Landlords can now complete the Complaint Handling Code Annual Submissions form. More information is available online.

Moving to a new property

This information is for residents who are moving home and have concerns about the allocation or transfer of a property.

Applying for a social housing property

The way that properties are allocated depends on your landlord and the area you live in. In some areas, the demand for housing is higher than the number of homes available. It is common to wait a long time to get a property that is suitable and meets your needs.  

How to apply

You can seek advice on how to apply for social housing via your local authority. Social homes are allocated via housing registers and choice-based letting schemes run by local authorities and housing associations. If you are applying for social housing or have a query about your housing application, contact your local authority in the first instance. 

Complete an application

When you apply, the landlord or authority should tell you how it distributes its housing stock. You will need to complete an application, usually an online form. You should ask to see a copy of the allocations/lettings policy to give you an idea of how the landlord awards priority (sometimes known as points or banding) and what evidence you should send to be considered.  

Choice-based letting schemes

Many landlords run choice-based lettings schemes, usually in partnership with the local council, where applicants are awarded points or placed in bands according to their situation. Applicants then ‘bid’ on vacant properties that meet their requirements and match the band/points awarded. 

Requesting a transfer to another social housing property

If you have a social housing property and would like to move to a different property, ask your landlord for its transfer request policy. Your request might be processed using the landlord’s allocations and lettings policy.

You will be asked to complete an application form stating your reasons for wanting to move and supply any evidence to support your request.  

Swapping your home with another resident

A mutual exchange is where you swap your property with another tenant.

It is your responsibility to check:

  • the condition of the property you are moving to
  • the type of tenancy you are taking - make sure it has the same agreement and rights as your existing property

Your local authority will keep a list of potential mutual exchange properties, if it has any available. There is also a nationwide home swapper scheme. 

Can the Ombudsman help with my complaint about lettings?

We cannot consider a complaint about how priority has been awarded by a local authority on a housing register application.  

We may be able to consider a complaint about a landlord’s handling of an application for a property or request to move. Please read our agreement with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to find out which Ombudsman is the right complaint for the issues you have raised. If you are not sure, please contact us. 

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