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About the housing register

In order to be considered for a social housing property you need to join our housing register.

Most people on the housing register can bid for housing on our choice-based lettings service.

Social housing in Merton is provided by housing associations, and Merton Council does not own any council housing.

Demand for a home greatly exceeds supply, so we encourage you not to rely on the housing register as your only housing solution.

In the year 2019/20 there were 9485 households on the housing register at the end of the year, and 252 households were housed or re-housed as a result of a successful nomination.

  • 143 households were housed in 1-bedroom properties
  • 74 were housed in 2-bedroom properties
  • 32 were housed in 3-bedroom properties
  • 3 were housed in 4-bedroom properties

Join the housing register

Who can apply

Most people, 18 years old or over, can apply to go onto our housing register. Exceptions include:

  • people who do not currently live in Merton.
  • people from abroad who are subject to immigration control; unless the Secretary of State has prescribed that they should be eligible for housing.
  • people who have been found guilty of unacceptable behaviour, where we are satisfied this is serious enough to make them unsuitable for a social housing tenancy.

People with a local connection to the borough are given priority and applications from households anywhere else in the country will usually be refused.

The housing register does not necessarily work on a 'first come, first served' basis. There are certain groups of people who must always be given priority because of their particular circumstances. The law calls this 'reasonable preference'.

However, there is a shortage of housing in Merton and the demand far exceeds the supply. Unfortunately,it is not possible for us to house everyone who applies. There are thousands of households on our waiting list, meaning that there are likely to be a lot of people bidding for each available property and those in the most urgent housing need get the highest priority. Because of this, our Housing Options Team gives advice on what else you can do to find a solution to your housing needs.

For more information on housing need please visit the Housing Advice and Homelessness pages.

How to apply

You can apply to join the housing register by downloading and completing a Choice-Based Lettings application form and either posting it to us or delivering it in person to Merton Link, Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX. Application forms are also available for pick-up at Merton Link Civic Centre or call us on the telephone number below and we will post one to you.

People that you can include on your application should be members of your immediate family and/or any others who could reasonably be expected to live with you, except lodgers. Once you have answered all the questions on the form, ensure you sign it and enclosed copies of any documents requested before returning it to us.

If any person included in your application has a medical condition or disability which is made worse by their current living conditions, you will need to complete a Medical assessment form and attach it to your application form.

When we have received your application, we will assess your housing needs and aim to let you know our decision within 20 working days. However, in cases where a medical assessment is required or the form is not completed fully or documents we requested are missing, it may take longer than 20 days.

If your application is accepted we will put your name on the housing register and send you a letter which tells you:

  • your registration number;
  • the allocation Band that you have been placed in;
  • the amount of points you have been given;
  • the size of home you have been assessed as needing;
  • your User ID and PIN number

Please keep this letter somewhere safe as you may need to refer to it in the event of any queries.

For a detailed explanation of how we allocate bands and points you can refer to our Housing Register and Nominations Policy located in the the Housing policies and strategies section.

Bid for housing

Available homes are advertised on our Choice Based Lettings Service website where you can bid, or express an interest in the home that you are interested in. All social housing homes are let through this service.

Search and bid for properties

You can bid through the Internet, automated telephone or by text. The automated telephone service has instructions in English, Sylheti, Cantonese, French, Somali, Turkish, Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu and Vietnamese.

You can also use the Internet for free at Merton's libraries to make your bids. You will need your User ID and PIN number to bid.

From the list of households who bid for each home, the household with the highest priority will be contacted and invited to view the home before deciding to accept it. In some cases, applicants such as those nominated by Mental Health, Learning Disabilities or Children Services may get direct offers of accommodation if it is accepted that the bidding process would not be suitable for them.

How long you wait for an offer of a home will depend on your priority.

Tell us about a change of circumstances

While you are on the housing register you will need to inform us if your circumstances change, for example:

  • change of address or contact details
  • you become pregnant
  • medical conditions or other special circumstances
  • you are being asked to leave by the people you live with
  • you are being harassed where you live.

It is very important to tell us of any change in your circumstances as this may affect your priority on the housing register.

If we write to you and the letter is returned because you have moved we may close your housing application.

If you have bid for a housing association home successfully and you are offered a home, this offer may be withdrawn in some instances if your circumstances are different from those held on your housing application.

Contact us

We are available to see customers in Merton Link between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. You do not need an appointment to see us but you will need to register at the Merton Link reception desk and wait in a queue until we are able to see you. We will aim to see you within 30 minutes.

Registration and Nomination Team
Housing Needs and Enabling Service
Civic Centre

Telephone: 020 8545 3305

Out of hours: 020 8770 5000
Email: registration@merton.gov.uk