Transfers and exchanges

Most Housing Executive or housing association tenants can request to transfer or exchange their property for alternative social housing.

Transfers

If you are already a tenant of the Housing Executive or a housing association and you want to move to another social housing property you can apply for a transfer. To apply for a transfer you will need to complete a Housing/Transfer Application Form.

Download the:

Housing/Transfer Application Form (PDF 571 kB)

​We will then assess your housing needs and place you on the social housing waiting list for a housing transfer. Social landlords within your area of choice will then consider you for suitable available properties. 

We will not consider your request for a transfer if:

  • you have been living in your home for less than two years

  • you have rent arrears of four weeks or more

  • your home is in a bad state of repair, or we have charged you for repairs

  • you are guilty of a serious breach of your tenancy conditions

Exchanges

As a social housing tenant it is possible to arrange a swap with another social housing tenant. We call this a "mutual exchange". You may also know this as a”swap”.

You may find a mutual exchange useful if:

  • you need a smaller, or larger home

  • you want to move to a new area

  • you want to find a more suitable home

  • you don't want to wait a long time for a transfer

You can read more information in our 'Want to Move Home' leaflet.

Download the:

Want to Move Home leaflet (PDF 790 kB) 

You must get permission to exchange your tenancy. We rarely refuse permission. But there are some circumstances where we may not agree to an exchange.

These include where:

  • you owe us rent 
  • your proposed new property is too small or too large for your household 
  • we have adapted your current home or
  • it is part of a sheltered scheme and the new tenant has no need for this type of accommodation
  • your home is subject to a court order for possession
  • you have carried out improvements or alterations without consent

Arranging an exchange

You can ask us to carry out an electronic search for potential properties to swap with. We may also contact you with details of potential house swaps.

You can also register to swap online at HomeSwapper.co.uk. This is free for our tenants in Northern Ireland. It is also available to most housing association tenants at no charge.

Graphic and textual logo for Homeswapper service.

 

You may also find potential home swaps:

  • by word of mouth

  • advertising in newspapers or online

  • postcards in shop windows

You must get our permission before you exchange your home. If you find a suitable swap you should contact us to register for a mutual exchange. You must also complete a Transfer Application Form. 

We will then:

  • inspect both homes before approving the exchange

  • approve the request unless there is good reason not to

  • send our decision in writing - to you and the other tenant - within 42 days of your request

If we approve the exchange both tenants must sign a form to complete theexchange. We call this “tenancy assignment”.

Important

You should check how this affects your right to buy your new home in the future, before you make your decision.

Precautions

When viewing or showing a home we recommend that you take some basic precautions to make sure you are safe:

  • arrange the viewing time in daylight

  • have someone with you - don’t show your own home or go to see another home on your own

  • tell someone when and where you are going

  • bring a mobile phone with you and keep it switched on

Social Sector Size Criteria (SSSC)

You may be in receipt of either Housing Benefit or the Housing Cost element of Universal Credit. You may also be under-occupying your home by one bedroom (or more) according to the benefit bedroom criteria. In such cases you may be affected by the Social Sector Size Criteria (SSSC).  You may know this as the “bedroom tax”.

If you are affected by SSSC, you may already be receiving a mitigation payment. This is called Welfare Supplementary Payment.

You may choose to transfer or exchange your home to another social sector house. You may also decide not to reduce your level of under-occupation in your new home. If you do this, you may lose this payment.

You must seek advice from your landlord before you move. If you lose this Welfare Supplementary Payment, you will lose it for good.


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