How to apply for housing

We keep a list of people who have applied for social housing in the Borough. We call this the Richmond Housing Register.

This guide explains who we can include on the register and how to apply. We recommend you read through carefully before you apply.

Who can apply

You can apply to the Richmond Housing Register if you are over the age of 16 and have:

  • Lived in the borough for the last six months; or
  • Worked in the borough for five out of the last six months

We will put you on the Richmond Housing Register, but we will not consider you for any accommodation (unless there are exceptional circumstances) if:

  • You own a property
  • You have a leasehold interest in a property
  • Your household has a taxable income of over £40,000 or your savings are over £70,000 (or both)

We will consider you later on if your circumstances change.

Who can not apply

We will not accept you onto the register if:

  • You are under the age of 16
  • Another council has placed you in the borough under homelessness laws
  • You are under immigration control
  • You are from abroad and you fail the habitual residence test (conditions you must meet to be regarded as having good cause to live in the UK)
  • You live outside of the London Borough of Richmond, (unless you work in the borough or we consider you to have an exceptional reason or need to live in the borough)

If you live outside the Borough

If you live outside the London Borough of Richmond, you will not be eligible to join the Richmond Housing Register unless:

  • You are currently working in the borough
  • There are exceptional circumstances that require you to live in the borough
  • We have accepted you from another borough
  • The Housing Options Team has accepted a duty to rehouse you and not discharged the housing duty in another way
  • You are a member or previously serving member of the armed forces
  • You are applying for shared ownership

Unacceptable behaviour

We will not consider you for any accommodation if we think you, or someone you want to live with, has behaved unacceptably.

Examples can include:

  • You have lost your home because of substantial rent arrears
  • You have lost your home because of your behaviour (or a member of your household’s behaviour) towards your neighbours
  • You were granted a council or housing association tenancy on the provision of false information

Before we make this decision, we will look at your case very carefully.

How we decide who gets housing

We use a points system to work out the priority of each housing application we receive. You will be given a number of points based on the information you tell us in your application. Once you reach a certain number of points you will be considered for housing. You must give accurate information in your application or we may be unable to award certain points.

The number of points you need to reach will be different depending on the size and type of property you have applied for.

You will be given extra priority depending on the length of time you have lived or worked in the borough.

It is importat to note that we do not own any properties, so any offer of accommodation will be made by a Registered Provider (housing association).

Change of circumstances

If your circumstances have changed since you last applied for housing you must tell us right away.

Call us on 020 8487 5454 to speak to a Housing Provision Officer and discuss the changes.

Examples can include:

  • You have a baby
  • You have moved house
  • You have a new partner or family member that has joined your household
  • Your income and/or savings have altered

It is very important to tell us about a change in your circumstances. This information could affect the amount of points you get.

Checking your application is honest

If you give us any false information or withhold information we may consider your application to be fraudulent.

We also check to see if household savings/capital have been deliberately reduced in order to apply for social housing.

If your application is fraudalent we will close your case and you will not be allowed to apply again for 5 years.

How to apply

You must complete an online application form to join the Richmond Housing Register. The form asks for information about you, the people you want to live with, and your current housing situation.

What happens next

We will write to you with a reference number and the number of points you have been awarded as soon as possible. We receive a high volume of applications, which we process in date order. Please do not contact us about the progress of your application, as this may cause a delay in our processing time.

You must keep a note of your reference number.

Getting an accommodation offer

Once you reach the required number of points we will write to you and ask you to show us documents to prove the information you have told us. Once we have checked these documents we will interview you to approve your application. You can check the number of points needed to be approved for each size of property.

Although we may approve you for housing, it may still be some time before a suitable property becomes available.

Choosing your preferred location

We will ask you where you would prefer to live. We have divided the locations where we have nomination rights into five areas and will ask you to rank the areas in order of preference from 1 to 5.

We will try to rehouse you within one of your top three areas but this may not always be possible. You will need to tell us if you have specific reasons why you cannot live in a particular area. We will consider this request and let you know if it is possible or not.

Refusing an offer of accommodation

If you refuse an offer of accommodation, we will carefully consider your reasons for refusal. We will use the information you provide to decide if the offer is reasonable or unreasonable. If we feel the offer is unreasonable, we will withdraw the offer and nominate you for another offer.

If we feel that the offer is reasonable, we will give you another chance to accept the property. If you still refuse the offer it will be withdrawn, and we may defer your application for two years. There is an appeal procedure.

If you are homeless

If you are threatened with homelessness we may be able to help. We offer an advice service which can help prevent homelessness. We may be able to offer your emergency housing depending on your circumstances.

I want to join the Housing Register

Updated: 22 January 2016