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Council tenant transfers and swaps

You can transfer to other council housing or do a mutual home swap if you want to move house.

HomeSwapper - mutual exchange

You can swap your home (called a mutual exchange) with other council tenants (or tenants of other registered social landlords) with your landlord's agreement. For many tenants an exchange can be a quicker way to move than applying for a transfer.

You can apply to exchange your home by joining HomeSwapper. This is a free online mutual exchange service which has been set up for tenants of council and housing association properties looking to swap homes. There is also an app that you can download to your phone.

Once you've added details about your current home and about the home you want, Homeswapper will automatically match you to possible home swaps. You will then get an email or text with details of those matches.

Here's a video on how HomeSwapper works:

When you have found someone you would like to swap your home with:

  1. Arrange to visit or view each other's homes. When you swap you are accepting the property in the general standard of repair and decoration that you see it in, any minor repairs or decoration needed would be your responsibility.
    • Other things to think about and be happy with are the location/area, transport/parking, amenities such as shops, schools, parks etc and neighbours.
  2. Check the rent amount of your new home and the type of tenancy you will hold with your new landlord.
  3. When you have made the decision to swap home, you will then have to get written permission from your local area housing office before you can swap. You will be given a decision within 42 days. Your exchange can be refused for specific reasons such as:
    • the property is smaller/larger than you need
    • you have rent arrears
    • you have breached your tenancy conditions
  4. During the swap approval process landlords will check on the condition of your home, its health and safety - including gas and electric checks and complete an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if required.
  5. Landlords will also check on your rent account - you usually need a clear rent account to complete the swap, and they will complete a tenancy reference for your new landlord.
  6. All landlords involved in the swap must give their consent before you can move. When you have permission to move from your landlord you need to arrange a moving date with your swap partner and let your landlord know. You will need to complete some paperwork including the 'Deed of Assignment' which is a legally binding document.
  7. You must never make or accept any payment for an exchange with another tenant and please do not move until you have had permission from your landlord, if you do you may lose your home.

Contact your neighbourhood officer for more information and advice.

Visit HomeSwapper to register on the site to look for a swap.

Transfer to another council house

To transfer you will need:

  • a clear rent account
  • have reasonably complied with the tenancy conditions
  • a home and garden in reasonable condition

Only the Area Housing Manager has the discretion to override these in certain situations.

You will need to complete an application form which you can get from your local area housing office. They can also help you complete the form, help if you need it in another format, for example large print or another language, or if you have any queries before, during or after making your application.

You can choose which areas you would like to move to, however, your choice of areas may be restricted by the property size you require and its availability.

Your application will be assessed and you will be awarded points according to your housing need. We can award points if you are moving from a high demand area to a low demand area, if you are under occupying or overcrowding your property, for medical need, for social or economic reasons such as needing to be nearer to work, a special facility or to give or receive support. Current tenants will also be awarded time points according to the number of years that you have been in your current home.

Please be aware the housing needs register changes on a daily basis. We use a points system to assess the urgency of your housing need and a housing needs register to rank people in order of their need. The case with the highest points is at the top of the list.

Your wait for a new property will depend on the following factors:

  1. The amount of points you have been awarded will determine your place on the housing needs register. Only the top placed person on the register will be offered a suitable property when one becomes available.
  2. The areas you have chosen will also determine how long you may have to wait, as some areas have high demand and few people moving out of properties. Some areas have no demand and you would be able to move to these very quickly and we can also widen our rehousing criteria here.

When a property is available for you we will contact you with details of the property and ask you to contact to the area housing office to confirm whether you would like to take the property or not.

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