Applying for a Council home

We are the largest landlord in Darlington with a wide range of properties available across the Borough. We offer well maintained properties for rent that can meet a range of needs.

Applying for a Council Property Older Persons Housing Mutual Exchange

Properties can be bid for between Thursday and Tuesday. You can't bid on a Wednesday

"" You must be registered with Compass to place a bid

"" Want to know about Proof of Identity?

"" Want to know about how your application is banded?

"" Want to know more about how to bid?

"" What to do if your circumstances change


Move In Amended COMPASS Logo

COMPASS is a choice based lettings scheme and is a  way of applying and searching for homes throughout  the Tees Valley.  It is supported by several partners, including Darlington Borough Council.

COMPASS can  give you advice about a range of  housing options,  such as council and registered social  landlord rented accommodation, low cost home  ownership options  and private rented  accommodation.

How to Register

Before you can bid on a property you need to have an active housing application. You can apply online [external link] or you can print off an application form [pdf document] to complete and post to us along with your ID and address information. 

If you need assistance or do not have access to the internet, please contact us and we will make you an appointment to come to the contact centre at the Town Hall where we will help you with your application.

Proof of identity

Whether you apply online or in person, you will need to provide two forms of identification, one which proves your identity and one that proves your address.  This also applies to joint applicants.

Accepted forms of proof of identity:

  • national insurance card
  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • driving licence
  • medical card
  • immigration papers
  • benefit book or payment letter

Acceptable forms of proof of address:

  • tenancy agreement
  • rent book
  • wage slip
  • bank statement
  • utility Bill (gas/electric/water)
  • Council tax bill
  • child benefit book or letter
  • housing benefit letter

If you have children, we need their identification and proof of child benefit.

We will also ask you to provide a reference from your landlord (character reference)

How are applications banded?

The application is assessed by need and you will be put into the highest band according to your needs. The bands start at 1 for urgent accommodation needs to a band 4 which means you are low priority.

When your application has been registered you will be sent a confirmation letter giving you your log in details and the band you have been placed in. Please keep these in a safe place, you can use them to log in online to bid for properties and when you need to contact us.

Changes in circumstances

It is very important that you update your application when you have a change in circumstances, as this may affect which band that you are put into and the type of properties you are eligible for.

Bidding and advertising cycle

Properties can be bid for between Thursday at 12:01am to 12:00am on Tuesday. You can't bid on a Wednesday.

Allocation of Darlington Borough council properties is made in accordance with the Compass Common Allocation Policy.  A copy of this policy is available at

In addition to this policy the following points should be noted:

  • If you are in receipt of housing benefit and under pensionable age, you may be affected by the bedroom tax so affordability checks may be undertaken before any offer is confirmed.  Failure to pay your rent once you are a tenant will ultimately lead to eviction.
  • Applicants with a local connection to this Local Authority area will be considered for an offer of accommodation before applicants who do not, where they have a similar level of housing need.
  • We operate a Pet Policy and permission will be required to keep a pet in a Darlington Borough Council property.
  • We operate a band quota system and preference may be given to applicants outside of band 1.
  • We operate a local lettings policy in selected areas.  More information is available upon request.
  • Please note that photographs displayed may sometimes be a similar style property, and all sizes are approximate.
  • We operate a flexible tenancy system on some of our properties and local lettings policy does apply in certain areas.  Please ask for further information.

You can bid on as many properties as you wish to each week, provided you are eligible to that property type. If you wish to put a bid on a property and you do not have access to the internet, you can complete a bidding coupon at our contact centre.

Note: Bids are not sorted on a first come, first served basis.  All bids are sorted in order of their priority bandings and application dates after the bidding cycle closes.

To find out more about the way properties are allocated you can view the Compass Allocations Policy

We have made changes to the Local Lettings policy [word document]