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Frequently Asked Questions

Click the green '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 usually takes up to two weeks for it to be assessed. 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. Only contact us if you haven’t heard from us within 3 weeks.
Yes, we have a mobile app that is available to download for free on iTunes and Google Play. You can use the mobile app to view property details, photos, maps and make bids. You can also see the outcome of past bids and update your personal details.
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.
If something has changed since your application was last assessed, you should log in to Locata 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 advertised by Ealing Council. If you bid on another borough’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.
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.
When bidding closes, all those who bid for a particular property appear on a list that the allocations officer can see on their computer screen. The list is in order by band and priority date. 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. So bidders in band A come first, in priority date order, followed by those in band B and C. Those who are not eligible for that property (e.g. if they are a family of 6 persons bidding for a maximum 5 person house) 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 then go on to offer a viewing of the property to 4 or more other people going down the list consecutively. 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 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.

What is my priority date; I have been told it has changed since I have been put in temporary accommodation? When you apply to the council as homeless and are placed into a hostel or hotel you may already have been on the housing register in band C “unsatisfactory housing conditions” from, say, 01/01/10. If after carrying out our enquiries we accept a homelessness duty towards you, your band and priority date would not change unless and until we discharge our homelessness duty with a suitable housing offer. Different councils have different rules on the banding of accepted homeless people, so speak to your housing officer if you are unsure about yours.
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.
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.
Due to the high number of bids, we do not contact people unless they are being invited to view a property.
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.
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.
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 in Locata Home.
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.