Apply for council housing (Housing Needs Register)

Who can apply for council housing

Anyone can make an application for housing but only those most in need can join the Housing Needs Register (the waiting list).

Anyone who is over 16 can join the register unless:

  • the Exceptional Circumstances Panel has decided that their (or a member of their household) behaviour is unacceptable and of a serious enough nature to make them unsuitable as a tenant. Unacceptable behaviour includes providing false or misleading information
  • they are subject to immigration control or not habitually resident as described by law
  • they do not have a recognised housing need (see the Housing Allocations Policy)
  • they not have a local connection ( see the Housing Allocations Policy)


Having a local connection

We provide homes for applicants with a connection to the borough. You must be able to show you live or work here of have a close family connection.

You can generally only join the waiting list if you have a local connection.

Only in exceptional circumstances can someone with no local connection join the list. Such as:

  • someone who has served in the regular forces or in the last five years
  • Bereaved spouses or civil partners of those serving in the regular forces who died in service and can longer live in Ministry of Defence accommodation
  • Seriously injured, ill or disabled reservists (or former reservists) whose injury, illness or disability is due to their service
  • Any household which is classed as homeless (under part VII of the Housing Act 1996)
  • Any household who has a 'Right to Move' from social housing in another Local authority area
  • people over 60 and are registering for sheltered accommodation.

If you own a home either in the UK or abroad, you will not qualify to join the Housing Needs Register even if you have a local connection.


Existing council tenants

Council or Registered Provider tenants can join the register. They must leave their current property.


Making a joint application with someone else

Couples can make joint applications.

We will prioritise tenants who, by moving in together another tenant will free up another council property . In this case their application will be awarded Band B priority and their applications will be linked. This will be done at our discretion and the application will be subject to the usual checks. If one of the couple already has Band A priority this won't change.


Applying if you have a joint tenancy

If you have a joint tenancy and cannot decide who should leave the home, you should:

  • contact a solicitor for legal advice
  • and speak to your Neighbourhood Housing Officer about your situation.

The courts will normally decide who should leave the home.

Once this is decided there is no automatic right to immediate rehousing for the person who leaves the home. They must make their own living arrangements whilst waiting on the Housing Needs Register.


Children who live with you

All young people under the age of 18 will be treated as children. Anyone 16 or older, living with their parents, can have their own housing application as well as being on their parents' housing application.

We reserve the right not to offer larger, family accommodation to households that include an adult member (including 16 & 17 year olds) who will soon move into their own accommodation.

Once your youngest child reaches 18, you will no longer be able to be on the waiting list for two bedroom houses.


Children who do not live with you

We do not offer family-sized accommodation to you if your children are not living with you even if you have contact with them.

Council housing policies

More information about applying for council housing