Apply for a home in Bolton: intro

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Apply for a home in Bolton

To apply for a home in Bolton, you must register first with the Homes for Bolton choice-based lettings (CBL) scheme before you can see available homes and bid on them. You can only have two live bids on properties at any one time. If you need help registering, bidding, or searching, please call Homes for Bolton on 01204 335811.

If you'd like to apply for a home in another location, use the button at the top of this page.

Please read the important information below before continuing to apply for a home in Bolton. When you're ready, tap the button at the bottom of this page to visit the Homes for Bolton site. Please note that properties from other housing providers (not just Bolton at Home) are also advertised on the Homes for Bolton site.

When you bid on a home through the Homes for Bolton choice-based lettings (CBL) scheme, you'll be separated into one of four bands based on need

These bands affect who is most likely to be successful when they bid on an available home.

Tap on the buttons below for details on each band:

The highest priorty band is reserved for people who urgently need a new property. This band includes:

  • Families where there is an urgent concern for the health and welfare of children.
  • Households where an applicant requires a high level of social work support because of a diagnosed mental health condition.
  • Households where somebody is escaping domestic abuse, harassment, or violence.
  • Somebody who is currently homeless (as defined by VII Housing Act 1996).
  • Where a household is living in a property where there is an immediate threat to life or limb.

There are also additional criteria such as for returning armed forces personnel.

The second highest priority band is reserved for people who may fall into the following criteria:

  • Households in temporary/homelessness accommodation.
  • Households who are at risk of becoming homeless (after they have presented to Bolton Council).

These households are normally given priority status for a limited time period.

This band includes most other households in Bolton who want a new home, but don’t have an urgent need.

To qualify in this band, households should also have a local connection. A local connection is when someone already lives, previously lived, works, or has family living in the area. It also covers people who have a special circumstance, such as a medical reason they need to live here.

This band covers people who have no priority, such as people who already own their own home, or have no local connection.

Applicants are also allocated based on the suitability of the home they’ve bid on

For example, a family of two adults and two children can bid for two- and three-bedroom properties but are unlikely to be accepted for a four or five bedroomed property without special circumstances.

Similarly, two adults wouldn’t likely meet the criteria to get a home with three or more bedrooms.

You can read the full Homes for Bolton Allocations Policy at

Here are some of the most common questions we're asked about applying for a home in Bolton:

You can complete an application at

The application form is in two parts:

  • Part 1: pre-assessment. This section is a pre-assessment, which will provide you with options relevant to your circumstances. The answers you give will be used to create a personalised plan showing the best options for you based on your circumstances. It will give an indication of whether you’ll qualify for the housing register. Based on your action plan results, you should decide whether to continue.
  • Part 2: full application. You’ll need to complete a full housing application after the pre-assessment if you wish to continue. You’ll need an email address to create a full application.

The Homes for Bolton choice-based lettings (CBL) scheme allows you to have two active bids at any one time.

Many properties are advertised on the Homes for Bolton website for over one week, but some are advertised on a flexible cycle so keep checking the site for new adverts and the number of days until the advert closes.

Please note we also advertise our new build homes for rent through Homes for Bolton.

When you make a bid on a property, a shortlist is created of everyone who is interested in that home.

This shortlist is based on the band (see above about bands) and if more than one person has the same band then the date you registered is taken into account.

The person with the highest band and/or longest registration date and who meets the criteria for the property is the person who is likely to be offered the property. However, we (as the housing provider) will also need to carry out checks and references.

You can check your previous bids 24 hours a day on your Homes for Bolton account.

You’ll be able to see the status of the shortlist once the advert is closed. This is helpful to see if the housing provider (i.e. Bolton at Home) is still shortlisting or they’ve offered the property to someone.

If you have any queries about a bid on one of our properties, please contact us** for more details.

In the Bid History section, if your application has been unsuccessful then you can hover over the word to find the reason.

**Please note that not all properties on the Homes for Bolton site are managed by Bolton at Home, so you'll need to contact the listed housing provider for further details on those.

If you’re currently homeless or facing eviction, you should register with Bolton Council’s Housing Options team, so that you can be allocated urgent or priority status.

The team can also:

  • negotiate with your landlord
  • address your arrears
  • advise on welfare benefits and maximising your income
  • assist and represent you at County Court
  • help with a referral to Money Advice to help sort out any debts you may have.

If you live in the Bolton area, please contact Bolton Council's Housing Options team on 01204 335900 or email your query to

If you don't currently live in Bolton and are homeless or facing eviction, please contact your local authority.

It’s really important that your details are up to date on the Homes for Bolton site:

  • Ensure that you complete the additional comments section on your application to fully explain your circumstances.
  • Are there any special requirements you need to tell us about?
  • Think about why are you moving or need a property.
  • What will this property offer you that you that your current one doesn’t?

There are also other things to think about, for example:

  • Are you meeting the advertised criteria?
  • Are you bidding for the right properties?

Ready to apply for a home through Homes for Bolton?

If you've read the information on this page and you're ready to apply for a home in Bolton, tap the button below to go to the Homes for Bolton website.

Or, if you'd like further advice on finding a home in Bolton, tap here to email our Homefinder Team or call them using 01204 328000.

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Useful resources for new tenants

If you're successful in applying for a property, these resources can help you to prepare for your tenancy:

This guide helps tenants and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities. It provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process.

Tap here to view a checklist from the government on how to rent a home (opens in a new tab).

You'll need to have one week or month's rent ready (depending on agreed payment frequency) if you're offered a property.

Tap here for details on all the ways you can pay your rent to us.

If you're successful in bidding for a Bolton at Home property, you'll need to have several documents ready otherwise the property may be passed to the next person on the waiting list.

Tap here for more information on preparing for your tenancy.