Exchanging your council house
Is your home too big or small?
If you are a council tenant whose home is too big or small, you have a few options. You may decide to pursue more than one option at once to increase your chances of finding a more suitable home.
What can I do if my home is too big?
Having a home with more bedrooms than you need for your family is known as under-occupying. Since 2012, you may lose some Housing Benefit (or Housing Element) if your current home is deemed to be too large. This can lead to financial hardship as you will have to pay the difference yourself. You may also find a larger home difficult to manage.
If you are in this situation, it may help you to downsize through our HomeMove scheme or you could consider a mutual exchange.
What can I do if I am overcrowded?
Having a home with fewer bedrooms that you need for your family is known as overcrowding. If you are overcrowded and a social tenant, you can register for a transfer if you are not an Introductory Tenant.
You will then be able to bid for a larger home from properties that become available through Keyways. However, be aware that waiting times for larger properties are likely to be much longer than for smaller properties.
You can also search for a mutual exchange if you are an existing social tenant (and not an Introductory tenant). Your chances of success are likely to be higher than in the past due to the number of people looking to downsize due to welfare reform.
Is there anything else I can do?
Homefinder UK is a national non-profit mobility scheme that can help you move home.