Transfers and Exchanges


One of our duties is to make the best use of our housing stock, as well as looking after your interests. To help achieve this, we may be able to arrange a transfer from one property to another if you need to move to a more suitable dwelling. You should remember, however, that there is a large demand for homes and we are not able to help everyone immediately.
Note: Those tenants downsizing by at least one bedroom may qualify for a payment of £1000 under Winchester City Council's Wise Move Incentive Scheme.

Transfer Policy

Transfers are in accordance with our allocation policy. If you wish to move simply because you do not like your present home you may have a long wait, or you may not qualify for a transfer at all; see the published rules on the Hampshire Home Choice website by clicking the following link and additionally consider the possibility of exchanging, as described below.

Other conditions

You must, except in certain circumstances, have a clear rent account and your home must comply with the City Council's Tenancy Conditions. Before an offer of accommodation can be made, a survey of the property will be carried out to ensure that it complies with the Tenancy Conditions. You will be notified when the visit will take place if your application is accepted.

How to apply

Applications to transfer are dealt with by the same process and policies as those employed for all housing applications. Please visit the pages for Hampshire Home Choice by clicking the following link If you would like further information about the scheme please contact Customer Services by email on or telephone on 01962 84 84 00.

A letter will be sent to you once a year in order to confirm that you still wish to remain on the transfer register. It will also ask if there have been any changes in your circumstances since first registering your application. If no response to this letter is received within 28 days, your name will be removed from the register.

Exchange - (by way of assignment)

You can arrange your own move by a mutual exchange. Exchanges are moves where you arrange to swap homes with someone else. All secure tenants (and normally assured tenants - the type of tenancy usually held by tenants of a housing association for example) have the right to apply to swap their homes with another local authority or housing association tenant. Provided your tenancy has been conducted satisfactorily and both dwellings are suitable to accommodate respective housing needs, approval can be given within a six week period. There are grounds on which approval of your exchange can be delayed, such as rent arrears or other issues with your tenancy. You must have a clear rent account before an exchange can take place. If you are a Winchester City Council tenant our permission MUST be sought and will normally only be withheld where:

  • dwellings which have been built/modified for persons with special needs are concerned (unless the incoming tenant has need of those modifications);
  • possession proceedings have begun against either tenant (the serving of a Notice of Seeking Possession is the first step of this);
  • either tenant is already subject to an order of the courts for possession of their property;
  • dwellings have a minimum age limit for tenants and the person looking to move in doesn't meet this; or
  • where under or over occupation is likely to occur.

The City Council can permit exchanges where the property to which the applicant is moving is one room above housing need and within our stock (other social landlords may have different policies for their properties). Such applicants may be asked to demonstrate affordability for such a property, and should understand fully the potential implications of not being able to afford the rent. All applications are also considered on a case by case basis.

A visit by an Area Property Surveyor will be arranged after receiving your application to inspect your current home, as a part of your mutual exchange application. During this visit the surveyor will identify and compile a report on any defects to the building that need to be rectified before your move can go ahead, as well as identify any fixtures and fittings within the property which will are not the responsibility of Winchester City Council to maintain (other social landlords will follow a similar process for their properties).

Incoming tenants take the property as seen. They are given a copy of the surveyors report so that they have full information regarding the property they are moving to. For Winchester City Council properties important gas and electrical safety checks, will be carried out (wherever possible) during the first few days after your exchange goes ahead. It is essential that these checks go ahead and we would always ask for the co-operation of tenants with this.

The exchange does not count as a Succession and will not affect a secure tenant's Right to Succeed in the future. However if a Succession has already carried out, a new tenancy obtained by an exchange does not give a new Right to Succeed.

How to apply

To apply, permission to exchange must be sought from all landlords involved with a mutual exchange application. The relevant application forms need to be completed for each landlord by all parties who are part of the proposed exchange. Please note that the six week period in which your application has to be decided by a landlord, does not start until all forms are received. For permission for exchange applications involving a Winchester City Council property, both an online form and a downloadable form (for you to print off and completely manually) can be found at the bottom of this page. Alternatively if you prefer you can collect paper forms from the City Office in Colebrook Street, or request that they be sent out to you by calling 01962 84 84 00.

For any questions regarding mutual exchanges involving Winchester City Council properties, or if you would like more information about the exchange process, please contact the Tenancy Services Team on 01962 848 197 or

Finding a Mutual Exchange/Swap Partner

Winchester City Council subscribes to the national HomeSwapper website that allows you to advertise your property, and search for others looking to exchange across the country. Take a look at the website by following the link at the bottom of this page.
Registration and advertising is free to Winchester City Council tenants. Tenants of other social landlords may have to pay to use the service.