How Devon Home Choice works
Devon Home Choice Video
See below for links to individual sections of the video.
Links to sections of the Devon Home Choice video:-
How it works
Devon Home Choice is a way of looking for council and housing association homes.
Under Devon Home Choice you can:
- Choose which homes interest you
- Move within Devon
Click on the links below for information on how to apply, how to bid for homes etc.
Please click here to download useful information. This includes the Devon Home Choice Policy, Local Letting Plans, Maps etc
Who can register with Devon Home Choice?
Anyone over 16 years old can register with Devon Home Choice, except for:
Certain people from abroad with limited rights to remain in the United Kingdom. For more information please contact the local housing team in the area of Devon where you live.
People who are not subject to immigration control and have a right of admission to the UK but have not been habitually resident in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland (the Common Travel Area). For more information please contact the local housing team in the area of Devon where you live.
People assessed by Devon local authorities as being guilty of unacceptable behaviour. For example, significant rent arrears or anti social behaviour. For more information please see the Devon Home Choice policy on the Useful Information page or contact the local housing team in the area of Devon where you live
How to register with Devon Home Choice
The easiest way to register with Devon Home Choice is by completing the online application form.
It should take about 30 minutes to complete the online form. Please ensure that you make a note of your unique login reference number, password and memorable date.
Your application will be saved each time you complete a Section and click 'Next Section' or 'Previous Section'. You can return to a part-completed application by clicking 'Log In/My Account' and entering your reference number, memorable date and password.
Please note that you may be asked to provide further information once your online application form has been assessed.
Your online application must be completed within 28 days of initial registration. Any incomplete application forms will be cancelled after this time.
If you are not able to apply online please contact the local housing team in the area of Devon where you live.
For your application to be processed and accepted you need to:
Complete the application form fully, ensuring you answer all of the mandatory questions. These are marked with an *
Provide any extra information requested on the application form or by the local housing team in the area of Devon where you would like to live once they have received your application
- Have any questions about the application form
- Would like help filling the form in
- Need the form in another language, in large print, on audio tape or in other formats
- Require further support, such as translation services to help with your application
Please note that it is a criminal offence to either make a false statement, or to deliberately withhold information in order to seek housing through Devon Home Choice.
We aim to provide confirmation of your Devon Home Choice application within 20 working days of you providing all of the required information.
When your application to the Devon Home Choice is accepted we will write to you to confirm:
What band your application has been placed in, and the reason for this
Your band start date
The size of home that you are eligible to bid for
Whether you need a certain type, or an adapted, home because of your mobility needs
Whether you need older persons housing
You must tell us if there are any changes in your circumstances. Any change may affect your housing need and the priority your application should be awarded. We will then reassess your application. If necessary we will change your band and band start date.
Failure to notify us of any changes in your circumstances could lead to you not being made an offer even if your bid is successful.
Your application will be placed into 1 of 5 housing need bands. This will be based on our assessment of your housing need, and whether or not you have a local connection to Devon.
The 5 housing need bands are as follows (see the Devon Home Choice policy on the Useful Information page for further details):
Band A - Emergency Housing Need
Your application will only be placed in the Emergency housing need band (A) if your need for housing is assessed as so exceptional that you must take priority over all other applicants. Substantial evidence must exist to award this priority.
The following are examples of the type of situations that may qualify:
- You have been assessed as having an Urgent health/wellbeing need
- You live in a home assessed as being in a state of emergency disrepair - Please see flyer below
- You need to move to escape violence or threat of violence or harassment and there is an assessed immediate and serious risk
Band B: High Housing Need
Your application will be placed in the High housing need band (B) if you:
- Have been accepted as statutorily homeless by a Devon local authority, and where it is assessed that it is not possible and appropriate to find you private rented accommodation
- You are homeless, or are threatened with homelessness, and have been placed in the ‘Homelessness Reduction Act - Qualifying Applicants' category by a Devon local authority and it is assessed that it is not possible and appropriate for you to find private rented accommodation
- Are severely overcrowded (e.g. you lack 2 or more bedrooms, or have 2 children who lack a bedroom, such as a single parent with 2 children under 10 in a 1 bed home)
- Are a tenant of a Devon Home Choice partner landlord and are seeking to move to a home with fewer bedrooms
- Have been assessed as having a high health/wellbeing need
- Live in a home assessed as being in a state of High disrepair - Please see flyer below
- Have been assessed as ready for move on from supported housing, and meet the criteria detailed in the Devon Home Choice Policy
You may also be awarded this priority if it is assessed that doing so:
- Meets a social need or supports the delivery of another service
- Leads to effective management of social housing within Devon
Band C: Medium Housing Need
Your application will be placed in the Medium housing need band (C) if you:
- Lack 1 bedroom
- Have been assessed as having a medium health/wellbeing need
- Have served in the UK armed forces and would otherwise have had your application placed in Band D
- Need to move for work, where you would otherwise have to travel more than 25 miles (each way) from home to work
Band D: Low Housing Need
Your application will be placed in the Low housing need band (D) if you:
- Have been assessed as not having a permanent home, or at risk of becoming homeless. This may include people who are rough sleeping, have no fixed abode or are 'sofa surfing', as well as households accepted as statutorily homeless but where it is assessed as possible and appropriate to find private rented accommodation, or those assessed as not in being priority need or are intentionally homeless. Please see the policy for further information.
- Have been assessed as having a low health/wellbeing need
- Share facilities, such as a toilet, bath, shower or kitchen
- Have a housing need but have no local connection to Devon
- Have been assessed as having deliberately worsened your circumstances
- Meet a local priority agreed by the local authority managing your application
Band E: No Housing Need
Your application will be placed in the No housing need band (E) if it is assessed that you live in a home that is adequate to meet your housing need, or you have income/ capital that would enable you to resolve your own housing needs.
Exeter City Council, Teignbridge District Council and Torbay Council will not register applicants that they assess to have no housing need, and who would otherwise have had their application placed in Band E.
Applicants living in the Exeter, Teignbridge and Torbay council areas who have been assessed as having no housing need, will not be able to register with another Devon local authority, unless they have a local connection to that area.
Council and housing association homes available to let are advertised each week:
- On this website
- On the Smartphone App that can be downloaded from the Devon Home Choice website (www.devonhomechoice.com)
- In a newsletter that is available in a variety of location
Homes will be advertised from 12:00am on Wednesday to 11:59pm the following Monday. You can bid for up to 3 homes during this time. No homes are advertised (except shared ownership properties) and no bids can be placed on a Tuesday.
The adverts tell you the landlord, location, size, rent and other features of the home.
The advert also tells you if there are any special requirements that the applicant must meet. For example any minimum age if it is older persons accommodation, or whether a local connection to a particular area in Devon is required.
Where homes have been adapted, adverts will make clear that priority will be given to applicants who have a mobility need or disability.
You can tell us which homes you would like to be considered for. This is called bidding.
Bidding does not mean that you will part with any money. You can only bid for homes if your application has been accepted onto the Devon Home Choice register. You can only bid for homes where you match what the advert asks for. For example, if the advert states the home has 1 bedroom, you will not be able to bid for it if you need more than 1 bedroom.
Homes are advertised from 12:00am on Wednesday to 11:59pm the following Monday. You can bid for up to 3 homes during this time. No homes are advertised (except shared ownership properties) and no bids can be placed on a Tuesday.
In this section find out about:
When you are able to bid for homes
When are you able to bid for homes?
You can only bid for homes once your application has been accepted onto the Devon Home Choice register.
You can continue to bid for homes until you have been shortlisted for a home (e.g. the landlord is considering you for a home).
You are only able to bid for homes that match your household needs. For example, if you only need 2 bedrooms you will not usually be able to bid for 3 or 4 bedroom homes.
Under Devon Home Choice a separate bedroom is allocated to each:
Married or cohabiting couple
Person aged 16 years or more
Pair of adolescents aged 10 - 15 years of the same sex
Pair of children aged under 10 years regardless of sex.
Any unpaired person aged 10 to 15 years is paired, if possible, with a child aged under ten years of the same sex or, if that is not possible, given a separate bedroom. The same applies to any unpaired child aged less than ten years
A key aim of Devon Home Choice is to provide people seeking housing with choice and the ability to move within Devon. For example to access work or move closer to support networks.
In order to ensure that moves between local authorities do not adversely impact on 1 or more local authority areas we will regularly monitor the number of people moving into and out of each local authority area.
In particular we will monitor the number of people moving into a local authority area who do not have a local connection to that area and the number of people who move out of that local authority area and do not have a local connection to their new local authority area. Where the balance of these figures accounts for 2% or more of the homes let within that area, homes in that local authority area may be labelled so as to provide preference to applicants with a local connection to that particular local authority.
If no applicants with a local connection to the local authority bid for a home, applicants from other areas will be considered.
When the number of people moving out of the local authority area is again the same as the number of people moving into the area, properties in that local authority area will again be advertised without being labelled as preference to applicants with a local connection.
The aim of Devon Home Choice is to gradually increase the limits on cross border mobility. This will ensure that people can move within Devon to take up work or support an older relative etc. A timetable will be developed for the review of the cross border limit. This will be informed by careful monitoring of moves between local authorities.
You can bid:
On this website
Using the Smartphone App
- In person at Council offices
In order to bid on the website you will need your: User ID and password (9 digit number).
Bidding on the website
Bidding on the Smartphone App
Download the Smartphone App (for Apple & Android) from the Devon Home Choice website
At the end of each advertising cycle, a list of eligible bids for each advertised home will be produced. The list will order applicants by:
- Firstly by their band. For example those applicants in the High housing need band (Band B) will be listed above applicants in the Medium housing need band (Band C), and
- Secondly within each band in order of their band start date, with the applicant with the earliest band start date at the top.
At the end of each advertising cycle you can find out your position on the list of people who have bid for a home. To do this, logon to your Devon Home Choice Account and then click 'My Bids'. This will show you any 'active' bids for homes still being advertised, as well as any bids you have made for homes that have previously been advertised. Whilst the position will show your priority by band and band start date, this will not take into account any preferences that have been stated on the advert. The landlord will check if you meet any preferences stated on the advert as appropriate and may skip your bid if you do not meet the preference in the first instance.
Once the advertising cycle has ended the landlord of the home will then carry out a number of checks on the top applicant. This may include checking:
Your circumstances have not changed from the information we hold for you
Your rent payments are up to date
Any anti-social behaviour
Whether you match any requirements for the property (e.g. whether you have a local connection to the local area or whether you have a need for a home that has been adapted)
If you have been selected you will normally be invited to view the home unless the landlord discovers reasons why you shouldn't be offered the home. For example, if you have rent arrears or have been guilty of anti-social behaviour. If the landlord is unable to offer the home to you they will move to the next applicant on the list and so on.
You will not be notified if a landlord does not accept your bid (this is referred to as 'skipping'). However you can find out if you have been skipped and the reason for this by logging on to your Devon Home Choice Account and clicking 'My Bids'.
Please contact the landlord of the property if you have any queries about the shortlisting for a home.
If you decide to refuse the home it will be offered to the next applicant on the list.
If you have been accepted as homeless by a Devon local authority you should always seek advice before refusing a home, as this could end any duty to provide you with a home.
When the home is ready you will be contacted to arrange to sign the tenancy agreement and collect the keys.