Information about the housing register

You need to be registered to allow you to express interest in available Council or Housing Association homes in the Borough through HomeOption (Choice-based Lettings).

The rules applicable to eligibility and allocations are contained within the Allocations Policy 2014 pdf. We would advise you to read this prior to applying.

Please note: Just because you register, does not mean you will be successful in being housed in the short or medium term. There is a significant shortage of accommodation across the Borough compared to the number of people looking to be housed. The length an applicant may have to wait will depend upon their individual circumstances and how often bids are placed through HomeOption.

Our policy is that only applicants on the Transfer List may bid on houses. This enables the flats and maisonettes currently occupied by transfer applicants to be made available to applicants on our housing register (HomeSeekers), which we consider to be the fairest way of allocating property.

HomeSeekers are applicants not currently in social accommodation, or whom are in social accommodation outside of the Borough.

Transfer Applicants are those individuals who are existing tenants of Brentwood Borough Council or were nominated by Brentwood Borough Council to a Housing Association property within the Borough.

Allocations policy

View the Allocations Policy pdf.

Am I eligible to apply to be on the housing register?

The criteria for eligibility for the Housing Register (homeseekers) is;

1.    You have to have a local connection to the Borough (please read the Allocations Policy above)

2.    You do not have a single or combined income exceeding £60,000 per year which includes savings & employment income

3.    You do not have savings/assets exceeding £16,000

4.    You must be in housing need, for example you are currently in accommodation that you do not have a legal entitlement to reside in. If you hold a secure or assured tenancy with another Local Authority or Housing Association which is suitable for your needs then you will not be eligible to join the Housing Register.

We give additional priority to those: 

  • Who are in employment or in employment related training
  • Who are unable to work due to a disability or illness who are in receipt of a disability related benefit or grant
  • Where there is an accepted 'Prevention Duty' under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
  • Tenants who need to downsize to smaller accommodation due to medical support or financial needs
  • Increased medical priority for those where their current accommodation is being affected by their health which is confirmed by the Council's Independent Medical Ad visor

Do I have a local connection?

Please review the criteria by reading the Allocations Policy above.

None of these apply to me: can I still apply for the housing register?

No, you will not be eligible for the Housing Register.

I have an annual income of £60,000 or more per year, can I apply for the housing register?

No, to be eligible you must have an income of less than £60,000 per year. We will also take into consideration any savings/assets when assessing your income.

I have savings or assets exceeding £16,000, can I apply for the housing register?

No, if you have savings/investments etc. of £16,000 or more then you wouldn't be eligible for the housing register.

Will I need to provide documentary evidence again to confirm my circumstances?

Yes, you will be required to provide evidence to support your application.

We would advise where possible you email your documents to housingneeds2@brentwood.gov.uk at the time you apply online to ensure there are no delays in assessing your application. Remember to attach your document checklist and quote your on-line reference number and housing application reference when sending any documents.

I cannot send documents by email; can I send them by post?

Yes, but to ensure no unnecessary delays to your application, please send within 7 days of completing your application. Remember to send your document checklist and quote your on-line reference number and housing application reference when sending any documents by post.

You can post your documents to: Housing Options Team, Housing Needs Section, Brentwood Borough Council, Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 8AY.

Allocations policy consultation

We are proposing some changes to the housing allocations policy and want to hear what you think.

Over 1200 households are waiting for social housing in Brentwood. Last year only 172 properties became available for letting and we want to make sure they go to the residents who need them most.

We do this through the Housing Allocations Policy. This outlines who is allowed on the list, how they are prioritised and how the council allocates housing.

View the current Allocations Policy pdf

View the proposed Allocations Policy pdf

The proposals

We want to make some changes to this allocations policy to make sure it is fair.  In summary, the main changes being proposed are: 

  • A new residency criteria of 5 years living in the borough and 2 years for working in the borough and disqualifying applicants who do not meet this criteria.
  • Reduced income levels applied which will limit the number of people who can join the register who can support themselves to secure housing
  • Reduce the age of people who can access sheltered housing to 55
  • Enable the use of Local Lettings plans in order to support the best use of stock and create balance communities
  • Allow the discharge of homelessness duty into the private sector
  • Disqualifying applicants with a history of unacceptable behaviour or serious rent arrears
  • Changes to the points system to reflect the priorities in the Borough.

The consultation ended on 9 July 2021.

We will update this page once a decision has been made on the Allocations Policy. 

How to apply

By completing the online application and returning all required documents your application will be assessed and you will be notified as to whether you have been accepted on to the Housing Register or not.

Transfer applicants are required to have a clear rent account of at least 6 months prior to any offer of accommodation. If a Transfer List applicant has rent arrears within the previous 6 months they will be bypassed (please see Allocations Policy 2014 for further details).

If you have rent arrears please contact the Estates Management team to discuss how you will be resolving this issue.

To enable us to fully assess your application, please provide all information requested. You will also be required to provide us supporting documents (please see guidance below).

You can submit these documents to us online. Please see link below.

You will be required to provide all documentary evidence to support your application within 7 days of the submission of your application. If you do not have all documentation please do not apply until you have all documents available ready to submit.

Once the application form and all documents are received then they will be assessed. It is your responsibility to ensure the documents required are all submitted together. If we do require evidence we will notify you in writing but then you will be required to provide all outstanding documents within 7 days or your application will be cancelled.

Due to the high volume of applications, assessments may take a significant period of time. Please do not contact us during this period unless you have been requested to do so.

You will have received a reference number when applying which indicates we have your application. If you have not received a reference number (automatically sent via email once you complete the application) then it is likely the form has not been completed. If you have fully completed and submitted but do not have the reference please contact us to check we have received it.

If your application is assessed and you are considered to be ineligible for the Housing Register then you will be notified of the reason in writing, however you will have the opportunity to appeal this decision in writing within 21 days. It is always beneficial to provide any supporting documents/evidence to support your appeal request.

Submit your documents

Email: housingneeds2@brentwood.gov.uk

Post:

Housing Options Team
Brentwood Borough Council
Town Hall
Ingrave Road
Brentwood, Essex
CM15 8AY

Register your application by completing the online form below: 

Apply to be on the Housing Register

Once your application has been assessed and we have received all required information to support your application we will write to you and advise you of your application number and your points allocation.

If you are eligible for the housing register then your application will be backdated to the original date of receipt.

A scheme user guide will be issued to you separately from HomeOption, which will provide information and guidance on accessing and using the HomeOption choice based lettings scheme.

If you are already a tenant of Brentwood Borough Council, you may also register for a mutual exchange via Homeswapper.

If you require advice on your housing options you will need to complete the online form below:

 Request housing assistance

Report a change of circumstance

If you are already registered for housing and there is a change of circumstances for anybody that has been named on your application it is important that we are notified of the change as we will need to reassess your application as the change may affect the points previously awarded to you.

Examples of a change in circumstances that must be reported are:

  • Change to a member of the household
  • Change of address details
  • Change of financial details (homeseekers only)
  • Change to employment status
  • Change to medical details
  • Criminal offences and convictions
  • Change in name (homeseekers only)

Please note:Depending on the type of change of circumstance that you are reporting, you may be required to provide documents to confirm the change.

Report a housing application change of circumstance

Please be aware that if false information is given to gain a tenancy, the Council may have grounds to regain possession of the property that the Council or Housing Association has provided.

What happens next?

We aim to process applications within 28 working days. Please do not contact the Office within this time period as it causes delays in processing. If your application is accepted you will be written to accordingly. Applications may not be processed if you fail to supply the required documentation within 7 days of submission. Please check the online guidance, FAQs and directions on the forms themselves.