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Apply for a council home
 See also
Housing banding
Lettings feedback
Special circumstances

Bidding for a council home

Merton Grove council housesTo be considered for a council home you need to 'bid' for it. This does not involve money - it simply means expressing an interest in a property and asking us to consider you for it.

Before you can bid for a property you need to register on our housing list.

Find out how to register on the housing list

How to bid

You can bid for properties in any of the following ways -

  • online

     Search and bid for available properties

  • by telephoning 01482 300 300 (Monday 8am to 5pm, Thursday and Friday 8am to 7pm, and Saturday 9am to 1pm)

  • by emailing

  • by text to 07795 563 000. Your text must start with bid (followed by a space) and then give your housing application reference number, name and the property references of the properties you wish to bid for example - 

bid 509874 Mr J Bloggs, 456789, 567890, 678901

  • in person at any customer service centre or information point

Find your nearest customer service centre or information point

With the exception of bids by text message, you must always give us your full name, date of birth and reference number. Please also tell us the reference numbers and addresses of the properties you wish to bid on.

Each property advert clearly states when the deadline for bidding is. Please check each advert as deadlines are not always the same, especially around public holidays. We cannot accept bids after the deadline so please make sure we receive them in time.

Find out where we advertise our available council homes

If you claim housing benefit

The government introduced new housing benefit rules from April 2013. Under the new rules, if you have more bedrooms than the government says you need and you are of working age you could lose part of your housing benefit.  The new rules may expect two children to share a bedroom, depending upon their ages.  It is possible that you could be affected even if you do not class yourself as having too many bedrooms for your family size. This means that you will have to make up the difference in the rent from your other income.

If you are affected by the changes, we advise that you consider this when placing your bids. If you do not think you can afford to pay anything towards your rent you should only bid for properties of a size for which you would get full housing benefit (i.e. where you would not be classed as under occupying your home).

If you are not sure whether you would be affected by the changes please seek advice from the Housing Benefits Service.

Find out more about the Housing Benefit changes.

Number of bids

The number of bids you can make depends on which priority band you are in.

  • if you are in band A or band B you can make up to six bids in each advert
  • if you are in bands C to E you can make up to three bids in each advert

Find out more about priority bands


There is high demand for council housing so we have to restrict who can bid for different property types and sizes. Some properties are more suitable for individuals, others for those with families and some are more suitable for older people. Each advertisement states who is eligible and whether there are any other restrictions.

Please make sure you only bid for properties that you are eligible for. We will not consider you for a property that you are not eligible for unless we have written to you to tell you we will consider you for different property types due to your exceptional circumstances (e.g. a medical need for an additional bedroom).

Find out more about special circumstances

Some of our eligibility criteria are more generous than the government's Housing Benefit rules. For example, we will consider families with two children for 3 bedroomed houses, whereas under the housing benefit rules those children may be deemed to be able to share a bedroom and housing benefit would be restricted. It is important that you consider this before placing bids because it may affect you either now or in the future, if you claim housing benefit.

Find out more about the Housing Benefit changes.

The following table shows you the property types that your households is eligible for.  Please use the information underneath the table to see what size of property we will consider you for.

Household type Property type eligible for (size of property is determined by household size as stated below)


Bungalow Maisonette House Pensioner
Single or couple Y Y Y

Single or couple
with overnight parental contact
with their child(ren)





Group of adults Y Y Y
Family with child(ren) aged under 12*




Family with child(ren) aged 12-17* Y Y Y Y
Family with adult child(ren) (aged 18+)




Single or couple pension age (60+) Y Y Y Y
Pension age family (60+) with child(ren) aged 0-17*







Pension age family (60+) with adult child(ren)/other adults Y Y Y Y Y
Any age with medical priority for all on one level accommodation





* Important: 'Families with children' are those where the parent or guardian is the main carer for the child. We will ask you to provide proof that you are the main carer, such as proof of Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit or a letter from Social Services (if appropriate). Parents that have their children to stay overnight but are not the main carer will be classed as having 'parental contact' with their children.

Size of property you will be considered for

When calculating eligibility for properties certain rules will be applied.  Under-occupancy will not be permitted unless there is a medical need for an extra bedroom or there is no demand from households needing all the bedrooms.

Properties with up to 5 bedrooms

For properties with up to 5 bedrooms (the majority of our stock), the following rules will be applied:

1. Singles and couples can have 1 bedroom
2. Each child can have 1 bedroom (children that you have overnight parental contact with are not included in the calculation unless you are a single person or couples with no other household members – see point 4 below)**
3. Each other person or couple can have 1 bedroom**
4. Singles or couples with overnight parental contact with their children (who would otherwise only be eligible for a one bedroomed flat) will be eligible for a two bedroomed flat or maisonette to enable their children to stay

** You can bid for smaller properties that would require your children to share a bedroom if you wish.  The rules above are the maximum size that you can bid for.

Houses with 6 or more bedrooms

For houses with 6 or more bedrooms, households will be required to be made up as follows (as a minimum):

• 6 bed house – single person or couple with at least 7 other people/couples (must have children in the household)

• 7 bed house - single person or couple with at least 8 other people/couples (must have children in the household)

Choosing your bids

Please do not bid for a property that you would not accept if you were offered it. You should read the property adverts carefully and note the property's location. You can find out the exact location of a property if you use our online bidding system.

Search and bid for available properties

Can I view a property before I bid?

Unfortunately this is not possible.  You will be invited to a viewing if you are the successful bidder.  Properties which are empty may be having work carried out to them and you could be at risk of serious injury if you enter without permission.  Others may still be occupied - you must not disturb the current tenant or their neighbours by asking to view their home.

Improving your chances

Generally, the higher the band you are in, the better your prospects of being offered a council home. However, to improve your chances -

  • make sure you use all of your permitted bids every time we advertise
  • make sure you only bid for properties you are eligible for, otherwise your bids will not be considered
  • if you have been awarded a priority, make sure you bid for the property type and area you have been given the priority for
  • consider bidding for properties in other areas of the city or for other property types - broaden your choices
  • remember that if you have got points for a certain area, those points only apply to properties you bid for in that area. You can still bid for properties in other areas but your points will not apply to them 
  • we publish information about successful bids on a regular basis. We refer to this as lettings feedback and you can use it to compare your own details with the details of those who have been successful. This can help you to make more realistic bids in the future

View recent lettings feedback

  • you should also consider other options that are available such as finding a property with a private landlord or housing association, or finding a mutual exchange if you are a secure council tenant or an assured tenant of a housing association or charitable trust.

Find out more about housing associations.

Find out more about mutual exchanges.

Property offers

We offer each home to the eligible bidder with the most housing need. If two people with the same housing need bid, it would be offered to the person who has been on the housing list for the longest time or has had their priority the longest.

Find out more about what happens if your bid is successful

Low demand properties

If we do not receive any bids from eligible applicants for an advertised property we may:

  • amend the eligibility rules for the property and re-advertise it, or
  • advertise it outside of the normal HomeSearch advert on a first come, first served basis.  This means that we will offer the property to the first eligible person to contact us, unless there are other reasons which could prevent the offer being made, for example, rent arrears or unacceptable behaviour.

First come, first served properties will be advertised on the ‘Lets Help You’ website, where you will also find properties available with other landlords. 

Find out more information on the Lets Help You website (link opens in new window)


Contact us

Hull City Council
PO Box 15

Tel: 01482 300 300
Text phone: 01482 300 349

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