Bid for properties


Hackney Choice is a choice based lettings scheme allowing applicants on the housing waiting/transfer list to have greater control over where they live. You can apply for advertised properties, rather than wait to be allocated a home.

To bid for properties you must be on the housing register list. To start looking for a home through Hackney Choice, follow the steps below:

  1. Download and complete the registration form and have your required original documents ready
  2. Take the form and your documents to Housing Needs Service, Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, Hackney E8 1DY. (We suggest you don't send your documents in the post)
  3. Book an appointment to see a Housing Options Officer using the contact details on this page
  4. Get a reference number (you'll receive it once your application has been processed)
  5. Bid for properties on the East London Lettings Company website 

Completed the steps already?

Bid for properties

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How to use Hackney Choice? 

For detailed information about bidding for a home through Hackney Choice, follow these links:

What is Choice Based Lettings (CBL)?

CBL is the way the Council lets its homes and is called Hackney Choice. It affects everyone on the housing waiting and transfer list.

Those on the list can choose which property they would like to live in. Hackney Choice advertises available homes for rent from the Council and Registered Social Landlords.

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How to register on the scheme

If you are not currently a Council tenant, you must complete a housing register form. If you are a Council tenant, ask your local neighbourhood office for a transfer form. 

Q: Am I eligible to apply for housing?

A: There are some who may not apply for housing. The law says that we cannot allocate housing to people who are:

  • subject to immigration control (asylum seekers, those who have been refused leave to remain in the UK, and have no recourse to public funds)

The law also allows the Council to exclude from housing:

  • people whose behaviour has been unacceptable (anti-social behaviour or/and rent arrears)
  • people who have no local connection to Hackney
  • people who can afford private renting

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How we assess your application

We use a points system to decide how soon we can address your housing needs. We calculate a points total based on your circumstances. Applications are then placed in five 'priority bands', which will help you to see how soon we can help you to find a home.

Detailed explanation about how we make our assessment.

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How to view details of available properties 

You can view details of available properties on the East London Lettings Company site. 

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

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How to bid for a home

Anyone with an active application on the housing register/transfer list is allowed to bid.

You can start bidding once your application form has been processed and you have received a letter confirming your registration number. Here is how to bid:

  • go to the East London Lettings Company website
  • click on 'log in' and enter your housing registration number and date of birth
  • browse available properties
  • check your queue position by clicking on "show queue position"
  • to bid for a property, go to the property advert and click on 'apply'
  • check what you have bid on and change your bids anytime before midnight on Monday


  • you must have your registration number to bid
  • you can bid for one property a week
  • you can only bid for the number of bedrooms we have assessed you need (or one bedroom less if the landlord is Hackney)

Also, you may not be successful and should seek further advice if: 

  • you have rent arrears
  • you have any record of anti social behaviour
  • you don't have a local connection to Hackney
  • you have sufficient income to rent privately or purchase housing 

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Bidding penalties

We have introduced penalties to ensure that you only bid and rent properties that you really want.

Q: Who will be affected?

A: Everyone on the housing waiting list - if you don't attend viewing appointments or refuse an offer of a property that is considered as suitable for you.

Q: What happens if I don't bid for any properties?

A: We will write to you to find out why you are not bidding. Following this, we may make a direct offer of suitable accommodation. 

Q: What happens if I bid for a property but can't attend the viewing appointment?

A: If you have a valid reason for not attending and let us know a day before, we will take this into consideration. However, if you fail to attend the viewings for two different properties, we will suspend your application for 12 months and you will not be able to bid during this time. 

Q: What can I do if I disagree with my suspension?

A: We will send you a letter telling you that your application has been suspended. You will also be notified of your right to appeal the decision.

Q: Will my case be suspended automatically when I fail to attend a second viewing appointment?

A: Yes.

Q: What happens if I change my mind about a property I have bid for?

A: This will not be a valid reason for missing a viewing or turning the property down. You will have four days (Friday to Monday) in which to make a decision about accepting the property. 

Q: What happens if I refuse a property I am in first position for?

A: Your reason for refusing the offer of the accommodation will be considered and a decision will be made whether the accommodation is suitable for your needs. If it is decided that the accommodation is unsuitable, then the offer of the accommodation will be withdrawn.

Q: What happens if I do not accept the offer of a property that I bid for?

A: Your reason for refusing the offer will be considered and a decision will be made whether the accommodation is suitable for your needs. If it is decided that the accommodation is suitable for you and it is the first offer of accommodation that you have refused, you will be advised of the consequences of refusing a further offer of suitable accommodation.

Q: What if I do not attend a viewing I am in fifth position for?

A: It will still be considered as failure to view. If you bid for a property and are invited to view, you must attend regardless of your position on the list unless you have a valid reason as to why you cannot attend.

Q: Why can I only bid for one property per week?

A: This will give more chance to other applicants on the waiting list to successfully bid for properties and to focus your mind on the property that you really want.

Q: What will happen if a statutory homeless priority applicant fails to view a property?

A: If you fail to view two properties consecutively, your application will be suspended, so that you are no longer able to bid for properties advertised on the Hackney Choice Based Lettings system. You will be made one direct offer of suitable accommodation. If you refuse the offer, we may carry out our obligations to find you accommodation. 

Q: What happens if a statutory homeless priority applicant fails to accept a property?

A: If you fail to accept two consecutive offers of suitable accommodation, we may carry out our obligations to find you accommodation.

Q: Will I receive any warnings?

A: Yes after you have failed to attend 1 viewing or not accepted the offer of a suitable accommodation, you will be notified in your next viewing letter of the possible consequences.

Q: What if my circumstances have changed by the time I attend the viewing?

A: Any change(s) in circumstances will be taken into consideration. 

Q: What happens if I do not receive my viewing letter?

A: We will investigate and check if other applicants invited to view the same property received their viewing letter or whether you have moved address and not notified us. In such instances, you may be penalised. However if we have made an error with your address then this will be considered when making a decision.

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How we decide the winning bids 

When bidding closes at midnight on Monday, we will have a computer-generated list of all the bidders for each property. The successful bidder will be the person in the highest band with the earliest date in that band. We then check to confirm you are eligible.

Following the checks, we contact the top five eligible bidders and invite them for a viewing. We usually contact them within a week by letter or phone.

Q: How will I know if my bid was successful?

A: We will contact you. The quickest and most reliable way is by phone, so please tell us if you change your number.

Sometimes all top bidders are shown around the property at the same time. This is called a 'multiple viewing'. You will be advised of your position before the viewing.

The person at the top of the list will be offered the property first. If it is refused, it will be offered to the next person on the list.

Q: Will you let me know about my bid(s) if I'm not successful? 

A: Unfortunately, no - as there are hundreds of bids every week - we are only able to tell winning bidders about their bids.

However, you can view your final bidding position on the webpage logging in and entering your housing registration number and date of birth.

Q: I was the top bidder, why wasn't I successful? 

A: You may not have been successful if you fall into the exclusion criteria.

Also, priority for ground floor or some first floor properties with lifts will be given to those assessed as needing them, if they are in the same band as the highest bidders.

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Affordable rents properties

From April 2012, a proportion of housing association properties will be advertised at the government's new Affordable Rent tenure, instead of at social rents which is the tenure of all Hackney Council properties.

More about affordable rent properties.

Housing Moves scheme

If you want to move to another council property within London, you might benefit from the Mayor of London's Housing Moves scheme. All council tenants and housing association tenants can apply under the scheme, as long as they have a secure or assured tenancy.

The Mayor of London also runs a scheme to help tenants who are aged 60 and over to move to other parts of the country from London. You can find out more on the Seaside and Country Homes site.

You can also can get paid for downsizing - households moving from properties that have more bedrooms than they need, may benefit from our cash incentive scheme.

More information about Housing Moves, moving to the countryside and downsizing.

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Page updated: 20/03/2016 21:40:23