Social and affordable rent

Lower rent than you’d pay privately. But you must be registered with your local council

These homes are at lower rent than with a private landlord

People who can take this option are on lower incomes and are registered with a local council.


How it works

  • To join a council list, you must have a household income of less than £60,000 (and sometimes match some other criteria)
  • Once you’re accepted on a council list in our area, you can apply for any of our empty homes in that town, city or district (which the local council says suits your household’s needs)
  • You’ll apply through the council’s special housing website, which is sometimes called choice based lettings
  • Unfortunately, although we’re building more homes all the time, there’s currently not enough social rent housing for everyone on the council lists. And sometimes people have to wait for a long time before they’re offered a home through this route
  • But if you’re in work, you might have other options


I’ve been offered a property. What happens next? 

The council send us your details once they have nominated you for a property. 

We’ll be in touch to ask you to complete a couple of forms to make sure the property is right for you and that you can afford it. We'll also ask you for some ID. You’ll need to do this within 2 days of receiving our email or letter. You can find the forms by following the links below.  

If you’re struggling to complete the forms, we can help you with this over the phone, just let us know.  

You’ll need to know who is living with you, your address history and basic information such as date of birth and National Insurance number.  

You can access the application form here. 

It helps us gather key information about you and your household. It’s important you fill this in accurately and honestly. Providing false information could result in an offer being withdrawn. 


  • Your date of birth needs to be entered in this format: dd/mm/yy e.g. 16/11/88 

  • Please fill in every box marked with an asterisk (*) 

  • You’ll see a confirmation message when the form has been submitted. If you don't see this, please scroll back up the form and it will be highlighted in red where information is missing or incorrect. 

You’ll also need to complete a benefit and budgeting form for us to be able to assess what benefits you may be entitled to, you’ll need to complete this even if you're working. This will also help us make sure the property is affordable for you.  

Here's the benefit and budgeting  form. 


  • The info you put in needs to be for your new home e.g. new postcode and rent - this will be in the email we’ve sent you. If you’ve been nominated for a new build home, the postcode may not be on the system yet. To get around this you can use your existing postcode, if you’re not moving out of the local authority, or leave it blank and fill in the local authority on the next page 

  • Please fill in all the tabs, including the 'Enter costs' section on the 'Budget' tab. After this, please click 'Send to advisor'  

  • If this is your first home or you aren’t sure what you spend, you can use the averages for utilities. However, for your groceries, it’s important to think about how much you will realistically need to set aside to pay for food, cleaning supplies and health and beauty products etc.  

We ask for ID for all applicants, including joint applicants and any household members over 18. This can be emailed to us at  


  • Please make sure you state your name and the property you’ve been offered. 

Once you’ve completed the forms and sent us ID, we’ll carry out our checks and let you know if you’ve passed, or we may ask a few extra questions.  

If we decide the property isn’t right for you, you’ll have the chance to appeal this decision, but you’ll need to do so quickly.   

Don’t worry if you don’t hear from us straight away. We’re working through the checks and aim to get it done within 5 working days of receiving your forms.  

Once the property is empty, we’ll check it’s safe and begin to carry out any works needed to get it to our lettable standard. Find out more about our lettable standard (PDF, 144kB).

We’ll either invite you to view the property in person or send you a video tour of the property. Some works may still be in progress, but the viewing is to give you an idea of the sizing and layout. 

If a lot of work is identified and will take some time to complete, we may give you the option to decline the property and wait for a different one. We aim to let you know when the property is due to be ready within 5 days of it becoming empty so you can plan your move.  

If you’ve been offered a new build home, we may not be able to show it to you until after it’s handed over from developers. Once you’ve seen the video viewing, we hope for you to move within a few days.  

If you decide the property isn’t right for you, please let us know as soon as possible. We’ll ask why so we can let the council know. Refusing an offer of social housing can impact your place on the housing register, so please check with your council before refusing.  

If you want to accept the property, we’ll arrange an appointment for you to sign your tenancy agreement, pay rent in advance and get the keys to your new home!  


  • Please don’t make any arrangements to move until we’ve confirmed a date. Sometimes there can be unexpected delays when getting the property ready for new customers.  

Your new home won’t be furnished or come with white goods. A very small number of our homes have a built-in cooker; we’ll let you know if you’re getting one of them. We’ll also tell you if there’s a gas or electric cooker point so you can get the correct oven.  

We don’t carpet our properties, but sometimes vacating tenants leave carpets in our properties and, if they’re in good condition, we’ll leave them there for you. You’ll see this on your viewing.  

If you’re going to struggle to purchase white goods, furniture or carpets in your home, please let us know. We do have a fund to help our most vulnerable customers, but this is limited and eligibility requirements apply. 

Rent in advance  

It's important to stay on top of your rent payment and so we ask all customers to pay rent in advance when they sign up to a property. We ask all customers to pay 4 weeks’ rent upfront. If you're unable to make this payment, please speak with the Letting Coordinator dealing with your move.


  • If you’re going to struggle to make this payment, it’s important you discuss it with us as soon as possible. Letting us know at the end of the process could lead to your move being delayed.  

Once we know when your new home is going to be ready, we’ll arrange an appointment for you to speak with a Neighbourhood Officer. They’ll go through the terms of the agreement, a sign-up checklist of key policy info, and they'll be able to answer any questions you might have. They’ll also ask you to sign up to our online customer account which will help you pay your rent and book repairs online once you’ve moved in.   

We’ll let you know if there are any minor repairs outstanding. We aim to finish all works whilst the property is empty but, rather than delay your sign-up, we’ll sometimes carry out small jobs once you’ve moved in.  

After this appointment, we’ll send you copies of your tenancy agreement and a couple of other documents for you to sign digitally through our DocuSign service. This is easy to use and means you get a copy of your documents straight away.  

After the documents have been signed and the rent in advance has been paid, we’ll give you a code to access a key safe at your new home on the day your tenancy begins. You’ll be able to let yourself in and move at a time that suits you! 


  • The key safe can sometimes be a bit stiff – please tap it if so and this should help it open!  

  • Please leave the key safe where it is and on the same code; we’ll be back within a couple of weeks to remove it. 

If you’re claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, it’s important you update your benefits claim on the day you move in.  

Your move may trigger a change from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit. You can see our leaflet 'Will moving to a VIVID property mean that I must claim Universal Credit' included in your offer email for more information on this.  

  • If you continue to claim Housing Benefit, please update your local housing benefit department at the council  

  • Contents insurance – you’ll want to think about protecting your belongings. We can pass your details to 'My Home Contents Insurance' or you can look for a supplier. We can give you more details on this at your sign-up  

  • Updating your utilities – when you move in, your gas and electric supply will likely be with British Gas. Once you’ve moved, you can change your supplier to another provider of your choice. Make sure you’ve taken some meter readings once you get your keys. Or, if you have a key meter, please ring British Gas straight away to inform them of the change. They’ll clear any outstanding debt and give you a new key/card

  • Council tax – it’s your responsibility to contact your local council tax office and let them know you’ve moved. This is a legal requirement so please don’t forget to do it!  

VIVID and its subsidiaries are committed to protecting your rights and freedoms by safely and securely processing your data in accordance with data protection legislation. 

Further information on how we process, collect and use personal data is available on our website. 

Want to apply?

First, you'll need to register with your local council. Once you've registered and been accepted you can then bid on our social rent homes.

Find your council on the website