Finding somewhere to live

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – finding somewhere to live

While our offices are closed, if you need housing advice on homelessness, getting temporary accommodation, our housing register or renting in social housing, you can email or phone 01375 652 820.

After you bid

Each Tuesday morning, after the time for bidding has closed, we start to shortlist applicants for properties according to their priority.

Just because you are the top bidder does not mean you will get the property.

Some people at the top of the list will not be successful because either the property is unsuitable for them or they don't qualify.

Successful bidders

If your bid is in the top 6 of our successful shortlist for a property, we will call and send you a message asking for documents that prove that you qualify.

You must provide your documents within 2 working days, otherwise we will offer the property to someone else on the shortlist.

Original documents must be brought into our Civic Offices in New Road, Grays, where they will be scanned and returned to you.

Photocopies of documents will not be accepted.


We will contact you to make an appointment for you to see the property with one of our estate officers.

There may be a delay before the appointment is made – for instance, if the property’s estimated availability date, as shown in the advert, is more than a week away.

Sometimes we will show more than 1 person around the property at the same time. If this happens you will be told if you are bidder number 1, 2 or 3. The property will always be offered to the number 1 bidder first, then to number 2, and so on.

Paying rent and moving in

If you are offered the property you must pay 1 week's rent in advance. You must make the payment using a debit or credit card when you look at the property. The next bidder will be offered the property if you cannot pay at the time.

You may not have to pay the full week's rent in advance if you are already receiving housing benefit, or can show that you will be entitled to housing benefit.

Once you have paid the rent in advance you will be able to sign a tenancy agreement.

You will get the keys and can make arrangements to move into the property.

If you want to join the transfer list you will need to start a new application using the same application number and memorable date. Only secure tenants can join the transfer list.