For Tenants /
There are several different ways of moving home.
Apply for a Transfer
If you want to move from one council or housing association home to another you can apply for a transfer. Your application will be treated in exactly the same way as any other application for housing.
You can do this in a number of ways:
- by going on-line to www.gatewaytohomechoice.org.uk
- over the phone, or face to face. You will need to call the council's Customer Services Team on 01206 282569. They will arrange an appointment with you and a member of staff will complete the electronic form on your behalf. It will take about three quarters of an hour to get the information from you.
- You can also fill in the form on-line at one of the public access computers at: The Greenstead Housing Office, or The Gateway To Homechoice office in the High Street in Colchester (you will need to make an appointment to do this.
A Mutual Exchange is where you swap your home with another council or housing association tenant. You can exchange your home with someone who lives in a property owned by a different landlord – this might be another council or housing association.
To join a scheme you must have:
If you have an introductory tenancy you cannot swap properties until the year long trial period is over.
About The Mutual Exchange Process
There are several ways you can find a suitable property. These include joining a mutual exchange scheme. We have signed up to one: http://www.houseexchange.org.uk
. This is run by an independent organisation (in other words it is separate from us). You can join this site and search for suitable properties. There are also other sites you may be interested in looking at. Most cover the whole of the UK and are free to join. Some charge a small fee for extra services, like instantly alerting you by text message about new properties that become available. You can search for them online and join as many as you want.
Contact the tenant
You are responsible for contacting the tenant to ask if they are interested in swapping homes. If they are, arrange to visit each other's home to make sure the properties are right for you. You should:
- take a friend with you for your own safety
- have a good look around – when you swap you accept the property in its current condition
- ask the tenant why they want to move – it could be because of antisocial behaviour in the area
If you want to move home you must contact us to get permission. The other tenant must contact their landlord. You will not be allowed to swap if:
- you owe rent – this must be paid first
- you are in the process of being evicted (having your tenancy ended early)
- the property is too big – eg there are more bedrooms than you need
- the property is too small – moving in would make it overcrowded
Your current property will be checked
We will inspects your current home to check its condition. If you are responsible for any damage, like a broken window, you must carry out the repair before permission to swap is given.
We will let you know in writing whether you can go ahead with the exchange. We must do this within 42 days of our request to swap properties.
If permission to swap is given, the other person’s tenancy is legally transferred (or ‘assigned’) to you. You do not sign a tenancy agreement as this would create a new tenancy rather than an exchange. Your new landlord sends you a ‘Deed of Assignment’. Once signed, you are the legal tenant of your new property and can arrange a moving date. The tenancy you have taken over may differ slightly from your previous one. If needed, get advice from your new landlord.