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.

Choice-based lettings

Our choice-based lettings scheme allows you to apply for available vacant homes which we advertise 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.

The property adverts appear each Wednesday at www.ellcchoicehomes.org.uk and in a newsletter which can be collected from any Family Mosaic office any day except Tuesday.

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 per week. The period when you can place a bid runs from Wednesday morning until the following Monday midnight. Support and advice is available by calling us on 0300 123 3456 Option 2.

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 Option 2
  • Collect a printed copy – from any Family Mosaic office (any weekday except Tuesday)

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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, think about other ways to move that may be more realistic.

From 1st February 2014 we restricted the Transfer list to tenants in the most urgent needs only. 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.

See Transfer policy changes below for more details.

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Swapping your home

A swap is a great way to find a new home. We offer free use of Homeswapper, the largest national swapping scheme. We also offer a free swapping scheme in our choice-based lettings website. Don’t forget you must get permission from us before swapping. We even offer cash incentives to tenants who swap and move to a smaller home. We have a dedicated Mutual Exchange Officer who can help you find your perfect swap.

Read our leaflet Your guide to successful swapping.

How do I find a swap?

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.

We recommend these schemes which are free for Family Mosaic tenants:

www.homeswapper.co.uk

This is the biggest national swapping scheme

www.ellcchoicehomes.org.uk

This is our choice-based lettings website and it includes a mutual exchange scheme. If you already have a log in, log into your account and record details of your swap preferences in My Mutual Exchange. If you don’t have a log in, go to the Mutual Exchange page and follow the instructions to register details of the swap you are looking for.

www.exchangelocata.org.uk

Exchange Locata is a website for social housing tenants and landlords looking to swap council houses or housing association homes or flats online. Register online for free to setup a mutual exchange advert.

Other schemes are available but you may need to pay a small fee to join them. Many people find swaps by personal contacts or websites such as Gumtree.

When you are entering details of the swap you are looking for, don’t forget these handy hints:

  • Try to be flexible about the areas and type of home you want.
  • “Sell” 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: Option 2.

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. 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 in now on 0300 123 3456 (Option 1). 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.

Contact us: call us on 0300 123 3456 Option 2

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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?

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. Priority is given to the following groups:

  • people who have more bedrooms than they need and wish to downsize
  • people in work or training
  • people who want to move to give care

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 direct 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.

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Next Generation Scheme

We run this scheme to help overcrowded Family Mosaic tenants in London by offering separate rehousing to an adult member of the household in a studio or one-bedroomed property.

We can also help sons and daughters of downsizers through this scheme when you move to a smaller home.

Approval for rehousing is linked to completing a personal employment and training action plan supported by our award-winning Employment team.

The scheme is currently being reviewed and is closed to new applications.

For more information, please call us on 0300 123 3456 option 2.

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Transfer Policy changes

Information on the proposed changes to our transfer policy

We have made important changes to the way we operate our Transfer List. From 1st February 2014 we will only consider the most urgent new applications. For more information please read the following information notes.

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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.

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