Properties are owned by councils and registered providers (housing associations, for example) and are available at lower rents than in the private sector.
There is an acute shortage of social housing. There are more than 16,000 people on the housing registers across Luton and central Bedfordshire. During 2018-2019 less than 1600 vacancies were advertised on Bedfordshire Homefinder and more than 120,000 bids were placed on them. Unless you have a high priority for rehousing, or you are looking for properties which are lower demand, it is very unlikely that you will be successful.
If you want to be considered for this type of housing you need to be registered with your local council:
For Central Bedfordshire advice and information: https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/info/74/housing/341/apply_for_housing_housing_register_and_bidding_for_housing/2
For Luton Borough Council advice and information: https://www.luton.gov.uk/Housing/finding_somewhere_to_live/Pages/default.aspx
These properties are also owned by councils or registered providers but the rents are generally higher – about 80% of the local market rents.
Affordable rent properties are newer and have been built under a government initiative to allow housing providers to charge slightly higher rents in order to raise money to build more homes for people who need them. As with social rented properties, you need to be registered with your local council to be considered for these properties.
Paying Rent in Advance: most Councils and registered providers will expect you to pay rent up front if you are signing for a new tenancy. This can vary from one week to one month’s rent. You must make sure you have funds available or you may not be able to take up the tenancy.