housing when homeless

Page updated on: 5 January 2024

Hackney Choice Based Lettings


Opening times

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 9am to 5pm (telephone)
  • Wednesday – 9am to 4pm (telephone)