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Your rehousing options

If you’re one of our existing residents, the time may come when you would like to move. (See also, Homes for your grown-up children.)

We keep a list of people who want a transfer.

If your circumstances change and you have a strong reason for needing to move, you can download this form to apply for a transfer, or call the office.

We only accept transfer applications from people who have been Shian tenants for at least 12 months. Otherwise, we normally accept all transfer applications, except where there is a court order in place relating to a broken term of the tenancy agreement. Download our transfer policy for more details.

We will prioritise your application in Bands A (highest urgency) to D (lowest urgency). Contact us to find out more about these categories.

Whichever band you are in, bear in mind that only a small number of our homes become vacant each year. To improve your chances, you should also apply to your council to go on their housing register.

To find out more about registering, go to:

Please note that councils also have very few homes to offer, so we also strongly advise you to consider following up some of the other options for moving listed on this web page.

If you are an assured tenant, or an assured shorthold tenant with a fixed-term agreement, you have the right to swap homes with the tenant of any social housing landlord. Click here to download our Mutual exchange policy.

You will need permission from both landlords before you go ahead with the swap.

When you swap homes, you are also swapping tenancies. This means your rights may change. For example, if one side of the swap has a fixed-term agreement, their swap partner only takes on what remains of the tenancy.

You can find a swap partner by signing up to a national online scheme called HomeSwapper. This service is free for our tenants, because we are a partner organisation.

Once you have found a swap partner, visited each other’s homes and made sure you understand what sort of tenancy they have, you need to involve both landlords. Don’t plan your move until we have both said ‘yes’.

To ask our permission, complete our mutual exchange form.

We have the right to refuse permission if you or your swap partner:

  • owe rent
  • have broken your tenancy agreement and been taken to court, or if
  • your home is the wrong size for your swap partner.

We can also say no if your home has already been ‘assigned’ to someone other than the original tenant. See assignment for more details.

You can apply for a move to another London borough by registering with the Mayor of London’s Housing Moves scheme.

You will get priority if you are:

  • over-crowded
  • have more bedrooms than you need
  • need to work to be closer to your job or higher education
  • need to move to care for a family member or friend.

We have no sheltered schemes of our own, but we can offer you advice if you would like to find this type of housing with another landlord.

If you are aged 55 or over (or at least one partner in a couple is this age), you can also register for the Mayor of London’s Seaside & Country Homes scheme for a move outside London.

You will not be considered if you:

  • owe rent
  • have a history of anti-social behaviour, or if
  • you are currently being taken to court or about to be evicted.

Your home ownership options

Shian Housing Association is developing some exciting new shared ownership schemes locally.  To find out more, click here

Shared ownership allows you to part-buy and part-rent a home of your own. These schemes are  mostly aimed at first time buyers who can’t afford to buy outright on the open market. 

You are eligible for shared ownership in London if:

  • your household income is no more than £90,000 a year, and
  • you are a first-time buyer, or don’t currently own a home.

To become a shared owner, you will need:

  • a deposit (typically 5-10% of the share of the property that you wish to purchase), and
  • a mortgage to cover the remainder of your initial share (shares normally start from 25% of the full cost).

As well as your mortgage, you will pay rent on the share you don’t yet own and service charges.

When you can afford it, you have the option of purchasing further shares (known as ‘staircasing’) until you own your home outright.

Find out more about shared ownership and schemes currently available on the Share to Buy website.

If the home you are renting from us was built with social housing grant after 1 April 1997, you may be able to buy it with a discount.

To be eligible, you must have been a social housing tenant for at least three years. You can’t apply if you’ve been made bankrupt or been ordered to leave your home by a court.

Tenants often ask us about the voluntary right to buy first announced by the Government in 2016.

The scheme would allow eligible housing association tenants to buy their existing home with a discount if their landlord is taking part, or another social rented home if one is available.

The Government ran a pilot scheme with five housing associations in 2016. Then, in August 2018, it launched a large new pilot scheme in the Midlands, which will run for two years.

The scheme is not up and running in London yet. It is unlikely to be introduced before at least the spring of 2020. We will let tenants know when the situation changes.

If your tenancy with us is a rent to buy tenancy, you have the option of buying a share in your home at any time during your five-year stay. But if you cannot take steps towards owning your home by then, you will usually need to move out.

The Government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme offers a low-interest loan towards your deposit. You would need to buy a home that is:
  • newly built by a registered Help to Buy builder
  • on sale for no more than £600,000
  • for you to live in not rent out, and
  • too expensive for you to afford without the equity loan.
You will need to find a 5% deposit of your own. In London, the Government will then lend you up to 40% more. You would need a mortgage for the remaining 55%.

When your children grow up and are ready to live independently, there are a number of options.

  • If your family-sized home will be under-occupied if they leave, you may be able to get a transfer and your grown-up children might even get help too. Contact your local council for advice.
  • Otherwise, as an alternative to private renting for your son or daughter, they might be able to consider renting a home under the intermediate rent and rent to buy schemes. Shian offers homes for rent on this basis.
  • For a low-cost home ownership option, they could consider shared ownership (see above). Shian would be pleased to offer this option to your children for our own schemes. To find out more, click here.