Choice Based Lettings Infographic: Your FAQ’s Answered


Choice based lettings

What Are Choice Based Lettings?

Choice based letting schemes are used by local authorities to give you a choice in which home you live in. The scheme works on a points and bidding system. When a new property becomes available, you can view it online and decide whether or not it is suitable for you.

If you believe the property is right for you, you can place a bid for it. “Bidding” does not involve money. It is simply a way for you to show your interest in the property. Bids can be made online, by text, over the phone or by post.

Once the property has been closed to bids, the local authority will review the bids and offer the home to the person with the highest number of “points”.

The point system determines someone’s priority level. When it comes to social housing, the following people are usually deemed highest priority:

  • Legally homeless people
  • People living in overcrowded or unsafe housing
  • People who have to move because of a disability, medical, welfare or hardship

For example, if an individual is homeless, they will have more points to demonstrate that they are a high priority.

You can bid on several properties at once. If you are offered a property and you choose to reject it, the property will be offered to the next person on the priority list. However, rejecting a home can cause you to lose points and therefore prolong the time it takes you to get a home through choice based lettings.

Do All Local Authorities Have Choice Based Letting Schemes?

No. Not all local authorities or councils run a choice based letting scheme. If the local authority in your area does not run a CBL scheme, you will be placed on a waiting list until a suitable property is available and then you will be allocated that property based on your priority level.

If you have a low priority level, you may be waiting a very long time for a home to become available through your local authority.

However, your local council is not the only way to secure an affordable home. Housing associations, such as Accent Housing, also provide affordable housing to those who need it. If you would like a choice in the home you live in, Accent Housing may be able to help.

We have a range of quality, safe and affordable properties in the North, East and South of England. You can view our available homes and apply for the home you would like to live in.

How Do I Register For A Choice Based Letting Scheme?

Before you can search and bid for properties, you must first register with your local authority. Find your local council here to register. Once you have registered and your account has been registered, you can usually start searching for and bidding on suitable properties.

Accent Housing are a member of choice-based letting schemes in some areas, but not in all. In other areas, you can apply directly through Accent Housing for an affordable home. View our available homes on our website or register for our Let’s Move app. Our Let’s Move app allows you to search and apply for available properties.

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible For A Choice Based Letting Property?

Each local council will have its own eligibility criteria that must be met before you can be offered a property. In addition, certain properties will only be allocated to a specific group of people. For example, some flats are specifically designed for the over 55’s. Before bidding on a property, ensure you are eligible for the property.

Unlike local councils, housing associations have few restrictions on who can apply for their homes. Find out more about Accent Housing’s eligibility criteria and exclusions in our lettings policy.

Can I Bid For Properties In Other Local Authority Areas?

If you would like to relocate and the area you are considering has a choice based letting scheme, you may be able to register for the CBL scheme if you have a local connection to the area.

A “local connection” could mean you have close family living in the area, or you have permanent employment in the area or you have previously lived in the area.

Can I Apply Directly Through Accent Housing?

Instead of applying for a home through a CBL scheme, you may be able to apply for a home directly through a housing association. For example, Accent Housing is a member of choice based letting schemes in some areas but not all. In the areas where we are not members of CBL schemes, you can apply for housing directly through our website or the Let’s Move app.

Get In Touch

Find out more about finding an affordable home by calling Accent Housing on 0345 678 0555 or email us at

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