homes for rent

Our rental properties are advertised through Durham Key Options (DKO), which is the lettings scheme for homes across the county.

what is durham key options?

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.

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

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.

rent to buy

Rent to Buy is a scheme which allows working households to rent a home at an Intermediate Rent providing them the opportunity to save for a deposit to then buy their first home.

It aims to ease the transition from renting to buying for those who are struggling to get on the property ladder. Rent to Buy tenants benefit from a reduced rate of rent, usually around 20% lower than you’d pay to a private landlord.  

This means that with the money you save, you’ll be able to build up a deposit at the same time and have the option to buy your home after five years of renting.  

Tenants are eligible to purchase the home if they have been able to save the deposit required and secure a mortgage.

The believe housing Rent to Buy scheme is designed to help people who can’t currently afford to buy or rent suitable accommodation on the open market, providing them with the future opportunity of owning their own home.

Check out our latest properties

View all of our immediately available properties.


looking to rent a home with us?

Watch this short video which helps explain the process of bidding for a home through Durham Key Options.

visit durham key options

durham key options offers:

Durham Key Options offers a number of benefits for those looking to rent, including:

Asset 1295

the ability to decide when you bid for a property

Asset 1288

more choice on choosing a home and area

Asset 1285

info about property availability


need further support?

Our team are on hand to offer help and support, as well helping you to apply for a home that suit your needs.

Available Properties

believe housing has over 18,000 homes across County Durham and beyond.

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Garage Rentals

We offer a number of garage sites available for residents to rent across the county.

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