What Is Choice-Based Letting?

What is choice-based letting?

Like many local councils and housing associations, the majority of our homes are available through choice-based letting schemes (CBL). CBL schemes allow you to make choices about where you want to live and which home is most suitable for you. 

CBL schemes can vary depending on what part of the country you live in, to find out more information about the scheme in your area, we suggest you visit your local council website.

How Does It Work?

The scheme works through a bidding and points system. When a home becomes available, new and existing tenants can place a bid if they think it is suitable for them.

Most homes will have several people bidding for them at once. Bids can be made online, by text, over the phone or by post. After a certain amount of time, the home will be closed to bids.

You can place bids on several homes at once. Although to avoid wasting your own time, we recommend that you choose carefully and only bid on homes you really want. 

Each applicant has a certain number of points. The point system is based on the priority needs and current situation of the applicant. Those with more points are considered a higher priority.

The priority level is based on many factors including:

  • homelessness
  • size and condition of current home
  • local connections
  • income

Once the home is closed to applicants, the bids are then checked, and the property is offered to the applicant that is highest on the priority list. If that person rejects the home, it will be offered to the next person on the priority list, and so on. Please bear in mind, if you reject a home after you have bid on it, you may lose points.

Homeless individuals tend to be high on the priority list to ensure they are housed quickly.

Who Can Use A Choice-Based Letting Scheme?

Choice-based lettings are available to new and existing tenants. If you are a new tenant looking for a home, you need to register with your local housing authority. If your application is accepted and you are deemed eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list.

Providing your local authority operates a choice-based letting scheme, you will then be able to bid for homes that are suitable for you.

Existing tenants can use the choice-based letting scheme to transfer to a new home where possible. Swapping your existing home with another tenant may also be possible providing they rent their home through the same local council or housing association. This is known as Mutual Exchange.

Applying Direct Through Accent

We are members of choice-based letting schemes in some areas, but not in all. In other areas, we have our own direct waiting lists. We also list some homes on our website. You can see what we have available now by visiting the Find A Home page, or by searching using the form below.

Do I Need A Local Connection?

If you are hoping to move to a new location, you may be able to register with the CBL scheme in the area you want to live in. However, some local authorities will only accept you if you have a local connection to that area.

Each choice-based letting scheme is different, so it's important to check before deciding to move.

Accent Housing is a member of Housexchange, if you're thinking about moving to a new area it might be worth considering registering with them.

Additional Support With Choice Based Lettings

In some circumstances, local councils and housing associations are responsible for providing additional support to applicants using the choice based letting scheme.

For example, if an individual is homeless, the local authority or housing association should place bids on their behalf to ensure they do not miss out on a suitable home. Similar, a disabled individual will be offered additional support through the bidding process if required.

Allocations and Lettings Policy

Allocations and Lettings Policy

This document sets out our approach to how we allocate and let our properties.

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