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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:    

  • Dale & Valley Homes - covering housing in Crook, Bishop Auckland, Coundon and surrounding areas.
  • Durham City Homes - covering housing in Durham City and surrounding villages.
  • East Durham Homes - covering housing in Easington, Peterlee, Seaham and surrounding areas.
  • Karbon Homes (was Cestria, Derwentside and Isos) - covering housing in Chester-le-Street, Sacriston, Great Lumley, Pelton, Consett, Stanley, Lanchester, Langley Park and surrounding areas.
  • livin - covering housing in Sedgefield, Newton Aycliffe, Spennymoor and surrounding areas.
  • North Star Housing Group - covering housing in Barnard Castle, Cockfield, Evenwood, Etherley and surrounding areas.

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 visit the Durham Key Options website.

How to apply

Before you can apply for a house, you must register with Durham Key Options (you only need to do this once). Their Durham Key Options: register page has more information about registering, what happens next and how to apply for available houses.

Home exchange, mutual exchange and Homeswap Direct

Most housing association tenants, have a right to exchange properties, provided that their landlords give approval. Find out more about home swaps.

In partnership with

  • Durham Key Options
Contact us
Choice Based Lettings
03000 262 544
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • Council Offices
  • Green Lane
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6JQ
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