Applying to the Council's Housing Register

Social Housing in the Borough

The Council introduced a new Housing Allocation Scheme on 17 February 2014. This means that only the people in the greatest housing need can be placed on the Council’s Housing Register (the list of people waiting for accommodation). Further revisions were made to the Housing Allocation Scheme in February 2017.

Kensington and Chelsea is one of the most popular areas to live in the UK. It is one of the most densely populated boroughs in the country, with an estimated 158,700 people living here. According to the 2011 Census figures about 25 per cent of households live in social housing (which includes homes rented from the Council and housing associations), and 36 per cent live in the private rented sector. This is much higher than the London average. With such high demand and a shortage of accommodation of all descriptions, house prices and rent can be very high.

Between April 2019 and the end of March 2020, there were only 457 properties available for the Council to let. There are many tenants in Kensington and Chelsea who for a number of reasons wish to move. If you believe you have a need to be rehoused to social housing, you should contact the Council's Housing Solutions Team on 020 7361 3008.

However, while each year demand for these properties goes up, the number of vacancies that become available, gets smaller. The number and sizes of the properties let was as follows:

Properties let via the Housing Register 2019-20



One bed


Two bed


Three bed


Four bed


Five bed


Six bed




You will see from this that the larger the property you need, the longer you will have to wait for social housing as fewer larger, family sized properties become available each year. Unless you have high priority for housing, it is unlikely that we will ever be able to offer you social housing.

You may wish to consider other options for your housing. The Housing Solutions Team can offer advice on schemes available to you. For further information about housing options, please call: 020 7361 3008.

Who can register for housing with the Royal Borough?

The Royal Borough operates a restricted housing register where only those in the greatest housing need can register for housing. There will be lots of people who want to move but will not be able to join the register as they are not a priority for the Council.

Our main priorities are local residents who:

  • need to move due to medical reasons, where a move would substantially improve their independence
  • are severely overcrowded
  • are in accommodation that is larger than they need and a move would free up this accommodation for a family that needs it

We will also give some priority to:

  • homeless households
  • local people with a housing need who are working (16 hours a week or more in paid work for at least six months)
  • those in the Armed Forces

To qualify for the housing register, you should also have lived in the borough for at least the last three years, must not have savings of more than £30,000, and not have an income above £40,000 or £60,000 depending on the size of property you need.

By law, people subject to immigration control and certain groups of people from abroad are ineligible to be housed through a council (except in particular circumstances) and this means they cannot register with us for housing. The same applies to people we consider to be guilty of ‘unacceptable behaviour,’ meaning that they or someone in their household has behaved in a way which would make them unsuitable to be a tenant.

Last updated: 23 February 2023