Frequently Asked Questions

Click the blue 'Register' button at the top right of the screen, that will take you to our online pre-assessment and housing application form. If you are eligible to apply, don't forget to send us any supporting information we ask for so that your application can be properly assessed.
The houses we advertise are mainly from councils and housing associations so, by law, we have to check that you are eligible to apply for housing. We also have to make sure we allocate tenancies fairly. By registering, we have the information we need to make sure that those who have the greatest need are given priority for housing.
Once you have submitted your application, it can take up to twelve weeks for it to be assessed. Your form will be passed to a member of the Lewisham FindYourHome Team who will review the information you have provided. You may be asked for supporting information before a decision can be made on your eligibility to the register. When a decision has been made, you will be sent an email or letter which will explain your banding, bedroom need and which Local Authorities you have a confirmed Local Connection to. This process can take up to 12 weeks. Once all proof documents have been received to verify your application, your application will be assessed in line with the New Allocation Policy and it you are eligible then you will be placed into Band 1, 2, 3 or 4. You will then be emailed advising you of your assessment in line with the policy. You can continue to bid for properties as normal whilst your application is being assessed.
You will be unable to start bidding on properties until your application has been assessed
By law councils and housing associations must let most of their vacant homes (“social rented housing”) to the people who are in the most housing need. The Find Your Home scheme closely follows the legal definition of housing need and Lewisham’s Allocation Policy determines who is eligible for social housing in Lewisham and the priority they should receive. Eligible applicants are placed on a “Housing Register”, and their priority is determined based on their current housing situation. Priority is awarded by placing applicants in Priority Bands. The Bands are: Band 1: Emergency Priority Band 2: High Priority Band 3: Medium Priority Band 4: Low Priority.
Please include details of your medical condition in your application. If we need any further information, we will get in touch with you to discuss this.
If you are a client of a Housing Association, you MUST contact them regarding any Change of Circumstances and not Lewisham Council.If something has changed since your application was last assessed, you should log in to your account and complete a medical form or a change of circumstances form, depending on what the change is. We will then reassess your application and let you know if your band changes.
You need to sign in first (if you are logging in for the first time you need to create a password and activate it from your email account). Once you have logged in, you should click 'View Homes' to see what properties you are eligible for. Click on the advert of any properties you want to bid on, check the details on the advert and make sure it's a property you're interested in, and click the 'Place Bid' button.
You can only bid for properties that are eligible for your housing needs
Once the bidding closes, staff will start to process the shortlist. This can happen from a few days to a few weeks after the shortlist closing. If you click on My Bids, you can see the outcome of the bids you have placed and whether you were successful or not.
It does not make any difference whether you bid first or last that week – as long as your bid is received by the deadline it goes onto the list in the correct position. The shortlist is confirmed by preference group first, banding, then priority date. Those who are not eligible for that property (e.g. if they are informed that the person has high rent arrears or they do not meet the landlords’ lettings policy, or the property advertised specified the family should have at least 2 children and they only have 1) are discounted.

The allocations officer starts at the top of the list and offers the property to the first bidder, unless there is some reason why they should not – for example if they are informed that the person has high rent arrears, or the property advert specified the family should have at least 2 children and they only have 1. We send 3 nominations unless they are a one offer only. We then notify the landlord of the shortlisted clients, who will then contact the client in due course to arrange a viewing. Those who are already first for, and offered, another property will not usually be offered a viewing of any other property until we have accepted their refusal of that one.

It all depends on what band you are in, how many bedrooms you need, and what you bid for. If you are in the top banding, Band 1, you could potentially wait a few months to a couple of years. If you are in Band 2, you wait anything between 1 year and 60 years (unless you are homeless then your wait time could be less). If you are in Band 3 you could wait anything between 4 years and 137 years (unless you are in Band 3 sheltered or homeless then your wait time could be less). If you are on Band 4 you could wait anything between 10 years to 150 years.

If you place restrictions on what you are prepared to accept, your wait will be longer than average. For example, if you bid only for houses and not for flats, only in private roads and not on estates, only for council and not for housing association homes, or only for 1-beds and not for studio flats, you will wait a lot longer because you are competing with more bidders who are also attracted to these kinds of home. The more bedrooms you require the fewer properties we have available. If you need disabled adaptations you may have to wait some time for a suitable property to come up, even if you have been put in one of the top bands.

You can check on the website your position in the queue for any of the properties you bid for (although not for bids in the current edition, before bidding closes). If you were in the first 10 or 20 for some properties but not for others this should give you some idea of the types of properties and areas for which you are getting nearer the top of the queue. If you were in the first 10 it’s possible that you may receive an offer to view it.
If you are in the top 5 or 10 eligible bidders for a property you may be invited to view it on a certain date and time. If you have any reason to think you might not receive this letter (e.g if your address has changed it will be required for you to contact the landlord that has offered the property to you, so that you can explain the reason why you are no longer at the address on your housing application) or you are staying temporarily in hospital or with a friend or relative, you will need to contact the professional that is supporting you to update them of this information.

 

Please note: It is a requirement for all clients that are on the housing register to keep their address and contact details up to date, by logging into their account and completing a change in circumstances form if you have changed address. If you have changed your telephone number, this can be edited on the front of your account page.
Due to the high number of bids, we do not contact people unless they are being invited to view a property.
Shortlisting is the process allocations officers go through when they look at their computer screen to see the list of bidders for a property. The shortlist is confirmed by preference group first, banding, then priority date and the allocation officer starts at the top of the list and offers the property to the first bidder, unless there is some reason why they should not – for example if they are informed that the person has high rent arrears or they do not meet the landlords’ lettings policy, or the property advertised specified the family should have at least 2 children and they only have 1.
If you have been successful on a bid, how long does it take before you are told? How are you told? There is no set time. We advertise properties at the earliest possible stage when we are pretty sure they are going to become available. Sometimes you will be notified within a few days of the bidding closing, in cases where a property is ready to view and we have already scheduled a viewing. At other times there may be a delay, for example where an outgoing tenant has given notice and stays longer than they expected, or where an inspection has shown that the property will require substantial works doing to it before it can be re-let. The delay on viewing newly built properties can be substantial. You can expect to receive a letter from the landlord inviting you to view the property on a certain date and time if you are in the top 5 or 10 eligible bidders. If you have any reason to think you might not receive this letter (e.g. if your address has changed it will be required for you to contact the landlord that has offered the property to you , so that you can explain the reason why you are no longer at the address on your housing application) or you are staying temporarily in hospital or with a friend or relative , you will need to contact the professional that is supporting you to update them of this information.

 

Please note: It is a requirement for all clients that are on the housing register to keep their address and contact details up to date, by logging into their account and completing a change in circumstances form if you have changed address. If you have changed your telephone number, this can be edited on the front of your account page.
The answer is that we don’t have many 4+ bed properties. Less than 5% of social housing stock has 4 or more bedrooms. These do not often become vacant. The vast majority of those that do come up are in fact advertised on the website.
It means that you are in the top 20 bidders for that property, out of however many (sometimes more than 1,000) others who expressed an interest in that property. So you are getting near your goal of being successful on Locata provided you bid for the right properties. Your housing officer should be able to give you advice on how to maximise your chances from this position, and the feedback reports in Locata Home will enable you to compare your band and date with those who have been successful.
If you are not subject to the one-offer policy, you will now be entitled to two offers. As Lewisham Council introduced a new Allocations Policy on 31st October 2023, all offers were reset to zero, therefore all have two offers available to them. If you refuse two suitable offers of accommodation your housing register application will be suspended for a period of 12 months. You will be considered as refusing an offer if you fail to attend a viewing, fail to accept an offer or fail to sign a tenancy agreement of two successive properties offered under the Housing Allocations Policy. If you reject an offer for a valid reason that we were not aware of at the time of bidding, it is possible that your application will not be amended. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Under housing law, there are two methods to assess if your home is overcrowded. The first method is by the number of rooms for people to sleep in - this is called the room standard. The second method is by the amount of space in the home and the number of people living in it - this is called the space standard. ‘Statutory overcrowding’ is when there are too many people living in your home using either of these methods. It uses the overcrowding standard described in the Housing Act 1985. If a dwelling is overcrowded when compared to this standard, then the overcrowding is known as statutory overcrowding.
When calculating how many bedrooms you currently have, all bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms should be included. Kitchens, bathrooms and toilets are excluded. When calculating how many bedrooms are needed, the following allocations should be used: • one bedroom or a studio for you and your partner, if you have one • one bedroom for every two children of the same sex, aged twenty or under • one bedroom for a child of the opposite sex to another child, if the child is aged over ten one • one bedroom for any other person aged twenty-one or over, for these purposes referred to as an “adult” Bathrooms and kitchens are not counted as part of the calculations. If a kitchen is part of a large kitchen/living/dining space, the whole room is not counted.
We will determine if you have an additional need through our assessment of your need to remain in the borough and whether other housing types, such as private rented sector housing, are suitable for you. These assessments will be carried out using the Council’s Location Priority Policy and Private Rented Sector Offer Policy. If you believe you are eligible for this criteria, you can request an assessment by logging in to your existing FindYourHome account and requesting a change in circumstances assessment.