Bidding for homes

Once you are on the housing register, the next step is to bid (apply) to rent one of the properties that we advertise. You must bid a home in order to be considered for it.

All available homes are advertised:

How to bid

You can let us know you're interested in an advertised property by bidding. In addition to this, you can also withdraw a bid during the same cycle period that a property is advertised in. However you cannot withdraw a bid after the cycle has closed.

The chances of being successful will be greatly improved if you widen the choice of properties that you bid for each week. 

Bid online

You can bid online by using the Tower Hamlets homeseekers website.

What happens once I have made a bid?

When bidding has closed, we review all the bids and sort them according to the priorities outlined in the Tower Hamlets Allocation scheme. Once we have made our decision, we will contact the successful applicant to arrange a property viewing.

Due to the vast number of bids we receive per property, we are unfortunately unable to contact unsuccessful bidders.

What happens if I am offered a property?

Confirming your circumstances

Firstly, we will need to make checks to ensure that your circumstances haven't changed since you joined the list or made the bid, e.g. you are not in rent arrears, the members of your family have not moved.

Viewing and acceptance

You will have an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you want to accept it or not. You are expected to make a decision as soon as possible, but normally no later than the day after you view the property. There are consequences to unreasonably missing viewings or refusing offers, please see below.

Moving in

If you view a property on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, you will usually be expected to move into it on the following Monday. If you view the property on Thursday or Friday, you will usually be expected to move in on the second Monday after the viewing.

If you have viewed a property that is not yet ready to move into, we will let you know when you can expect to move in to it.

Can I refuse a property I've been offered?

You should only bid for properties that you are willing to accept, if offered.

If you refuse more than three  homes that are offered to you, there will be a 12 month demotion to the bottom of the band your application sits in. In addition, this penalty will be repeated every time you refuse any subsequent offers.

For more information, please take a look at the allocation scheme.

Is there a penalty if I refuse or don't attend a viewing?

You must tell us if you are not able or not prepared to attend a viewing, giving at least 24 hours’ notice. If you do not attend a viewing and haven't given us notice, we will take this to mean that you have refused the property, unless there are very good reasons.

Applicants registered as homeless

If you are registered with the Homeless Service and do not view a property, you could lose your temporary accommodation, meaning you may no longer be entitled help from the council with your housing circumstances. Please contact your homeless team for more information.

Priority applicants

  • If you are offered a home as an emergency case on medical grounds and refuse the offer unreasonably, your priority will be withdrawn and you will be placed in Band 1 Group B as a priority medical case.
  • If your application is in priority social category Group A or B, or a priority target group in Band 1 Group B and you refuse an offer unreasonably, your priority will be withdrawn. 

You can ask us to review the decision to withdraw any priority award. We will consider every review on its merits.  Please see the allocation scheme appendix 3 – right of review, for more information.

Further information

Lettings Customer Services Team

Tel: 020 7364 2826