How to register for a rental property in Devon or Cornwall

Bideford new homes All rental properties from housing associations are let to successful bidders who are registered on Devon Home Choice or Cornwall Homechoice (we do not hold our own waiting list).

So if you wish to bid for one of our properties (it could be a new home or a re-let) you should register for one of these schemes and if you are successful you will be given a starter tenancy.

You can learn more and apply at:

Devon Home Choice has a handy app:

We also showcase properties on our Property Search and on our Twitter or Facebook pages.

You can learn more about having a rented property with Westward here:

If you have any questions about Devon or Cornwall's choice based lettings systems mentioned above, please contact your local authority:

Cornwall Council, East Devon District Council , Exeter City Council , Mid Devon District Council , North Devon District Council , Plymouth City Council , South Hams District Council , Teignbridge District Council , Torbay Council , Torridge District Council  and West Devon Borough Council.

Lettings

We follow both Westward safe working practices and the government's ‘National Guidance on Moving Home Safely’.

If you are an applicant that has been informally made an offer of a property please complete the Verification Form below and attach the documents you have been asked to provide by the Housing Co-ordinator. This is a secure communication for your important personal documents. Before you upload your documents, please read our Privacy Policy.

Lettings Verification Form

If the Lettings team ask you to provide additional documents such as benefits details and proof of the requirement to meet a section 106 property, please complete this form as well:

Lettings Form 2

Housing Services during Coronavirus

Our safe working practices reduce the risk to you and our staff, and prioritise the work of the housing team so they are there for those who need our help the most. We are still available to support you with any tenancy management issues but minimise our face-to-face contact. This means that we use the phone and electronic communication where we can.

Bidding for a home

The Bidding and Allocation Process

Bidding for a property

Devon Home Choice (DHC):

  • Once you have received your banding, you will be able to bid on three properties in each bidding cycle. The bidding cycle starts at 12.00am each Wednesday and finishes at 11.59pm on the following Monday.
  • You can set a property alert for properties you may be interested in once they have been advertised; you will need you application number and password to do this.

Cornwall Homechoice (CHC):

  • As with DHC once you have received your banding you will be able to bid on a property. Due to high demand for social housing in Cornwall you will only be able to bid on one property in each bidding cycle.  The bidding cycle starts each Wednesday at 12.00am and finishes at 11.59pm the following Monday.

It is important that you look at the advert to make sure you and your household are suitable for the property you have bid on e.g. the property is in the area that you want to live and do you fit the criteria?  There may also be a local connection requirement for the property.

What does a local connection mean?

At planning stage the local authority stipulates certain criteria known as 106 (local connection). The local connection criteria can vary but will be clearly set out in the advert. Please see the following list for examples:   

  • You must have lived in the area for a set amount of time e.g.. 1 year or 3 years prior to being allocated the property.
  • You have previously lived in the area for a continuous period of 5 years.
  • You have a permanent job in the area.
  • Your immediate family have lived in the area for three or more years. Immediate family include: mother, father, sister, brother and in some circumstances grandparents.

You will also be expected to have one months rent in advance if you are the successful bidder.

Allocation of a property

Once the bidding has closed you will be able to see your position on the shortlist for the property you have bid on. The shortlist is not based on the time and date you bid for the property, your position on the shortlist will be determined by:

  • Your banding
  • How long you have been on either DHC or CHC
  • The criteria for the property

If you are top of the shortlist, we will contact you to complete our verification process and go through your household details and requirements., you will then be invited for a viewing and if you want to accept the property, we will then carry out an affordability assessment to make sure you can sustain your tenancy and that the property is suitable for your needs, you will then be offered the property and we will agree with you a date your tenancy with Westward will start.

It is important to ensure that you use your bids wisely as you may be suspended from bidding if you refuse several suitable properties.

Reasons why Westward may refuse you a property

In accordance with our Allocations policy, the following are reasons why we may not offer you a Westward property:

  • Applicants who have a proven record of breach of their tenancy agreement, this can include anti-social behaviour (ASB) and rent arrears but is not limited to these.
  • Criminal convictions may result in a refusal. Applicants who have been convicted of a serious criminal offence or have been guilty of ASB or other unacceptable behaviours including a history of nuisance or annoyance to neighbours in the past five years. Unacceptable behaviour can include damage or neglect of a property.
  • Proven evidence that the applicant has committed or threatened acts of physical violence, harassment or hate related abuse to Westward staff or other Westward residents within the past five years.
  • The applicant does not provide the financial inclusion team with requested evidence to confirm their income and that they can afford to pay the rent.

For further reasons why an applicant may be refused a property please see our Allocations policy.

Mutual exchanges

Girl in cardboard box

Exchanging your tenancy with another social housing tenant can be a great way to move into the home you've always wanted. But before an exchange can go ahead, there are a lot of things to consider. 

Find out more