1. Table of contents

What is Homespot?

Homespot is Falkirk Council's choice-based way of letting homes. This means that houses available to let will be advertised on Homespot and you can decide which houses you would like to be considered for. We advertise vacant properties every week as they become available. If you see a property that you like you can 'bid’ for it. A bid lets us know you are interested in a particular property and would like to be considered for it. It does not mean you will have to part with any money. You must register with Homespot to be able to bid for properties.

You can look at the list of adverts for properties on the Council’s Homespot webpage or in the printed Homespot newsletter that is available throughout the Council area at our Housing Needs Service, Advice and Support Hubs, local supported accommodation projects, libraries and in housing association partners’ offices.

Adverts for properties will include the following information:

  • the address of the property
  • the property type e.g., house, flat, multi-storey flat
  • the number of bedrooms
  • the type of heating
  • the weekly rent
  • which applicant group will be given preference and any additional qualifying criteria
  • the date and time that bidding for the property closes

How do I apply for a Council property using Homespot?

If you wish to apply for a council property, the quickest and easiest way to apply is through Housing Online. You will need a myaccount to sign up, which you will already have if you use MyFalkirk.

Already signed up

If you are already signed up to Housing Online, you can access this directly:

If you cannot get online, you can ask for a paper application form. You can get an application form by:

If you need help to fill in the registration form, staff from the Housing Needs Service or Advice and Support Hubs will be happy to assist.

To help us to register your application as quickly as possible, please make sure that you answer all the relevant questions on the form.

When you have filled in your registration form you should return it to the Housing Needs Service.

How can I bid for properties?

Once we've assessed your application, we'll tell you what your Band and applicant group is. When we send you this letter, we'll also send you a step-by-step guide on how to register for and bid using Homespot. If you don't have access to the internet or a device you can use to access the internet, there are other ways to bid for properties.

Falkirk Council libraries offer access to computers and the internet. You can visit your nearest library to book a slot to use a computer. Properties are also advertised in the printed Homespot newsletter that is available throughout the Council area at our Housing Needs Service, Advice and Support Hubs, local supported accommodation projects, libraries and in housing association partners’ offices.

You can find your closest Advice and Support Hub or Library on the Council’s website.

There is also a Freephone service that you can use to bid for properties: 0800 678 3091. This is an answer machine service where you can leave a message and a member of staff will phone you back. You can also fill in and return a paper bidding slip.

What help and support will I get?

If you feel you need help and support to register for or bid for properties using Homespot, our staff can help you. Our staff will help you to use Homespot until you get familiar with bidding for properties. We can continue to help you if you have particular problems using Homespot.

You can get help from our staff by phoning Freephone: 0800 678 3091 or by visiting an Advice and Support Hub.

You will need to be able to access the internet to use Homespot. If you don't have internet at home, you can access the internet at Falkirk Council libraries and Advice and Support Hubs. If you don’t have a device that can access the internet, computers are available at Falkirk Council libraries.

How will my application be assessed and what properties can I apply for?

Once we have received your application, we will use the information you give us to decide what applicant group you are in e.g., a Home Seeker, Home Mover or Home Starter and you will also be placed in one of four 'Bands'. A Band is a way of describing the priority for housing you have been awarded.

The Band you are placed in depends on your level of housing need. You may be placed in Band 4 (which is the lowest band) when you first register until we have carried out a full assessment of your housing need.

If an assessment is carried out this should be done within 28 days of your registration.

Within each Band applications are then placed in date order.

Important - if your circumstances change at any time, you must tell us as it may affect the Band in which you are placed and the type of properties you can be considered for. Once you have been allocated your applicant group, you can begin to bid on properties advertised for that group. You will only be able to bid for properties advertised for your group or those advertised for ‘All Groups’.

What are Home Seekers, Home Movers and Home Starters?

Home Seekers: applicants that have been assessed as homeless in terms of homeless legislation

Home Movers: tenants of Falkirk Council or tenants of a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) – also known as Housing Associations – living in the Council area.

Home Starters: all other applicants.

We aim to let 45% of our vacant houses to Home Seekers, 27.5% to Home Movers and 27.5% to Home Starters.

What are priority Bands?

There are four levels of priority for housing which we refer to as 'Bands'. Band 1 (the highest level of priority), Band 2, Band 3, and Band 4 (the lowest level of priority). You will be placed in one of these Bands depending on your level of housing need. The Bands are explained below:

Band 1

Priority is awarded to the following applicants who have an urgent need to move:

  • applicants who are found to be unintentionally homeless following a homelessness assessment
  • applicants who are assessed to be threatened with homelessness within the next 2 months following a homelessness assessment
  • applicants who have been 'looked after and accommodated' by Falkirk Council (Care Leavers) and are leaving their care placement
  • applicants who are leaving the Armed Forces where their right to occupy service accommodation is coming to an end and a certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to occupy Service Living Accommodation has been issued
  • where a Public Protection case conference has made recommendations regarding accommodation
  • applicants who are unable to be safely discharged from hospital because their current home is no longer suitable for them
  • applicants whose home is causing significant problems due to a physical, medical, or mental health problem or disability
  • applicants who are living in an overcrowded home and need 2 or more additional bedrooms to meet their household needs
  • applicants who are living in a 1 bedroom property and have 2 children under the age of 8 years sharing a bedroom with them
  • applicants who have 2 teenage children of different genders sharing a bedroom
  • applicants who are currently both social housing tenants in the Falkirk Council area who wish to move so they can live together as a family unit and need a larger property to prevent overcrowding
  • applicants who are Falkirk Council or Registered Social Landlord (RSL) tenants living in the Falkirk area in a house that is too big for their household needs by 2 or more bedrooms
  • applicants who are living in a house that is assessed as falling below tolerable standards
  • applicants who need to be re-housed because of regeneration or redevelopment in the Falkirk Council area
  • applicants with another exceptional housing need

Band 2

Priority is awarded to the following applicants:

  • applicants who are living in a property where they don't have a secure tenure or lease
  • applicants who live in a home that is overcrowded and who need 1 additional bedroom to meet their household needs
  • applicants who are living in a home that is a bed-sit
  • applicants who need to move home because of a social housing need, such as to give or receive support, or because they are experiencing severe harassment in their current home

Band 3

Priority is awarded to the following applicants:

  • have children under 10 years old living in a tenement flat with no access to a shared or private garden
  • are Joint Tenants or owners of a property but no longer wish to live together because of a relationship breakdown
  • are living in a home where their independence is limited because of a physical medical condition or disability
  • want to move to the Falkirk Council area because they have a local connection to the area e.g., are employed in the area
  • are living in a property where they have a Private Sector Tenancy
  • are homeowners who live in the Falkirk Council area who would like to downsize to a home with 2 or more bedrooms less than their current home
  • are living in a Private Sector rented home where they have a short-assured tenancy agreement
  • who are currently sharing amenities e.g., cooking facilities or a bathroom, with another household that they are not applying to be housed with

Band 4

Band 4 is awarded to applicants who apply for housing but have no housing need as listed above.

We will also tell you your Band date (this is the date you were awarded priority and your Band). If you are a Home Seeker with Band 1 priority, your Band date will be the date you first contacted us to let us know that you are homeless. For all other applicants, your Band date is the date your assessment was completed or 28 days after your date of application for priority, whichever is sooner.

If your circumstances change, this may also result in a change in the Band of priority you have been awarded. If your Band of priority changes then the Band date will also change. Please let us know as soon as possible if there any changes to your circumstances.

What properties can I bid for?

The aim of choice-based lettings is to give you more choice over where you want to live and the type of house you want to live in.

We have a range of different types of houses that you can apply for. When we advertise a property, we will say which applicant group can bid for it. You can only bid for properties that are advertised for your applicant group or properties that are advertised for All Groups.

When you register you will be asked which allocation area you would prefer to live in. There are ten allocation areas across the Council area, and you can choose as many of these as you like.

The allocation areas are:

  • Bo'ness
  • Bonnybridge and Banknock
  • Braes
  • Dawson
  • Denny
  • Falkirk Central
  • Falkirk East
  • Falkirk West
  • Grangemouth
  • Larbert and Stenhousemuir

What is a Local Lettings initiative?

Some properties that Falkirk Council lets may be subject to local lettings initiatives. The main aim of local lettings initiatives is to build strong and sustainable communities.

This means we may look at, for example the households that already live in a block of flats and think about the household we allocate to move into the block of flats to ensure that the community there will be sustainable.

A local lettings plan or initiative provides an open and transparent framework where we will set out any variation we will make to the Housing Allocation Policy. We will only do this when needed to take account of and address any local needs and circumstances.

Existing Local Lettings Initiatives

Block profiling:

  • we may consider the profile of other households living within a block of flats when we allocate vacant properties to ensure sustainable communities.

High Flats:

  • as a result of public consultations, the Council will now only allocate properties within the High Flats (multi-storey properties) to applicants who are aged 50 years or older.

Low Demand Properties

  • some property types are not seen as popular and can take more time to let e.g., larger tenement flats with 3 bedrooms or properties that are in more rural or outlying areas. If no bids are received for a property the first time it is advertised on Homespot, we will re-advertise the property, making it available for All Groups.
  • New Build Council Houses - Within the new build programme, ground floor properties are designed to barrier-free standards and are suitable for wheelchair users. These properties will be advertised as "Adapted" and preference will be given to applicants who need the facilities provided.

What size of house can I apply for?

We want to make the best use of our housing stock and to do this we have Household Size Criteria as follows:

  • Couples are expected to share a bedroom
  • Couples and single applicants will be considered for properties with one or two bedrooms
  • Each household member over 8 years of age can have their own bedroom. Priority for overcrowding will not be awarded where two children under 8 years of age of either gender share a room which is larger than 110 square feet (10 square metres)
  • If you have two children of the same gender aged 8 years or over, they can share a bedroom if you wish
  • If you wish to move to a house the same size as the one you live in just now, we will not consider any overcrowding priority you may have

Due to the lack of larger houses with three or four bedrooms, you can be considered for a property that is smaller than you need if it will still reduce overcrowding.

We recognise that some households may need a home that is bigger than the household size criteria allow e.g., an additional room may be needed because of a medical condition. Any professional recommendation for additional rooms will be taken into account in deciding what house size you qualify for.

Based on the household size criteria above you will only be able to bid for properties that meet the needs of your household.

How many properties can I bid for?

You can bid for as many properties as you like in any weekly advertising cycle as long as the property is advertised for the applicant group that you are in or for All Groups.

Important - if you bid for more than one property, you need to enter your bids in the order of your preference starting with the property you are most interested in. This is very important because if you are successful for more than one property that you bid for, we will allocate the properties in the order you bid for them starting with your first bid. If your first bid is successful, we will not consider any later bids you have made.

What if I have a recommendation for a particular type of property?

You may have a medical condition or disability that means you need a certain type of property.

Secondary housing needs are taken into account when they relate to a medical condition or disability and following a Functional Needs Assessment. You can complete a self-assessment form if you have applied for a home with Falkirk Council and your current home is causing you problems because you have a disability or problems getting around or doing everyday activities in your home. The aim of the assessment is to find out what your needs are and to help you to move to a home that will meet your needs now and in the future.

If it is found you need an adapted property, an indicator (F) will be added to your priority banding e.g., you may have a Band 1 priority for overcrowding and a medical recommendation for ground floor housing with a shower, so your priority award will become Band 1(F) or B1F. This (F) indicator will allow you to bid for properties advertised as 'Adapted'.

If you have been awarded Band 1F or Band 3F priority because your home is unsuitable for you due to a medical condition or disability, it may also include a recommendation of the type of property that will be suitable for you.

We will not consider you for any property that does not match this recommendation, even if you bid for them. For example, if the recommendation is for ground floor housing, you will not be successful if you bid for a house with internal stairs.

If you feel that your health has improved and the recommendation is no longer relevant, you should tell us about this, and we will review the priority and any recommendation.

A review may not remove restrictions on the type of house you can be offered.

Properties that have been adapted will be advertised as ‘Adapted’ properties and all applicants with a functional needs recommendation will be able to bid for these properties whether they are a Home Seeker, Home Mover or Home Starter.

The Homespot advert description for adapted properties will give you more information about how the property has been adapted to help you decide if it is suitable for you.

If you think that the priority you have been awarded does not reflect your needs, you can ask us to review your circumstances by using the Appeals Process (see our Allocations Appeal Process leaflet on how to appeal).

Housing with Care

If you are over 60 and need care and support at home, you may wish to consider moving to a Housing with Care property. These homes will allow you to live with extra support, with other people with similar needs around you. We have a number of Housing with Care properties. Some local Housing Associations have similar schemes.

Housing with Care is sometimes known as sheltered housing.

There are three levels of Housing with Care:

  • Level 3 - Individual flats or houses, with extra safety and security features such as the Mobile Emergency Care Service (MECS) available to those who wish to use this service
  • Level 2 - Individual flats or houses, with additional features such as a communal lounge and laundry facilities, lifts, and CCTV
  • Level 1 - This is the highest level. This has the same facilities as Level 2 complexes, but meals are prepared for service users on site and served in a communal dining room

If you would like to be considered for Housing with Care, you will need to complete our housing application form. Please make sure you tick the box on this form to tell us you want to be considered for Housing with Care. We will arrange an appointment with you to assess your needs. We will ask for more information about your health, the support you currently get, and how you manage around the house. We will use this information to decide which level of Housing with Care is most suitable for you.

Our Level 3 Housing with Care properties are advertised weekly through Homespot. You will need to follow the Homespot application process if you need a Level 3 property.

Level 1 and Level 2 properties are not advertised through Homespot. When a Level 1 or 2 property becomes available, we will match it to an applicant whose needs match the property best. We will let to the applicant with the highest level of need, not who has been on the list the longest.

How are properties advertised?

Properties are advertised on Homespot every week. The cycle opens at 12 noon on a Wednesday and closes at 12 noon, 7 days later. This means that new properties will be advertised on Homespot every 7 days. Properties will stay on Homespot until their closing date. All adverts clearly state the closing date for bids to be made

If you wish to bid for a property, please make sure you place your bid before the stated closing date.

Will all properties be advertised?

We will let most of our houses through Homespot however there are some exceptions, and these are explained below:

Housing with Care level 1 and 2

Housing for older people who are physically frail and need care and support services at home. These properties will be matched to applicants following a full assessment of their needs.

Other exceptions

We may need to use a property for temporary accommodation as a result of an emergency situation or to discharge our statutory duty in terms of homeless legislation.

If a property would meet the needs of an applicant with particular needs e.g., someone who cannot leave hospital because their own home is unsuitable then we may re-house another applicant to allow their property to be let to the applicant with particular needs.

We may need to use a property to house an applicant that has been awarded priority due to exceptional needs.

How will I know if I am the successful bidder?

How do you decide who is the successful bidder?

It does not matter whether you make your bid on the first day or the last day of the advertising cycle. Once bidding has closed, everyone who has made a bid for a property will be considered.

We will prepare a short-list of suitable applicants who:

  • meet the criteria in the advert i.e., Home Seeker, Home Mover or Home Starter and any additional qualifying criteria
  • would make 'best use' of the property - for example would use all the bedrooms
  • are not suspended for any reason
  • have a recommendation for a property type which matches the property advertised (where applicable)

The short-listed applicants will be ranked in order of their level of priority. If there is more than one applicant with the same level of priority, the property will be offered to the applicant that has had that priority longest. For applicants in Band 4, this will be their date of application.

What will happen if there are no eligible bids from the advertised applicant group?

If there are no eligible bids for a property from the advertised applicant group, we will either directly match the property to a Home Seeker that has not been bidding for properties or re-advertise the property for All Groups to bid for.

How will I know if I am going to be offered a property?

If your bid for a property is successful, you will normally be contacted within 7 working days of the closing date by telephone or email depending on the contact details we hold for you. If you are not available when we try to contact you, a letter will be left at the address you have given us on your application asking you to contact us urgently.

It is very important that you respond to this letter quickly. If we do not hear from you within 48 hours, it will be considered that you are refusing a potential offer of housing which means that the offer will count as one of your offers of housing. Your application will also be suspended for 28 days and if you do not contact us within the 28 days, to let us know that you are still interested in housing, your application will be cancelled.

If you have bid on a property and have not heard from us within 14 days of the closing date, it is unlikely that you have been successful on that occasion, and you should keep bidding for properties that suit your needs.

What if I refuse a property I'm offered?

We hope that if your bid is successful, you will accept the property you are offered.

However, if you are a Home Mover or Home Starter and refuse offers of properties you will lose any priority for housing need and move to Band 4. After 12 months you can ask to have your situation re-assessed.

If you are a Home Seeker and refuse offers of housing your priority for homelessness will be removed as the Council will have discharged its duty to you in terms of homeless legislation. Your application group will change from Home Seeker to Home Starter and your housing situation will be reassessed. If you are living in temporary accommodation provided by the Council, you may have to leave this.

Time limited priority for Home Seekers

If you are a Home Seeker and have not been actively bidding for properties for three months, we will make you an offer of housing outwith Homespot. This means we will directly match you to a property that would be suitable for you.

We will try to offer you a property in the areas you have chosen, but this will depend on the availability of properties. If you refuse offers of housing, your priority for homelessness will be removed as the Council will have discharged its duty to you in terms of homeless legislation. Your application group will change from Home Seeker to Home Starter and your housing situation will be reassessed. If you are living in temporary accommodation provided by the Council, you may have to leave this.

However, if during the three-month period, no suitable properties are advertised or your bids have been unsuccessful, you will continue to be a Home Seeker with Band 1 priority. We will continue to monitor your application to make sure you are bidding for properties which meet your household needs. If you are living in temporary accommodation provided by the Council, you can continue to live there.

If I'm rehoused, when can I reapply?

If you have bid for and moved into a new home, you will need to wait for 12 months from your new tenancy start date to re-apply to move home. This does not apply if there has been a significant change in your circumstances during this period of time.

Property sequencing process

Falkirk Council has a target to let 45% of available properties to Home Seekers, 27.5% to Home Movers and 27.5% to Home Starters. When a property becomes vacant, we have a property sequencing process to decide what group a property should be let to. This process takes into account the allocation area the property is in, the size of the property, the property type and the date the property became void.

Properties are then sorted by the date they became void and sequenced separately for Home Seekers, Home Starters and Home Movers. This means that we can make sure properties are advertised fairly.

This is a rolling process which means that whenever we end one sequencing cycle the next one starts.

Housing with Care properties Level 3 and properties that have been designed or previously adapted for applicants with particular needs are not sequenced.

How can I find out information about properties that have been let?

If a property is no longer listed on the Homespot website this means that that property has been let.

We will publish information about properties that have been let in previous advertising cycles. This information will tell you the number of applicants that bid for the property, the Band, and the Band date of the successful applicant. We will not publish personal information about the successful applicants, such as name and address.

This information will be available on our website and at our Advice and Support Hubs and Housing Needs Service.

We hope that this information will give you a better idea of how popular a particular property or area is and how long you would normally have to wait for a type of property or a property in a particular area.

If you want to, you can then decide whether to look for other types of properties or areas where you may not have to wait as long.

Useful contacts

Advice and Support Hubs

Central Advice and Support Hub
East Advice and Support Hub
5 York Lane

West Advice and Support Hub
Carronbank House
Carronbank Crescent

Housing Needs Team


Housing Services Team

Homelessness Service

The Homelessness Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During normal working hours (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) please contact the Housing Needs Service.

Out of hours, call


Registered Social Landlords (RSLs)

There are several housing associations in the Falkirk Council area that provide homes to rent.

Each Housing Association has its own rules for allocating homes. You will need to complete their application form if you wish to be considered for housing.

Housing associations with properties in the Falkirk Council area are:

Ark Housing Association
Bield Housing Association
Cairn Housing Association
Hanover Housing Association
Horizon Housing Association
Kingdom Housing Association
Link Housing Association
Loretto Housing Association
Paragon Housing Association
Veterans Housing Scotland

They each provide different types of housing, which can be for general needs or more specialist housing needs.