Apply for social housing

Important changes to SEARCH Moves  

Daily bidding from October 2017 

With effect from October 2017, we ended the fortnightly cycle for placing bids. Properties are now advertised on any day of the week and will be available for bidding immediately after the adverts are published on Search Moves. Each advert will show the closing date by which bids must be placed. This will usually be 5 days later but may occasionally be longer. You will only be able to bid on properties that you are eligible for.

We have updated the website and you should regularly check your account, or set up property alert emails so you will be notified of matching properties being advertised. 

Search Moves – new website to place bids

The Search Moves website has been upgraded and you will need to place any future bids through this website. The improvements include:

  • A more user-friendly format
  • Mobile responsive to allow you to use the system on the go
  • Improved property adverts with maps and local information as well as street view where available
  • Help Guides under the 'How the Scheme Works' tab
  • Ability for registered applicants to update telephone numbers and emails online. 
  • A property alert system that you can set up to be notified of suitable properties that become available for letting.

Registered applicants can use their existing login details to access their account. There is a guide showing how to place bids on this website and you can access by clicking on the How to Bid help guide.

Some things you should know 

All social housing in the Borough is provided by housing associations normally on fixed term tenancies of 5 years and rents of up to 80% of market rent.

The demand for social housing is greater than the number of properties available and for many there is little chance of being offered accommodation. With a large number of applicants currently on our housing register unlikely to be ever offered a housing association tenancy, home-seekers are encouraged to consider other options, such as renting privately

You need to have a strong local connection with Elmbridge to qualify to be on the housing register.  This includes:

  • people who currently live in Elmbridge and have done so for at least the last three years

  • people who have a permanent job in Elmbridge

  • people who have immediate family in Elmbridge who have lived here for at least five years

Our Housing Allocations Policy shows how we assess and prioritise applications for social housing, and has more information on local connection criteria.

If you wish to register for social housing to rent within Elmbridge you will need to apply online via the Search Moves website.

Part 1 of the online application process will produce a personalised action plan to advise you about your wider housing options which could include joining the Search Moves register (Part 2 is the main application form).  

If you need additional help

Assistance can be provided to applicants to help them apply online. If you think you may need help to re-apply then you could ask a family member, friend or support worker if you have one, in the first instance. You can access public computers at local libraries, or at one of the Search Moves partners' offices. If you have any questions please contact us.

Further Information

If you are interested in homeownership options, like shared-ownership, please visit our Help to Buy pages.  Please note that you do not have to register with Search Moves to be considered for Help to Buy options.

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