How the social housing process works
If you’d like to rent a property from a Housing Association, you will need to apply through your local council. If you’re given the green light, the rest is easy.
Local councils make nominations to us when we have a vacant property. Unfortunately rented homes are in very short supply and it may take quite some time to find a home.
Available homes are listed online, in property magazines and in some council and Housing Association offices. Homes are usually only on the market for a week or two, so if you see something you like and you’re eligible for it, place a bid. (Bidding is just a way of registering your interest in a property – you’re not expected to make a financial bid of any kind.)
If your bid is successful, either the local council or the landlord contacts the successful bidder.
Different types of tenancy agreements
A tenancy agreement is a legal document that tells you all the rules that come with living in your home. The agreements differ depending on where you live.
If it’s the first time you’ve rented a property from a Housing Association, you’ll get a probationary tenancy. Think of this as a 12-month trial period.
If everything goes well (you pay your rent and don’t cause any problems with your neighbours), you’ll then be offered what’s called an assured tenancy.
An assured tenancy will guarantee that you can live in your home for a set period of time (assuming that you don’t break any terms).
An assured tenancy usually lasts for 5 years. Depending on your circumstances, you might be offered a lifetime tenancy. Either way, it’s designed to give tenants some stability.