To get the best experience of this website, we recommend you upgrade your browser.

Upgrade your Internet Explorer

Durham County Council

My DurhamFor information about where you live, enter your address
Page location

Finding a home to rent

Homes across County Durham are let using a Choice Based Lettings (CBL) scheme known as Durham Key Options. This scheme allocates properties through choice, giving you a greater say in where you live. It is operated by a partnership of housing providers.

Under the scheme, properties are advertised and applicants choose where they wish to live by expressing an interest in a property. This is a change to previous schemes where landlords offered properties as they became available to the applicant at the top of a waiting list.

Durham Key Options includes properties managed by:    

  • Cestria Community Housing - covering housing in Chester-le-Street, Sacriston, Great Lumley, Pelton and surrounding areas.
  • Derwentside Homes - covering housing in Consett, Stanley, Lanchester, Langley Park and surrounding areas.
  • livin - covering housing in Sedgefield, Newton Aycliffe, Spennymoor and surrounding areas.
  • Teesdale Housing Association - covering housing in Barnard Castle, Cockfield, Evenwood, Etherley and surrounding areas.
  • East Durham Homes - covering the management of housing in Easington, Peterlee, Seaham and surrounding areas.
  • Dale & Valley Homes - covering the management of housing in Crook, Bishop Auckland, Coundon and surrounding areas.
  • About Durham City Homes - covering the management of housing in Durham City and surrounding villages.
  • Accent Foundation - covering housing across County Durham, predominantly in the East Durham area.

The scheme offers:

  • a letting system which is clear and easy to understand
  • more information about the properties available
  • the ability to decide when you bid for a property
  • more information about property availability and details on the popularity of properties
  • more choice and involvement when choosing a home and area
  • the opportunity to find a home sooner by bidding for a home that has less demand
  • stability, if you choose your own home you are less likely to want to move later

For further information about Durham Key Options please contact your nearest housing provider or use the above links direct to the housing providers' websites.

How to apply

Visit the Durham Key Options: applying page for more information on applying.

Frequently asked questions

Will properties still be allocated to people in the greatest need?
Yes. Members of Durham Key Options have developed a common lettings policy on how expressions of interest are processed and properties allocated. You can see a copy of the policy by following the link below.

When did Durham Key Options become available?
East Durham Homes acted as a pilot for Durham Key Options in April 2008. The remaining partners joined the scheme in October 2009. Accent Foundation joined the scheme on a pilot in April 2012. They became a full partner in April 2013.

How will I be informed of any progress?
Durham Key Options will provide regular updates through our websites, newsletters and articles in the local press. If you require further information on the scheme please contact us.

Durham Key Options Logo

In partnership with

  • Durham Key Options Logo