How It Works



You will only be able to bid for properties through Ideal Choice Homes if you have an active housing application. This means you will have registered and completed a housing application form on the Ideal Choice Homes website and provided the supporting documents we have requested to enable you application to be fully assessed.

We no longer accept paper application forms. You will need access to a computer, laptop, smart phone or tablet to register and to view available properties each week.

Applying online is quick and easy. You can apply online using a smartphone, tablet or computer

If you do not have access to either a computer or the internet at home we ask that you check with a relative or friend  to see if they can provide you with access to an internet ready device. If you do not have anyone who can assist you, then please let us know and we can arrange an appointment.

Supporting documentation

You will be expected to provide supporting documentation when you submit your application form. The online application form will tell you what you need to upload or send to us. If you do not provide the information we ask for, your application will not be accepted, and you will not be able to 'bid' for properties that are advertised.

I do not have an email address. How can I get one?

This is usually a simple process and takes just a few minutes. These can be obtained from Google, Hotmail, and Yahoo to name a few examples. We ask that you have a go at setting up your own email address or ask someone you know to help.

I can access a device with internet access, but I don’t think I will be able to use it. What can I do?

We ask that you first check with a relative or friend who may be able to help you. As you can bid for properties online, it is best for you to access your account via the internet. We can refer you to a local training provider who can help you to get online and improve your digital skills.

What happens if I start completing the online application form and I do not have all the information I need to complete it? Or run out of time?

The form should take around 40 minutes to complete.

As long as you have gone past the stage in the form where you have to provide an email address and password, you can save the information on each screen and complete it another time.

Property Size

Applications will be assessed to determine the size of the property that the household requires. You will only be eligible for properties that are suitable for the size of your family. 

When assessing bedroom requirements, it is considered that a bedroom is suitable for:

  • Each adult couple.
  • Any other person aged 16 or over.
  • Two children of the same sex aged under 16.
  • Two children, regardless of sex, aged under 10.
  • Any other child.
  • A disabled child or adult who needs their own bedroom on medical grounds.
  • A carer, or team of carers, who has a home elsewhere, who uses a bedroom on a regular basis to stay overnight because an adult member of the household requires overnight care.

Advertising Properties

Properties are advertised each week on the Ideal Choice Homes website. A new list of current properties is available each Wednesday, and the weekly advertising cycle runs until the following Monday.

The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, size, rent and other features of the property to help you decide which properties are right for you.

Where available a photograph of the property or a similar house type is provided, and you can access information about the local area and facilities.

The advert also tells you if there are any special requirements that the applicant must meet, such as age requirements, need for adaptations, and which band will be given priority for the property. If you are not in the band stated, you may still bid for the property providing it is suitable for your family size.

They may also be properties that are advertised at any time, you will find these under “Properties available immediately”. These are properties that are ready to move into straight away so you will need to be able to move very quickly.

Will I get a property in the area I want?

Unfortunately, we have more applicants who would like social housing than we have available properties. Therefore, applicants can be waiting many years before they are successful in bidding on a property. If you have a low priority, need a large family home or are only looking for a specific area where we have very little social housing, then you may not be successful in bidding for a property. We encourage you to bid for any area in which you are interested in but unfortunately this does not mean that you will be successful in bidding on a property within your preferred areas.

In rural areas, some properties can only be let to an application with a connection to that rural parish or a surrounding rural parish due to planning constraints. When a property in a rural area (including Carnforth) is advertised, please read the advert to check if there are any rural connection criteria that apply.


Some landlords will have properties that will not accept pets, these are usually properties with a shared communal entrance or no outside space. Some landlords will allow one pet with permission. If you already have a pet, you should always check the advert before bidding and consider that pets may restrict the likelihood of being offered accommodation where pets are not allowed.

Please let us know if you are disabled and have an assistance dog or service animal so we can ensure that your application includes this information. Landlords should not refuse permission for an assistance dog or service animal unless they have a good enough reason, for example, on health and safety grounds.

Social Housing (Council and Registered Providers of Social Housing)

All bids received will be put in priority order to produce a list of eligible applicants for each property advertised. This is based on the band of each applicant, waiting time, and any other eligibility criteria for the property.

If your name is at the top of the shortlist for a property the Landlord will contact you, usually by email or telephone. It is important that you check your emails and voicemail regularly, as if you do not reply to an email or telephone call within the timescale, then the Landlord will move onto the next applicant on the shortlist.

The landlord will arrange a time with you to complete a pre-tenancy assessment. This is to check that your circumstances are the same as those provided on your housing application. If your circumstances have changed, then you may not be provisionally offered the property.

Once the pre-tenancy assessment has been completed, then you will normally be invited to view the property. Once you have viewed the property you must decide whether to accept or refuse the offer within a reasonable period of time, usually 24 hours.

If you decide to refuse the property it will be offered to the next person on the shortlist. If you change your mind, it will not be possible to re-offer you the property. If you are in Band A or Band B you may lose your priority if you refuse a property and if this applies to you, you will be notified of this at the offer stage. Applicants in other Bands will not be penalised for refusing a property and will continue to be able to bid for properties advertised.

If you are offered a property, you will not be shortlisted for other properties until you have decided to either accept or refuse the offer.

There may be occasions where an offer of accommodation to an applicant is withdrawn, for example, when the property is no longer available for reletting or where evidence of unacceptable behaviour comes to light. Unacceptable behaviour may include things like rent arrears in a previous tenancy, serious breach of tenancy conditions, causing nuisance and annoyance to other residents, supplying of false or misleading information or unspent criminal convictions.


We publish information about homes that have been successfully let. We will tell you the number of applicants that placed a bid for the property, and the priority band and waiting time of the successful applicants.

This information will give you a better idea of how popular areas and types of properties are. This may help you to make decisions about which properties to bid for and which areas to consider and may give you an idea of how long you may have to wait to be successful.

Unfortunately, we are not able to give you individual feedback following every bid you place, due to the large number of people participating in the Ideal Choice Homes service. When you are logged in, you can access information about your personal bidding history from your account.