How we let out our empty homes for rent

We make around 100 new lettings a year and we fill these vacancies from a variety of sources:


Local authority nominations

We receive nominations directly from the council’s housing register. This accounts for 50% of new lettings of one bed/studio flats and 75% of family-sized units.


Internal transfers

These will either be from our management transfer list or from our date-of-entry transfer list. Internal transfers account for about 20% of our lettings.


Direct applicants for sheltered housing

We have open waiting lists for our sheltered housing schemes in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Redbridge. These account for 15% of new lettings.


Community letting scheme

Household members of current tenants can apply to us for independent housing. The available accommodation is mainly for single people and is a small voluntary scheme which accounts for about 5% of new lettings.


Referral agencies

IDS works with voluntary agencies working in the Jewish community and with several agencies working with women experiencing domestic violence. We take referrals on an ad hoc basis from these agencies and these account for 3% of new lettings.




Choice-Based Lettings

IDS operates a choice-based lettings scheme and, with the exception of the management transfer list, all properties that are not taken by the Local Authority for nomination are offered via this system. This means that if you are near the top of the waiting list that a property has been allocated to you will be invited to ‘bid’ for it.


What does bidding mean?

It means that when a property becomes available we ask the top-ranked applicants to let us know if they are interested in being considered for it. This saves everybody time by not contacting people who, for whatever reason, do not wish to be considered for a particular vacancy. There are penalties for failing to bid regularly (see Section below)


Does ‘bidding’ mean I have to pay?

No! It is just the term that we use for people letting us know they are interested and would like to be considered for a vacancy. Bidding does not involve any cost. The ‘winning bidder’ will be the person that is highest on the waiting list from those top-ranked applicants who were invited to bid who chose to lodge a bid.


How do I tell you I’m interested?

When you are close to the top of a waiting list you will receive details of any available property and an invitation to bid in the post. If you would like us to consider you for this property you can bid by post, telephone or e-mail.



Am I eligible for housing with IDS?


Local authority applicants

IDS operates in 9 different local authority areas and all of these areas operate choice-based lettings schemes. If you are registered on a local authority housing register you will be able to bid for any IDS property that is advertised that you are eligible for but it will be the local authority that prioritises offers via this route, not IDS. IDS sometimes refused nominations from the Local Authority if a nominee has a history of causing anti-social behaviour or having high rent arrears.



If you are already an IDS tenant you can apply for transfer to another IDS property. You will find more detailed information on transfers here.


Sheltered housing

If you are 60+ you may be eligible for our sheltered housing. We have sheltered housing schemes in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Redbridge. The schemes in Redbridge and one in Hackney are specialist schemes for Jewish people, but the rest of the schemes in Hackney and all our Tower Hamlets schemes are open to all persons over 60. You can request an application pack by telephoning the allocations office on 020 8800 9606.

Our sheltered waiting lists are maintained on a date-of-entry basis but there are variations between boroughs on how applicants are prioritised which are detailed in the application packs.


Community letting scheme

This scheme is designed for people who currently live with an IDS tenant (eg son, daughter, brother, niece). You must be an authorised household member but you do not need to be a child of the tenant. This scheme is not designed to provide emergency housing. It CANNOT GUARANTEE an offer of accommodation. It is a voluntary scheme, there is no obligation on IDS to make offers, other than in accordance with its equal opportunities policy.


Penalties imposed for non bidding or refusals

IDS penalises those internal applicants who fail to bid three successive times without good reason or who bid then refuse a reasonable offer of accommodation from IDS. The penalties are suspension or closure of applications plus loss of waiting time priority accrued. Some local authorities also impose penalties on registrants to their Choice-based Lettings schemes, please contact them directly for more information on their penalties systems.

You can request an application pack by telephoning the allocations office on 020 8800 9606.


How is our waiting list ranked?

Our community letting waiting list is NOT maintained on a Date of Entry basis but rather is ranked according to points based on household circumstances.



Sometimes offers are made via the emergency Management List where IDS will make a net gain by receiving an under-occupied property after housing someone to a smaller unit. IDS offers no financial incentives to under-occupiers who downsize. Some local authorities operate incentive schemes even for Housing Association tenants, please check with your local Council.



Industrial Dwellings Society's offices will be closed until further notice; however we can be contacted by phone and email. See all our details here. Thank you for your co-operation and understanding during this difficult time.