Brentwood Borough Council

Brentwood - Which properties can I make an expression of interest for?


Background Information

The Borough of Brentwood is in the county of Essex, adjoining London to the east. It has an area of 153.1 square kilometres and a population of about 74,000.

The Borough of Brentwood is an area where demand for affordable housing is greater than the supply of social housing available.

Please also note the following:

  • Brentwood Council does own social housing properties
  • Social housing in the Borough is owned and managed by Brentwood Council and Housing Associations. Housing Associations are able to set their own rents
  • The Council maintains a register of people who would like to live in a soical housing/housing association housing home in the Borough
  • There is a severe shortage of social housing/housing association accommodation across the Borough compared to the number of people looking to be housed
  • Joining the register does not mean you are guaranteed to be housed
  • It could be a considerable amount of time before you are offered a property and many applicants will never be successful so you should consider all housing options, for example, the private rented sector

Further information about the Council's Corporate Priorities and Objectives can be found on the Council's website.


Application and Accommodation Types

Information about the housing register

Expressing an interest in available homes

You need to be registered to allow you to express interest in available Council or Housing Association homes in the Borough through HomeOption (Choice-based Lettings).

The rules applicable to eligibility and allocations are contained within the Allocations Policy 2021 We would advise you to read this prior to applying.

Please note: Just because you register, does not mean you will be successful in being housed in the short or medium term. There is a significant shortage of accommodation across the Borough compared to the number of people looking to be housed. The length an applicant may have to wait will depend upon their individual circumstances and how often bids are placed through HomeOption.

Our policy is that only applicants on the Transfer List may bid on houses. This enables the flats and maisonettes currently occupied by transfer applicants to be made available to applicants on our housing register (HomeSeekers), which we consider to be the fairest way of allocating property.

HomeSeekers are applicants not currently in social accommodation, or whom are in social accommodation outside of the Borough.

Transfer Applicants are those individuals who are existing tenants of Brentwood Borough Council or were nominated by Brentwood Borough Council to a Housing Association property within the Borough.

Sheltered accommodation

Sheltered accommodation is specifically designed for older people. It is ideal for those who want to downsize and continue to live independently within a self-contained home, but would benefit from additional security and who may need occasional support.

We understand reaching the decision to move into sheltered accommodation can be a big decision. However, making this move can also offer a number of benefits:

  • communal lounges where you can meet other residents and socialise.
  • shared gardens for the green fingered, which are managed jointly by the council and residents
  • a 24 hour emergency helpline service which enables you to summon help in an emergency at just the push of a button
  • a guest room where family or friends may stay for a small charge
  • a payment of £1000 for each bedroom you give up if you are a current council tenant who is downsizing

Living in sheltered accommodation can also offer companionship by giving you the opportunity to join in, or help to plan a range of social activities such as coffee mornings, bingo sessions or other activities.

We will also support tenants wishing to arrange/host their own social activities and entertainment to promote social inclusion.

Do I qualify for sheltered accommodation?

Sheltered accommodation is designed to offer a safe and secure environment for people aged over 55.

Types of accommodation available

We have various types of sheltered accommodation which include studio and one bedroom apartments within a in-house scheme, and also satellite bedsits, one bedroom apartments and a range of one and two bedroom bungalows situated throughout the borough of Brentwood.

To be eligible for a two bedroom bungalow you would be recognised as having a medical need for a second bedroom, this would be assessed by the Council's independent medical adviser.

All properties are self contained with their own kitchen. They are all unfurnished enabling you to bring your own furniture and personal belongings with you to make your new property home from home.

Your privacy and independence will always be respected and we will only enter your property by prior permission, or if we have good reason to be concerned about your welfare.

We understand sometimes you may like to be alone and at other times you may want to be more sociable, and our sheltered properties give you that freedom.

If you would like further information please visit Sheltered Accommodation

About mutual exchanges

If you are a secure tenant of the Council or another social housing landlord including assured tenants with housing associations, you may apply to exchange or swap your home with another tenant. We call this a mutual exchange.

You must not owe any debt to the Council (this includes council tax and housing benefit). In your new home, you must not be overcrowded or under occupying by more than one bedroom.

If you are an introductory tenant or a non-secure tenant (such as people in temporary accommodation), you are not permitted to exchange.

You can advertise your home for exchange with another tenant in one of the following ways:

  • Advertising in the local paper or a local shop
  • Registering with Homeswapper - we pay for our tenants to use the site

Important things to note and consider before applying for a mutual exchange Mutual Exchanges are initiated by the residents, it is therefore your responsibility to ensure you have viewed the property you intend to move to and understand that you are moving to the property as seen.

The Council will conduct gas and electric safety checks and where remedial works are required, these will be completed before the exchange is allowed to proceed.

You will be asked to sign a disclosure to accept responsibility for any tenant damage noted at the property (as much as reasonably can be with furniture in situ) and the Council will not complete any remedial works on these. It will be for you to rectify upon moving into your new property.

You are responsible for notifying all utility companies, including council tax and benefits, that you have changed address. The Council will not do this for you.

All rent and/or other debts owed to the Council must be paid up in full on the day of deed signing, we aim to repay any overpaid rent to you within 28 calendar days of your exchange to allow for any reconciliations on the account.

If you are on the transfer register, upon completion of your mutual exchange, you will lose any transfer points you may have earned whilst at your current address. If an application is submitted and cancelled prior to completion, you will retain your points.

A lot of work is done behind the scenes for mutual exchanges, therefore, you will only be contacted by your housing officer if and when we require information from you.

We will not be able to provide you daily or weekly updates, but will endeavour to complete the entire process within 6 weeks as stated above.

If you would like further information please visit Mutual Exchanges

The easiest way to access housing advice and assistance from Brentwood Borough Council is by using the Council’s online referral form. For further information please visit Brentwood Borough Council's Website.

How the HomeOption Scheme Works

How It Works


Auto Bidding

How It Works and Who It Applies To


Expression of Interests (Bids)

Expressions of interest FAQs


Policy and Strategy Documents

Please find links below to policy documents produced by Brentwood Borough Council Housing Advice Service.

Allocations Policy: How social housing is allocated in the Borough

Council's Housing Strategy for 2021-2026: The aim of the Housing Strategy is to focus on the delivery of the objectives which are set out in the Council's Corporate Plan


Planning Development Strategy

Brentwood's Local Plan 2016-2033

This Local Plan presents Brentwood Borough Council’s vision for how the borough will develop over the next 17 years, from 2016 to 2033. It outlines the Council’s strategic priorities and sets out a Spatial Strategy and supporting policies for achieving this vision.

Further information on the Local Plan can be found here: