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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.
You will be unable to start bidding on properties until your application has been assessed. Some people are accepted onto the housing register but have no assessed housing need and are placed in band D. If you receive a letter from us stating that your application has been made live, you will be able to start bidding immediately unless you are in band D. If you are in band D, you will only be able to bid in certain limited situations.
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 Locata scheme closely follows the legal definition of housing need, categorising those in overriding need in the highest band, A and those who would like to move but have no assessed housing need in the lowest band, D.
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.
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.
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.
You can only bid for properties advertised by the Locata partner with whom you are registered. For example, if you are registered with Brent, you can bid on Brent’s page and some housing association properties. If you bid on Hillingdon’s page your bids will not count, even if you fit the criteria. You can also bid for properties on the housing association pages but, since they give priority to their own tenants for these properties, you will have much less chance of being successful for these. In Brent, Ealing and Hillingdon our ‘’handshake’’ initiative gives residents in the borough where the housing association property is located a higher priority than previously (see: What is “Handshake”?) NB: Cross partner advertising is temporarily suspended following updates to our partners’ allocations schemes. We hope to reinstate this shortly.
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. your address has changed and you have not informed your housing officer, or you are staying temporarily in hospital or with a relative or friend) you need to contact your housing officer, who should also be able to confirm your actual position on the list and give you useful bidding advice.
You can check on the Locata 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.
It means that the allocations officer hasn’t yet offered the property to anyone, usually because it isn’t yet ready to view.
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 list is in order by band and 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 the property advert specified the family should have at least 2 children and they only have 1. Most Locata partners will then go on to offer a viewing of the property to 4 or more other people going down the list consecutively.
Due to the high number of bids, we do not contact people unless they are being invited to view a property.
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. your address has changed and you have not informed your housing officer, or you are staying temporarily with a relative or friend) you need to contact your housing officer, who should also be able to confirm your actual position on the list and give you useful bidding advice.
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 band you should wait only weeks or months, in the second band your wait could be around a year, but in the third band it will be a lot longer unless you are bidding for sheltered flats, for which the wait is usually no more than a year or so. 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. Waiting times also vary from partner to partner, since some local authorities have greater levels of housing need in relation to the properties they have available. Ask your housing officer for advice on how near you are to success and what kinds of properties you should bid for to maximise your chances of coming in the top 5 on the list.
Housing officers assessing applications will take into account all the information you supply with your housing application and assess it in relation to the banding scheme. If your medical, welfare or overcrowding need to move is relatively low, some partners will assess you as band C, others will disqualify you from bidding. For example, some partners now no longer give priority to families who are short of only one bedroom. If, however, you have a severe need, or additional/ multiple needs, you will be assessed into a higher band. If you state in your application that you have a medical need to move you will be prompted to complete a medical self-assessment form and, if necessary, we will seek further information from your G.P. or consultant or social worker. If your circumstances have not changed since your last assessment, but you are able to give us additional information that you did not supply at the time of your last application, you can ask your housing officer to review your band. If your circumstances have changed (e.g. if your address has changed, if your medical needs have changed, or if family members have left or joined the household) you will need to complete an online change of circumstances form so that we can carry out a reassessment.
We will give you priority if your current housing conditions are having a major adverse effect on the medical condition of you or someone in your household that creates a particular need to move. We won’t prioritise you if moving you will not make any difference to the medical condition, even if you have a very severe illness. It’s your current housing that we are looking at when we make that decision. Of course it is always open to you to provide additional information and request a review of the banding decision.