Social Housing

The council no longer owns or manages any council houses.

All social accommodation is managed by Housing Associations, known as Registered Providers.

When applying for Social Housing, please remember that most people will not be successful, as there are more people looking for housing than there are homes available.

Please consider all other housing options, such as low cost home ownership or privately renting, particularly if you need to find a home quickly.

Local Allocation Policy

What is Devon Home Choice?

Devon Home Choice is the choice-based letting system for councils in Devon. Rather than homes being allocated by the Council, choice-based letting allows tenants and prospective tenants to bid for the available properties they are interested in.

Most people will not be successful in finding a suitable Housing Association property because demand far outweighs the supply.

Applicants are banded according to their housing need. Vacant properties are advertised weekly and applicants can choose to apply for up to three properties that they are eligible for each week.

How do I apply?

You can apply online through Devon Home Choice. You will need the following information to hand when completing your application:

  • National Insurance numbers for anyone who will be living at the property who is over 16 years old;
  • Details of your previous addresses;
  • Details of your Income and any savings;

How does it work?

All available properties are advertised on Devon Home Choice. People looking for social housing in Devon can bid for homes via the website or by phone. The number to call to place a bid is 0845 402 7894*.

* For more information on call charges please see the OFCOM website.

I've heard bad things about Devon Home Choice

Yes, so have we! There are many myths and misconceptions about Devon Home Choice - from most homes go to people from outside Devon to having to bid at exactly midnight on the website to improve your chance of getting a home. Nearly all of these are untrue.

You can read our Common Myths and Frequently Asked Questions to find the real answers to your questions.

Mutual Exchange

Mutual exchange is essentially a permanent house swap between two social housing tenants. Two or more qualifying social housing tenants exchange tenancies, and move permanently into each other's homes.

Many tenants who are looking for a mutual exchange register with one of the online mutual exchange services (such as HomeSwapper). These services allow qualifying tenants to add their home to the service's website so that other registered users can view the property details.

Interested tenants can then search the website and view other advertised properties in order to find a suitable new home.

You don't have to use one of the online mutual exchange services - it is just that many tenants find them easy and convenient.

You can also set up an exchange via friends, family or neighbours,  so long as the proper processes are followed.

Do I qualify for a mutual exchange?

If the answer to these questions is yes, you could qualify for a mutual exchange:

  • Is your landlord a public sector landlord? These include private Registered Providers (often called Housing Associations), and Local Authorities. South Hams and West Devon do not own any housing stock, so if you live here and are a public sector tenant, you are likely to be a tenant of a Housing Association. Ask your landlord if you are unsure.
  • Do you have a secure tenancy, an assured non-shorthold tenancy or fixed-term tenancy, and have you successfully completed any probationary period? If you have an assured non-shorthold tenancy or fixed-term tenancy, does the tenancy document include a right to exchange? Again, your landlord will be able to confirm this for you if you are unsure.
  • Are you up to date with payment of your rent, and are you complying with all of your tenancy obligations?

What if the person I want to exchange with has a different landlord?

A mutual exchange can take place even if the people wishing to swap houses have different landlords. So for example, a Local Authority secure tenant could mutually exchange with:

  • Another secure tenant of that same Local Authority
  • A secure tenant of another Local Authority
  • A tenant of a private Registered Provider.

In contrast, a tenant could not mutually exchange with a tenant renting through a private landlord, and there is no right to exchange to a vacant property.

Most mutual exchanges are between two tenants, but they can be between more than two, as long as all of the involved tenants are exchanging their tenancy, and are receiving an exchange in return.

Where can I get more information?

For more information, including details about the legal processes and practicalities of mutual exchange, please see the Guidance Notes.