There is a high demand for social housing across County Durham, which means that we cannot help everyone that applies to the scheme. You may, therefore, want to explore other housing options, that will provide a quicker route in meeting your housing needs in the short or long term.
Social housing is in great demand and often people can wait a long time before being offered a Council owned property. The Housing Options Wizard explores alternative options to social housing that may make it quicker for you to move house.
Not all options are suitable for everyone and the Housing Options Wizard gives advice on which may be suitable for you. All you need do is answer a series of questions regarding your current circumstances and the Wizard will guide you through the options you can explore to enhance your housing situation.
To use the Housing Options Wizard please click here.
RPs provide properties to rent for people in housing need. Some RPs also offer low cost home ownership schemes for first time buyers or for people on low incomes. RPs are funded and regulated by the Housing Corporation and operate on a not for profit basis.
There are a number of RPs operating across County Durham and the type of accommodation they offer varies, with some of them specialising in accommodation for people with specific needs e.g. older people, young single people, people with physical disabilities, mental health or substance abuse problems.
RSLs play a big part in meeting the housing needs of people in County Durham. Most of the RPs operating across the region will advertise 50% of their vacancies on the scheme to enable the relevant local authorities to put forward people that have made a successful bid; this is called a nomination.
On occasion, some of the RPs will choose to advertise more than 50% of their vacancies on the scheme.
The property adverts will clearly state which RP is advertising the property and who is eligible to apply.
If you are interested in renting a housing association property or want to find out more information about the RPs operating in County Durham, please click here.
Private renting may be the ideal solution if you are looking to move quickly or if are looking for accommodation to rent in the short term.
Currently only a handful of private landlords advertise through the Durham Key Options scheme, however we are hoping to extend the scheme to attract more private landlords to sign up in the near future.
To view the properties currently advertised by private landlords please click here.
Private landlords reserve the right to choose the types of tenants for their properties, whether or not these tenants have a housing need. This is because private landlords do not have to let their properties in the same way as social housing providers, who must by law, ensure the majority of their vacancies are let to those in the greatest housing need.
You can also approach estate agents and local letting agencies for details about private landlords or you can look in your local newspaper or property paper. You should be aware that letting agencies may charge you for finding a property and other services like drawing up a tenancy agreement.
Please study your tenancy agreement to check what repairs and maintenance your landlord is responsible for. If your landlord refuses to carry out any repairs, please contact your local council or the citizens advice bureau.
Private rented accommodation is usually more expensive than social rented housing. Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance is available to help with the cost but it may not cover the full rent. You can contact your Durham County Council to find out if you qualify.
The majority of private landlords will ask you to pay a deposit before giving you the tenancy. If you experience any difficulties in finding the deposit, you can contact Durham County Council to see if they can offer any assistance through a rent deposit scheme.
HomeBuy is a government funded initiative aimed at helping first time buyers and those re-entering the housing market to get onto the property ladder. A number of HomeBuy options are available including equity loan schemes, shared ownership and rent to buy. Time2Buy, the Government's Local HomeBuy Agent for Tees Valley & County Durham is the first point of contact for anyone interested in the schemes. For more information visit www.time2buy.org.uk or call 0845 604 2942.