Changing your home
We aim to help tenants when their home is no longer suitable. For a small number, this may mean a transfer to another Family Mosaic home through our choice based lettings scheme. For the majority, we offer advice on other ways you can find a more suitable home for yourself. Read on for more information about your options.
For full details see our leaflet Your complete guide to rehousing.
Our choice-based lettings scheme allows you to apply for available vacant homes which we advertise twice-weekly online. You’ll need a registration number to take part.
Tenants who are registered with us for rehousing can find out about available homes and express an interest by placing a bid.
From Wednesday 10th June 2015 until 1st October 2015 the property adverts will appear each Wednesday and Saturday at www.ellcchoicehomes.org.uk and in a newsletter which can be collected from any Family Mosaic office any weekday except Tuesday. Alternatively we can email a copy to you on request. Owing to the short period between cycles we are no longer able to send the newsletter out by post. We have increased the number of cycles from one to two each week to offer as many bidding opportunities for tenants on the Transfer list as we can before Bands B and C close on 1st October 2015.
The CBL website is also mobile/tablet enhanced. If you visit the website on a mobile device, you will automatically be redirected to the mobile version. If this does not happen, please go to m.ellcchoicehomes.org.uk .
You can place one bid in each cycle. The period when you can place a bid runs from Wednesday morning until Friday midnight and from Saturday morning until the following Monday midnight. Support and advice is available by calling us on 0300 123 3456.
How to view properties
You can do this:
- Online - find a new home on our property listings website - click here
- By post - request a hard copy of the latest property listings to be posted to you – call 0300 123 3456
- Collect a printed copy – from any Family Mosaic office (any weekday except Tuesday)
Apply for a transfer
We have a large Transfer List and only a limited number of homes available for transfers.
Larger homes are particularly scarce. Before applying for a transfer, please consider other ways to move that may be more realistic.
We have made important changes to the way we operate our Transfer List. We are making these changes because we are unable to meet the demand for moves and want to encourage tenants to explore all the other options available.
For more information, please read the following notes that outline the changes that have already been made and those we are making later this year.
From 1st February 2014, we restricted the Transfer list to tenants in the most urgent needs only. From this date, we only accepted new Transfer applications from tenants who had one of the following types of rehousing need.
- Decant: This is when we need to move a tenant due to the poor condition of the property, either to repair it or in order to sell it
- Downsizing: Tenants who want to move to a smaller home including people affected by the “Bedroom Tax”.
- Beneficial Moves: Tenants who want to move out of one of our sheltered housing schemes or a wheelchair-accessible home to a general needs home
- Management Transfers: Where we need to help someone move urgently due to harassment, anti-social behaviour or domestic violence, or where there are overriding social, welfare or health-related reasons
- Move-on: tenants who are ready to move on from supported housing into a general needs home
You are also required to join a recognised mutual exchange scheme and provide evidence that you have applied to your local council before we will consider your application to join our Transfer List. The letter below was sent to all applicants explaining these changes.
- Summary of changes – letter sent January 2014
From 1st April 2014, we introduced separate lists for tenants with disabilities requiring an accessible home and tenants aged 55 or over interested in moving into sheltered housing. The above letter explained this and tenants were directed to read the separate notes below explaining these new lists.
- New Accessible Housing List – published on website January 2014
- New Sheltered Housing List – published on website January 2014
On 1st October 2015, if you are in Band B or C your application will be cancelled. Please take full advantage of the choice-based lettings scheme and look at the homes we make available between now and October 2015.
The letter below has been sent to tenants in Band B and C. We recommend that you make full use of all the other options available for moving which are listed below.
Transfer list removal and rehousing options – letter sent January 2015
The below reminder letter and Housing Options Bulletin has been sent to tenants in Band B and C. We recommend that you attend a drop in surgery where you will be able to speak to an officer and discuss all the other options available for moving.
Transfer list removal reminder and Your Guide to Housing Options Bulletin – letter and attachment sent September 2015
Your Guide to Housing Options Bulletin – sent September 2015
Swapping your home
Swapping homes is a great way to find a more suitable home. We can only offer a transfer to a limited number of tenants but swapping opens up many more moving options across the country.
Read our leaflet Your guide to successful swapping.
How do I find a swap?
We recommend these schemes which are free for Family Mosaic tenants:
- www.swapandmove.co.uk – we have added this new scheme to your options from October 2015 for a one year trial. It’s free for you to register so why not try it today.
Drop in surgeries
We regularly run a range of drop-in surgeries to help tenants get the most out of the above schemes. The surgeries are held at our Albion House head office as well as some of our local offices. If you attend, you can get help with registering on the above schemes, information on how to get the most out of them as well as advice on all your rehousing options.
We have 2 drop in surgeries scheduled for the new year:
- Thursday 28th January 2015, Albion House head office, 1pm – 4pm
- Tuesday 23rd February 2015 , Albion House head office, 9:30am - 12:30pm
To find out more about these surgeries and to confirm attendance, please contact our Mutual Exchange Officer on 0300 123 3456
Other available schemes and ways to find a swap
- www.ellcchoicehomes.org.uk - This is our choice-based lettings website and it includes a mutual exchange scheme. If you already have an account, log in and record details of your swap preferences in My Mutual Exchange. If you don’t have an account, go to the Mutual Exchange page and follow the instructions to register details of the swap you are looking for.
- Another free scheme is www.exchangelocata.org.uk.
- Many people find swaps by personal contacts or websites such as Gumtree.
Please note that other schemes are available but you may need to pay a small fee to join them.
What should I include in my property advert?
When you are entering details of the swap you are looking for, don’t forget these handy tips:
- Try to be flexible about the areas and type of home you want.
- Advertise the best features of your home - think about what might make it more attractive to others and refer to it in the description of your home. Does your home have large rooms? A new bathroom? Friendly neighbours? Off-street parking? Is it near a park or public transport?
- Upload a photo of your home to show any attractive features. You’ll get a lot more interest if you do.
- Make sure your home is clean, tidy and in good condition. Make sure you have reported any repairs that need doing.
There’s a lot more advice on swapping safely and successfully on the Help pages of the Homeswapper website.
If you are planning to swap to a home with fewer bedrooms, we’ll even help you with moving expenses. Ask us for more information about this.
I’ve found someone to swap with – what happens now?
Congratulations! When you are sure you both want to swap with each other, contact us to request permission to go ahead. Make sure:
- You have a clear rent account
- Your home is in good condition
- You have completed any starter period in your tenancy agreement
- You have details of your swap partner’s full name, address and their landlord
Now call us to start the process
Family Mosaic tenants: contact the Customer Care Line on 0300 123 3456
Tenants of Old Oak HA: contact your local office on 020 8743 5486
Tenants of Charlton Triangle: contact your local office on 020 8319 8870
Then what happens?
Once you tell us about the swap you would like to make, there are four simple steps:
Step 1: We swap information about your household, your home and your tenancy with the other landlord. We aim to complete this stage within two weeks.
Step 2: We inspect your home to check the condition and look for any unauthorised alterations and repairs needed. You should invite your swap partner to be there so they can ask about any repair, renewal or improvement issues they may have. We aim to complete this stage within a further two weeks.
Step 3: We will tell you our decision in writing having checked with the other landlord. We aim to complete this stage within a further two weeks. We will ask you to agree a move in date and come to our offices with your swap partner to complete legal documentation to record the swap officially.
Step 4: You move home!
How long will it take?
We will respond to your request as quickly as we can and inform you of our decision within 6 weeks of your first request. We know you’re keen to move quickly but we have to follow the above steps so please allow us the time periods stated above before chasing up your request. The process may be delayed if the other landlord does not respond promptly, or you are asked to carry out repairs or make good unauthorised alterations before the swap can take place.
Why might my swap request be refused?
Written consent from both landlords is necessary. Consent can be withheld on specific grounds set out in the Housing Acts. We will give you a written explanation if we withhold permission. Please contact us for more information about the criteria we use. We may attach conditions to our approval which you must comply with before you can go ahead. For example, you may be required to clear your rent arrears or carry out certain repairs which are your responsibility.
Who covers the cost of my move?
You are responsible for making your own arrangements for your move and covering any cost incurred during moving. However, if you are downsizing to a home with fewer bedrooms, we can offer you a generous moving payment and money towards removals. Ask us for more details.
Someone has offered me money to move, can I take it?
No. It is illegal to offer or receive money to carry out a mutual exchange. It is also grounds for eviction.
What type of tenancy will I have?
You will usually take on the type of tenancy that your exchange partner has. Ask us for more details.
What happens if there are outstanding repairs to my home?
Any repairs picked up during our inspection will be raised with our contractors but may be completed before or after you swap depending on how urgent they are. If there is anything that you think needs attention, report it now on 0300 123 3456. If you are responsible for any repairs, we will tell you what these are when we inspect your home, and may require proof that they have been completed to an acceptable standard before you can swap.
If you have made unauthorised alterations to your home, we will either require you to remove them and return your home to its original condition or require the new tenant to accept responsibility for their future repair.
If you cause any damage to your home after we inspect it, we will seek to recover the cost from you after you move. You will need to sign a form confirming you will pay for any such damage when we complete the paperwork with you.
Can I change my mind?
It is up to you and your swap partner to decide whether to go ahead. However, once you both complete the formal paperwork, you are legally bound to go ahead. If you change your mind without good reason after we have inspected your home, we will charge you £100 to cover the cost of the visit. You will not be able to make another request for permission to swap until you have paid this charge.
How soon can I start packing?
Please do not make any firm arrangements to move until both landlords have given permission and the legal paperwork has been completed. If your swap partner pulls out at any time, we will not be able to force them to go ahead. We have a useful checklist for moving home available from our website www.familymosaic.co.uk.
Before you swap, we will carry out an Affordability Assessment with you if you are planning to move within Family Mosaic, or with your swap partner if you are moving out. We can help you work out how you will be able to afford the rent in your new home, check your eligibility for any welfare benefits and offer advice and information on ways to increase your income and manage your money. We may withhold permission to go ahead if you cannot demonstrate that you will be able to afford the rent.
Homefinder UK is an easy to use online service for social housing tenants who would like to move to another area but want to remain in social housing.
The scheme is ideal if you are looking to move to take up job opportunities in other parts of the UK.
Homefinder staff can help you find the home you’re looking for by liaising with other social landlords where you want to move to.
We have signed up to Homefinder UK until June 2016.
Register now at www.homefinderuk.org.
London Housing Moves scheme
With the Mayor of London’s Housing Moves scheme, a move to a new area may be closer than you think. Do you need to move closer to work or college? Looking for a smaller home? Want to be closer to family or friends, maybe to provide care or support? Are you overcrowded?
If the answer to any of these question is yes, or if you have another reason for moving to a new area, then the Housing Moves scheme could be just what you need.
Housing Moves is the Mayor of London’s scheme to helps social tenants in London to relocate to other parts of the capital. All council tenants and housing association tenants can apply, as long as they have a secure or assured tenancy.
From 1st May 2015, overcrowded tenants will get extra priority through the scheme. Housing Moves has introduced a new band 3 for overcrowded applicants. Until now overcrowded families were placed in Band 4.
Applicants registered on the scheme have already had their banding amended and will have been contacted by Housing Moves to advise them of any changes to their priority. Priority is given to the following groups:
- Band 1 – people who have more bedrooms than they need and wish to downsize
- Band 2 – people in work or training
- Band 3 – people who need more bedrooms than they have and are overcrowded (new band )
- Band 4 – people who want to move to give care (previously Band 3)
- Band 5 – all other applications (previously Band 4)
Housing Moves is a choice based lettings scheme. This means that once tenants have registered, they can see details of all available properties on the Housing Moves website and can express an interest in the ones that would suit them.
The Housing Moves scheme is separate from Family Mosaic’s Transfer scheme. So, if you are interested, you will need to apply directly to Housing Moves rather than Family Mosaic. Your application form will be checked by us before you can express an interest in properties. You must have a clear rent account to join the scheme.
To find out more about the scheme, including how to apply, please visit www.housingmoves.org.
The Mayor of London also runs the Seaside & Country Homes scheme to help tenants who are aged 60 and over to move to other parts of the country from London. You can find out how to access Seaside and Country Homes at seaside.housingmoves.org.
Next Steps Scheme
The Next Generation scheme has been re-launched as the Next Steps scheme.
This scheme aims to give a hand up to the sons and daughters of Family Mosaic tenants in London by offering intensive employment and training support and an affordable home of their own for a fixed period. By offering separate rehousing, we can help to tackle overcrowding in our homes.
Approval for rehousing is linked to completing a personal employment and training action plan supported by our award-winning Employment team. Bidding details for a one bedroom property will only be given on confirmation of a job offer and having worked in that post for a month.
The scheme is open for applications until 31st March 2016. It is only open to tenants who are overcrowded and requiring a 3 bedroom property or more. We will confirm that the criteria is met with each applicant.
For more information, please call us on 0300 123 3456 or at email@example.com.
What you can expect from your new home
We take pride in making sure every home we let is finished to a high standard and ready for you to move into.
We publish a leaflet explaining what our property standards are – you can read it here.