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Housing register

HomeOption website

The HomeOption website was relaunched on Thursday 12 May 2022.

The new website will make it easier for you to bid on properties, update us with any changes to circumstances and provide supporting documents.

Changes to the website will not affect existing housing applications in any way. Your points allocation and bedroom size entitlement will remain the same unless your circumstances have changed.

To use the upgraded HomeOption website, existing customers and new applicants will need to create new login details using an email address and a secure password. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause but you will not be able to access your account until you complete this step.

A step-by-step guide can be found at HomeOption, you should read this carefully.

Information about the housing register

Expressing an interest in available homes

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

You should read the rules applicable to eligibility and allocations before applying, which can be found in the Allocations Policy.

Just because you register, does not mean you will be successfully 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 time you may have to wait will depend upon 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 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.

View the Allocations Policy 2021-2026 (PDF).


To be eligible for the Housing Register (home seekers) you should:

  • have a local connection to the Borough - view the allocations policy to check
  • not have a single income exceeding £30,000 or combined income exceeding £50,000 per year, including savings and employment income
  • not have savings or assets exceeding £16,000
  • be in housing need, for example, currently in accommodation that you don't 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 won't be eligible to join the Housing Register.

We give additional priority to those: 

  • in employment or employment related training
  • unable to work due to a disability or illness and in receipt of a disability related benefit or grant
  • with an accepted Prevention Duty under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
  • who need to downsize to smaller accommodation due to medical support or financial needs
  • with increased medical priority where current accommodation is being affected by their health and confirmed by our Independent Medical Advisor

If you don't fit any of these criteria, you won't be able to apply to be on the housing register.

Providing evidence to confirm my circumstances

You will need to provide evidence to support your application. You should not apply until you have all documents ready to send.

You should email your documents to as soon as you apply online to make sure there are no delays in assessing your application. Remember to attach your document checklist and quote your online reference number and housing application reference when sending any documents.

Sending documents by post

You should send your documents within seven days of completing your application, so that there are no delays processing your application. Remember to send your document checklist and quote your online 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
CM15 8AY

How to apply

Once you have completed the online application and sent all required documents, your application will be assessed and you will be notified if you have been accepted on to the Housing Register or not.

Transfer applicants are required to have a clear rent account of at least six months prior to any offer of accommodation. If a Transfer List applicant has rent arrears within the previous six months, they will be bypassed.

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

To enable us to fully assess your application, you must provide all information requested and supporting documents.

You can submit these documents to us online.

If we need more evidence or you forgot something, we will notify you in writing and you will need to send all outstanding documents within seven days or your application will be cancelled.

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

You will have received a reference number to your email once you have applied, which indicates we have your application. If you haven't received a reference number, it's likely the form has not been completed. If you have fully completed and submitted but do not have the reference, you should contact us to check we have received it.

If your application is assessed and you're considered to not be eligible for the Housing Register, you will be notified of the reason in writing. You will have the chance to appeal this decision in writing within 21 days. It is always beneficial to provide any documents or evidence to support your appeal request.

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 points allocation.

If you're eligible for the housing register, your application will be backdated to the original date of receipt.

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

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

If you need advice on your housing options, you can get help.

Report a change of circumstance

If you're 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)

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

You should report your change of circumstance through HomeOption by signing into your account and selecting 'Have your circumstances changed?'.

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. You should 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 seven days of submission. Check the online guidance, FAQs and directions on the forms themselves.