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 for a home in order to be considered for it.
Very few properties become available to let. Of those that do, there are usually hundreds of people on the housing register bidding for the same property.
Properties on lower floor levels attract more bids.
Unless you are a high priority, you may be better off looking for alternative housing such as private rented accommodation.
You can also find out more using our Housing Options finder.
How do you bid?
Everyone must bid online on the Tower Hamlets Homeseekers website.
If you do not have access to a computer at home, our Idea Stores and libraries have free computer usage and internet access.
You can also bid on your mobile phone.
What do you need to make a bid?
You will need your bidding number.
You can find this on the letters and emails that we have sent you.
You can bid online for up to 3 properties a week
Find out how by following this step by step guide.
Properties are advertised every week from first thing Friday morning to midnight the following Thursday.
You can find all the currently available social homes in the borough on the Tower Hamlets Homeseekers website.
How does the bidding process work?
You can find out how it works and get bidding tips with the Tower Hamlets Homeseekers bidding guide.
What happens once you make 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 your bid is successful?
When bidding closes at midnight on Thursday the successful bidder will be the person in the highest band with the earliest date in that band.
This is subject to any restrictions as described in the advert and eligibility such as level of rent arrears.
You can view your final bidding position on the webpage by logging in and entering your housing registration number and date of birth.
We are only able to contact successful bidders about their bids and will arrange viewings directly the property is available to be viewed.
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.
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 you refuse an offered property?
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.
What happens if you fail to attend a viewing?
It will classed as a refusal unless you are able to give a reasonable reason why you could not attend.
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 your homelessness caseworker for more information. You can find contact details on letters or emails that we have sent you.
- 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.