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How to bid for properties 

How do I know if I'm eligible to bid? 

Anyone with an active application on the housing register/transfer list is allowed to bid. Find out how you can add yourself to the register.

Although you may be entitled to bid, you may not be successful and should seek further advice if any of the following reasons apply:

  • 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. 

When can I start to bid? 

Once your application form has been processed and you have received a letter confirming your registration number. You will not be able to make any bids without this information. 

How do I bid? 

There are five ways of bidding:

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Online 

You can bid online on the East London Lettings Company website. Click on 'log in' and then enter your housing registration number and date of birth. You can view all the properties there. When viewing a property do not forget to check your queue position by clicking on "show queue position." To bid for a property, go to the property advert and click on 'apply'. 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 Hackney). You can check the properties you have bid for and change your bids anytime until bidding closes on Monday at midnight. 

24-hour multi lingual phone line 

To bid by phone you call 0845 650 4125. An automated service will take you through the bidding and you can choose from 14 languages. You will need to have your housing registration number ready, your date of birth, and the property reference number(s) you want to bid for. You will then be advised of your place in the bidding queue for each property.  Please note that this is your position in the queue at the time you made the bid, not the final position.

You are charged the cost of a local call if you are ringing from a landline or the standard call rates from a mobile phone. 

Text message 

To bid by text, send a message to 0778 148 6526 stating your housing registration number, your date of birth, and the property reference number(s) you want to bid for.

It costs 10p per text. 

In person at a Council housing office 

To bid at a Council office (Hackney Service Centre or your neighbourhood housing office), take your housing registration number, your date of birth, and the property reference number(s) you want to bid for and a member of staff will place the bid(s) for you.  

Touch screen kiosk 

To bid using a kiosk you need details of your housing registration number and your date of birth in order to log in. You can then view all the properties available. Do not forget to check your queue position by clicking on "show queue position." To bid, go to the property advert and click on 'apply'. 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). You can check the properties you have bid for and change your bids anytime until bidding closes on Monday at midnight.  The kiosks are located at neighbourhood offices, Hackney Service Centre, Cashiers and some community organisations.

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When can I bid? 

You may register your bid at any time during the bidding cycle, which starts at 00.01 hours on Friday and finishes at 24.00 hours on Monday. There is no advantage to bidding early. 

Is it important to bid early in the cycle? 

No, there is no advantage to bidding early. The computer will make a list of all the bidders for each property according to band and date.   

How many bids can I make? 

You can bid for a maximum of one property per week 

When registering my bids, why is it important to check my queue position for each property? 

This will tell you how many applicants are in front of you in the queue for a particular property at the time you are making your bid. This may change as others bid for the property after you. You may find it useful to check your queue position later on Monday to see the progress of your bid. You can check your final position when the bidding cycle closes.

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How can I check that I have made a bid? 

You can check your bidding position on the internet, using a kiosk or the multi lingual phone line.

On the internet go to 'log in' and enter your housing registration number and date of birth. Your position for any bids made in the current week will be shown on the page entitled 'your account'.

Please note: It will only show your position at that time, and may change as other people make their bids depending on whether their priority is higher than yours. 

Are there any restrictions? 

Only those with an active application on the housing waiting/transfer list in Hackney can bid for Hackney properties.

There are a limited number of properties available that are not in Hackney.

You can only bid for the number of bedrooms we have assessed you need, based on the information given in your application form, or one bedroom less. If you think you need more bedrooms you need to check that we have a correct record of the number of people in your family.

Some housing is restricted to people over a certain age. This will be clearly stated in the advert.

Wheelchair standard housing is only for people who are wheelchair users.

All applicants can bid for ground floor or some first floor properties with lifts, but priority will be given to those assessed according to their needs and in the highest band, regardless of band date. 

I don't live in Hackney, can I still bid? 

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, we can arrange to send you the magazine. If you are in temporary accommodation, contact your temporary accommodation link officer to register for this service. You can then bid using the phone line, sending a text or using the internet. 

Can I bid for a property that's not in Hackney? 

There are very limited opportunities. Other boroughs in the East London Lettings Company do have a few properties each week. So, you may see a property advertised in the Hackney section from the London Boroughs of Newham, Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Havering. These are clearly marked with a CB symbol which stands for 'cross borough'.

If you wish to consider moving out of London, contact the Mobility Team on 020 8356 2929.

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Do I have to bid if I am living in temporary accommodation? 

Yes, it is the only way to find a permanent home. If you do not bid you cannot be rehoused. 

Can I bid for properties that are suitable for wheelchair users? 

Wheelchair standard housing is only for people who are wheelchair users. These properties are identified by a wheelchair symbol on a pink background.

Bids for wheelchair standard housing will only be accepted from people we know who are wheelchair users.  

Level access properties, some of which might be called 'mobility standard' or 'lifetime homes' are suitable for someone with impaired mobility who perhaps uses a wheelchair outdoors. These properties are identified by a wheelchair symbol on a white background.

Properties with an adaptation, e.g. level access shower, will not attract a wheelchair symbol as these homes may not always be suitable for someone with a disability. The information will therefore be in the wording.

Please contact the Special Needs Housing Team on 020 8356 5716 for further information.  

Do you have homes for older people? 

Yes. All available low level support sheltered accommodation is advertised as part of Hackney Choice. You may bid for these properties in the normal way.

The qualifying conditions for each scheme, e.g. age, mobility etc may vary but it will be clearly stated in the advertised information.

Older people who do not need any support are welcome to apply for sheltered accommodation.

Older people needing high levels of support can access appropriate accommodation through Hackney's Community Services with an assessed care package.

Contact Hanover in Hackney on 020 8525 5031 for more information.

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Can someone bid on my behalf? 

Yes, you can give your details to someone else if you would like them to bid for you.

You can ask for assisted bidding if you feel unable to bid yourself. We can also arrange for bids to be placed automatically for you each week based on your particular requirements, including property type, number of areas, floor in the building, garden, sheltered, mobility standard and other details.  

Contact 020 8356 2135 or hackneychoice@hackney.gov.uk for further assistance.

If you are an existing tenant, the staff at your neighbourhood office can help you to bid. 

How long will I have to wait before I can view a property? 

This depends on which band you have been placed in and your band date. You must bid for properties as this is the only way to be considered for permanent housing. Demand for homes far outweighs the supply.

I am unable to leave the house  

We can send the magazine to you, to register for this service contact: 020 8356 2135. You can also bid on the East London Lettings Company website.

Can I use the system in another language? 

Information is available in the following 14 languages on the East London Lettings Company website and the special kiosks:

  • Albanian
  • Bengali
  • Bosnian/Serbo Croat
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • Gujarati
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Tamil
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

The 24-hour multi-lingual phone line also has these language options and is available from Friday morning (midnight Thursday) to midnight on Monday. The number is: 0845 650 4125.

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I have a visual impairment 

The East London Lettings Company website has a facility called 'browse aloud' which will speak the text aloud to you. The software for this is available free on the internet.  

I have a hearing impairment 

Information in British Sign Language is available on the East London Lettings Company website and at kiosks.  

I am suffering harassment / Domestic Violence 

If you are a Council tenant: 

  • Your housing officer will interview you and using the racial harassment procedure investigate your case;
  • Various steps can be taken against the perpetrator, including written warnings and legal action that may lead to a conviction or eviction;
  • If you feel unsafe in your home the Council may offer you emergency accommodation.

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If you are not a Council tenant: 

  • You are still entitled to receive help from the Council at the Housing Advice and Homeless Centre. You can also seek legal advice from a Solicitor who has experience in race relations and housing;
  • The Council may be able to assist in moving you to another area; however, these are mostly in the private sector. Housing staff will give you information and advice about making an application to another borough;
  • You may register on the housing waiting/ transfer list in order to bid for alternative accommodation.  

Where to get help: 

  • Hackney Council Domestic Violence & Hate Crime Team. Call free on 0800 056 0905
  • Your local Housing Office in Hackney
  • Housing Advice and Homelessness Centre, Christopher Addison House, 72 Wilton Way, Hackney E8 1EA
  • Police- Community Safety Unit on 0207 275 3696
  • Hackney Citizens Advice Bureau, 236 - 238 Mare Street, E8 1HE
  • Dalston Citizens Advice Bureau, 491 - 493 Kingsland Road, E8 4AU
  • Hackney Law Centre, 236 - 238 Mare Street, E8 1HE  
  • Victim Support, 33 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1PL
  • North London Muslim Centre, 66 - 68 Cazenove Road, N16 6AA
  • Asian Women Advisory Service on 020 8800 7263
  • Daymer - Turkish & Kurdish community on 020 7275 8440
  • London Irish Women Centre, 59 Stoke Newington Church High Street, N16 OAR
  • Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) on 020 7939 0001  

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Page updated: 19 Sep 2012 


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Contact details

Choice Based Lettings
Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY
Opening Times
Mon to Fri: 9am - 5pm.
Email: hackneychoice@hackney.gov.uk
Tel:020 8356 2135
Fax:020 8356 5763

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