Almost a quarter of London's households rent their homes from one of the 33 London councils or one of the several hundred housing associations that own property in the capital.
The government limits the level of rent that can be charged for social housing and regulates landlords through the Audit Commission (for councils) and the Tenant Services Authority (for housing associations).
Social housing in London is heavily oversubscribed and applicants with a high priority can sometimes have to wait a long time to get a home. Social housing is allocated according to strict rules on eligibility and priority. If you think you need social housing you should read Shelter's information on eligibility criteria and the rules used to give priority to different groups.
You can apply to go on your local council's waiting list for social housing (sometimes known as the housing register), but this is no guarantee of eventually getting a social rented home. There are over 350,000 households on waiting lists in London.
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