homes for rent

We offer properties across County Durham and the wider north east. To apply for a new home you need to first register with Durham Key Options (DKO).

what is durham key options?

We advertise all of our properties in Durham on the Durham Key Options (DKO) website.

believe housing’s homes are allocated through Durham Key Options, County Durham’s choice-based lettings partnership. It is the main way that social housing is let in the county, through a partnership between the major landlords and Durham County Council.

DKO is a lettings scheme for homes across the county, which allows you to bid for a property of your choice giving you more choice and involvement in choosing where you want to live.

To apply for a home with us and bid on a property you must first register with DKO. Click here to visit the Durham Key Options (DKO) website.

Applying for houses in County Durham:

Once accepted, applicants can ‘bid’ (express an interest) for properties that are advertised on the DKO website:

New properties are added each day between Tuesday and Saturday for a period of six days. Once the advert closes, the applicant who is at the top of the shortlist is asked if they would like to accept the property. We then complete our final checks and also see if this home would be affordable for them. Once the repairs to the property have been completed, the successful person will be invited to view and sign up for the property.

Your need and eligibility for a particular affordable housing property will be determined during the registration with Durham Key Options, so it’s important that you provide relevant information about your circumstances to find the right home.

Depending on your reason for moving home, Durham Key Options may need you to provide extra evidence to support any priority banding you may be awarded.

You can find more information about the priority bands that can be awarded and how you would qualify for each in the DKO Letting Policy – Durham Key Options.

Applying for a home with believe housing is a straightforward process. First, make sure that you have your National Insurance number, proof of your identity, and your address handy.

You’ll then need to visit the Durham Key Options website to fill in an application form – it will take around 45 minutes.

You will also be asked to provide information about you and your current home, any assistance you may need, and which housing association you’re looking to register with for affordable housing – in this case, believe housing.

The documentation that you will need to complete the application is:

  • Proof of ID – one of the following: birth certificate, passport, driving licence, or NHS medical card
  • Proof of address – one of the following; utility bill, bank statement dated within three months
  • Six years’ housing history, including any previous landlord’s details (name, address, contact details)
  • Full name and date of birth of other household members
  • National Insurance number for main and any joint applicants

Applications are assessed for the level of housing need and placed in one of the property bands. Band 1 is the high priority and Band 4 is the lowest priority. This applies to all applications received across the Durham Key Options partnership, not just believe housing applications.

Applying for houses outside of County Durham:

Other local authority areas operate similar schemes in their areas and you can apply for houses outside of County Durham, including:

Sunderland: To apply for a Sunderland Council Housing Service home you must be active on the Council Housing Register. To apply you must complete the housing application form.

Tees Valley: TVLP – Affordable Homes (

Hartlepool: Home – Hartlepool (

Darlington: Darlington BC – Finding a home