Rent a home through Northumberland Homefinder

also known as: Affordable Housing, Choice Based Letting Scheme, Council House, Homefinder, Letting, Northumberland Homefinder, Social Housing.

Northumberland Homefinder offers available council, social rented, private rented and shared ownership homes to prospective tenants’ giving a choice in where they want to live and the type of house they would like to live in. It is a partnership between the council and Housing Providers who work in the Northumberland area.


Apply for council or social housing

To be considered for a property you must apply to join the housing register.  You can then use Homefinder to search and bid for properties. 

The Homefinder website contains lots of useful information about how to use the service, including how to register and how the process works.

You can also view our guide to the Northumberland Homefinder Service here .

To be considered for a property you must apply to join the housing register.

You can apply online here.

Alternatively you can download and complete the Homefinder application form or pick up a copy from any of our offices.

We will use the information you provide in your application to assess your housing need. If we accept your application we will provide you with a Housing Register number and a PIN which you will need to apply for properties.

Once you are registered, you can search and bid for available properties.

Making an application

When you submit you application, we may ask you to provide extra information so that we can verify your eligibility and assess your application.

This could include:

  • Proof of identity for all household members 
  • Proof of current address
  • Evidence of your right to reside in the UK if you are not a British Citizen
  • Proof of pregnancy
  • References from your existing or previous landlord

We will tell you what documents to provide and when to provide them. All documents provided must be originals, up to date and valid.

If you don’t provide the required documents but you are eligible to join the register and your form has been properly completed, we can accept your application BUT may not be able to assess it properly. This could result in you not been awarded the priority you need.

Renewing your application

You will need to renew your application every year. Once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application you will be sent a review form, which you must complete and return within 28 days. If you fail to return the form we will write and tell you that your application has been cancelled.

Eligibility for the Housing Register

There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register.

These are:

  • certain people who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act
  • certain people from abroad who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland
  • people (including members of their household) who have been guilty of unacceptable behaviour that makes them unsuitable to be a tenant

Further information about eligibility is available from Northumberland’s Common Allocation Policy.

As soon as we are given formal notice that a property is due to become vacant we will advertise it.

Properties available for rent are advertised weekly and we will advertise all of the properties that we have available.

You can also find out about the properties available in the following ways:

Available properties will be advertised from 00:01on a Thursday until 23:59 the following Monday.

If you see a property you would like to be considered for, you will need to bid via the homefinder website or any of the locations listed above. Bids can only be placed from 00:01 on a Thursday until 23:59 the following Monday. You can also place a bid by calling 0845 270 1997.

If you have any queries about your application, or how the service works, contact us on 0845 600 6400.

To bid for a property, you need to be registered with our service.

You can bid for properties from 00:01 every Thursday until 23:59 the following Monday in the following ways:

Frequently asked questions about bidding

Can I bid for properties in any area of Northumberland?

Yes. You can bid for any of the properties that you are eligible for, regardless of where they are in Northumberland. Some properties may be subject to certain conditions, such as disabled adapted properties or properties in rural areas. If this is the case, we will clearly state the conditions in the advert.

How long will I have to bid for a property?

Bids can only be placed during the advertising cycle i.e. between 00.00 on Thursday and 23.59 the following Monday.

Will I know how many other people are interested in the same property?

Yes, when you bid for a property you will be able to see where you are in the queue. This is likely to change frequently due to other people bidding for the same property.

Can I withdraw my bid once it has been accepted?

Yes, you can withdraw your bid at any time.

How do you decide who is offered a property?

Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is drawn up. The shortlist is in order of eligibility according to the criteria stated in the advert details for that property and the priority band and housing register registration date of the applicant. The applicant at the top of the list will normally be offered the property.

If my bid is successful, will I definitely be made an offer?

  • You may not be invited to view the property for the following reasons:
  • You owe rent or have other housing related debts
  • You have been involved in anti-social behaviour such as drug dealing, threatening or causing violence, domestic violence, intimidation, racial harassment or noise problems
  • You have sufficient resources to solve your own housing problems
  • Your circumstances have changed and this results in a reduction in your level of priority.
  • You do not meet the specific requirements of the property (which will be clearly stated in the advert).

If I am offered a property, will I be able to view it before making up my mind?

Yes. You will be given an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you would like to accept it.

What if I don’t like the property when I have seen it?

You will not normally be penalised for refusing a property that you have been offered and will still be able to express interest in properties that become available.

How long will I stay in the same band?

You may normally only remain in Band P for 3 months, however if you are in band P and we agree that you are homeless, you will only have 28 days to bid for a home. After this your application will be reviewed to decide whether it continues to warrant such a high level of priority. If you are in Bands 1, 2 or 3 you will remain in that band unless your circumstances change and your application is awarded a different level of priority.

What if my circumstances change?

It is very important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances so that we can amend your application. We will tell you if this results in your application moving to a different band. If you move into band P the date used will be the date you move into that band. If you move into band 1, 2 or 3 the date used will be the date that you were accepted onto the housing register.

What if someone in my household has a medical condition?

If someone in your household has a medical condition you will be asked to complete a Medical Assessment form. We may ask for supporting documents from the professionals who are involved in your care and we may contact your GP or Consultant or other professionals for further information. Your application will then be assessed based on this medical information and you will be advised if your priority has changed.

What if disagree with a decision you have made?

If you disagree with any of the following decisions you can request a review:

  • You are not eligible to join the housing register
  • You are not eligible for an offer
  • Your application has been cancelled other than at your own request
  • You think that you have been placed in the wrong band or given the wrong priority date.

To request a review you must contact your local Northumberland Homefinder office within 21 days of the date you are notified of the decision. You may provide additional information in writing that you wish to be taken into account when the review is carried out. You will normally be advised of the outcome of the review within 8 weeks. You may not request a further review.

What if I become homeless?

Households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness will be dealt with outside the scheme. You should contact the Homelessness team to arrange an interview to discuss your circumstances.

Northumberland’s Common Allocation Policy

The council and its partners have agreed a common allocation policy which means that the way houses are allocated will be the same throughout Northumberland.

An updated policy was published on 10th June 2013 and all new applications, and any existing applicants whose circumstances change, will be assessed using Issue 4 of the Common Allocation Policy.

Homes advertised after the 10th June 2013 will be allocated in accordance with Issue 4 of the Common Allocation Policy.

Homes advertised before 10th June will be allocated in accordance with the policy that was in place at the time of their advertisement. You can view that version here.

Northumberland Homefinder will write to applicants whose band or bedroom eligibility is changing. View a summary of all changes here.