Renting a council or housing association property

Overview

Finding a home

If you would like to rent a council or housing association property in Brent, you will need to apply to our housing register.

This is because of changes in policy brought in by the Localism Act 2011. In general, demand for affordable homes in the borough far exceeds the number of properties available.

Social housing is not the right option for everyone. Many people face a long wait for social housing and people with lower housing need may not be re-housed at all. Therefore we have reduced the number of people we allow to access housing to ensure that it goes to those in most housing need.

Who can apply

We can only provide housing for people who are eligible and qualify. Most people who live in the UK permanently are eligible, but there are some exceptions. View the following documents to see the full allocation scheme and also a useful summary of the scheme.

More information about how the housing allocation scheme has changed can be found in the Guide to the Allocations Scheme . The recent amendments to the allocation scheme are scheduled for implementation between 1 January 2015 and 31 May 2015, and further information about how the amendments may impact applicants can be found on this timetable for introducing the amendments.Unacceptable behaviour or actions Applicants will not qualify for housing if they are involved in serious anti-social behaviour, this includes:

  • serious anti-social behaviour, nuisance or annoyance to neighbours
  • breach of tenancy agreement including illegal or immoral use of the property
  • serious deterioration in the condition of the property resulting from the applicant or a member of their current or prospective household
  • the applicant or a member of your household having obtained a tenancy fraudulently.
Length of residency in the borough
All applicants must currently be a resident in the borough and have continuously lived in the borough for five years or more to qualify.


Exceptions to this include:

  • those who are homeless within the meaning of Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 and the council has accepted a full housing duty to them
  • existing secure or fixed term tenants of the council or Brent Housing Partnership
  • young people leaving care and referred to Children's Services and assessed by the Pathways panel (whether or not they currently live in Brent)
  • serving and former members or widows of members of the armed forces and reserved forces whether or not they currently live in the borough (excluding those that have been dishonourably discharged)
  • those residing in supported housing schemes commissioned by the council
  • people in prison whose last settled address was in the borough
  • tenants of the council or Brent Housing Partnership

Financial capital and other assets
Applicants who have a gross household income of more than:

  • £35,000 per year and need one bedroom accommodation
  • £45,000 per year and need two bedrooms
  • £55,000 per year and need three bedrooms
  • £70,000 per year and need four or more bedrooms

or have savings of more than £50,000 will not qualify for housing as they will be deemed to have sufficient financial resources to buy a home or pay market rent.

Also applicants who own their own homes in this country or abroad are unlikely to qualify for housing unless there is an extenuating need.

Reasonable preference categories or the council's local priorities
If an applicant or a member of their household does not meet the criteria for being in housing need and subsequently are not placed into a band, then they will not qualify for housing.

How to apply

To join Locata, our housing options website, you must complete our online application form.

When you have completed the online application, it will be assessed by a rehousing officer. You will be emailed regarding the outcome of your application and provided with LOC number, which you can use access the targeted housing options website for information regarding housing options.

We operate a three band system (A to C). People in band A will be those with the highest urgent housing need and those in band C the lowest level of need. Your priority for housing within your band will depend on the date you joined that priority band.

If you move address or your circumstances change

If you move address you will need to complete an online change of circumstance form to reflect the changes in your personal circumstances.

If you are a council tenant and want to move

It will depend on your circumstances. You will only be allowed to join the housing register if you qualify under the housing allocations policy and fall under one of the new band criteria.


For example:

  • your current property is under occupied
  • you have a medical or mobility need that is affected by your housing
  • you are releasing an adapted property
  • because of exceptional circumstances, this could include things like threat to life, the police advise a move, or if there is an exceptional need that isn't covered by the Housing Allocations Scheme
  • you are overcrowded by two bedrooms or more

Sheltered housing

Apply for sheltered housing

We provide sheltered housing through a partnership with a number of housing associations, who accept nominations from us and a wide range of voluntary organisations operating in Brent.
 
Applicants will normally have to be over 60 years of age and have to be assessed as suitable for the scheme.
 
We also have several extra care sheltered schemes in Brent. These are for older people who are frailer and who need additional support.

Applications for sheltered housing are made by registering for housing via Brent Housing Options

If you need help with the application or want more information please call 020 8937 2000.

Home swap

If you are an existing council or housing association tenant you can swap homes with another tenant. This may mean your whole family can move to a bigger property or a better area. This is called a "mutual exchange".

Finding a mutual exchange means you are able to choose the home you want and will not have to wait for years on the housing register.  You will have to seek permission from your landlord first.

You can register for a mutual exchange online:

Housing Associations and Co-ops

Housing Associations

Housing associations are independent not-for-profit landlords. They work in partnership with us and other organisations to provide decent, affordable homes.

Some housing associations keep their own separate waiting lists but these are very limited. You can search for housing associations in your area online here.

Housing Co-operatives

Housing co-ops are groups of people who live in and collectively manage their accommodation. This involves taking responsibility for arranging repairs, making decisions about rent and who joins or leaves the co-op.

Living in a housing co-operative can be a good way to get affordable housing and may give you more control over where you live. It is usually most suitable for single people.
 
It can be difficult to get accommodation in a housing co-operative because this type of accommodation is quite rare and few vacancies come up. The way that vacancies are filled varies between different co-operatives.

The following housing co-operatives in London have their own application process:

Other routes to housing association and housing co-op tenancies

Some housing advice agencies have nomination rights to housing association or housing co-operative vacancies. Getting a successful nomination can be a lengthy process as these support agencies have very large client groups. It is therefore not an emergency housing solution but they may be able to help you.

Affordable housing

Maple and Redwood house housing scheme

The scheme has available 3 x one bedroom apartments, 8 x two bedroom apartments and 2 x three bedroom apartments. Priority is given to applicants who live or work in Brent and are registered on Brent Council’s choice-based lettings system, Locata.

Minimum share available of 25% but customers will purchase a share based on their individual affordability assessment which will be carried out by an Specialist Financial Adviser.

  • 1 bedroom apartments start from £91,250 for a 25% share ( Full market value £365,000)
  • 2 bedroom apartments start from £124,375 for a 25% share ( Full market value £497,500)
  • 3 bedroom apartment start from £129,375 for a 25% share (Full market value £517,500)

To qualify, you have to have a deposit of 10 per cent of the purchase price (between £9,000 and £14,000). Rent is payable on the unsold share and also a service charge.

All enquiries should come to either mhosales@metropolitan.org.uk or 0203 535 2555.