Council tenants can apply to move to alternative Council and Housing Association owned property and the priority awarded to their application will be based on an assessment of their housing needs.
Applications for transfer may be made jointly by separate tenants of the Council who wish to apply for housing together, on the condition that both tenancies will be relinquished if the Council makes an acceptable offer of a transfer to a third property.
Transfer applications will be subject to checks relating to the condition of the applicant’s property and their compliance with the conditions of their tenancy and occupancy. Tenants with Introductory Tenancies can register a transfer application but will not be considered for a move to alternative housing until their tenancy is made secure.
We will occasionally, in the best interests of managing social housing, maximise the number of lettings that can be achieved from an initial vacancy by giving transfers priority over other Housing Register applicants. This will be made clear in the advertisement for the property.
Every Dover District Council transfer applicant will be subject to a pre-transfer inspection (PTI) carried out to ensure that their property is of a standard where it can be re-let without undue delay. This inspection will be undertaken by a Housing Officer from our Housing Management Service and will cover both the inside and outside of the property including the garden.
Council tenants will have their transfer application suspended should their home not meet the required standard, until such time as the standard has been met. In any circumstances where the property standard is such that an outright possession order would be awarded against the tenant, the application will be deemed ineligible and removed from the register.
If the inspection determines that the property meets the required standard, the tenant will be notified and no further inspections will be carried out before an offer is made, unless a period of more than six months has elapsed since the inspection. However should any information be received that a property may have deteriorated, a further inspection may be carried out.
Should a property not meet the required standard, the applicant will be informed in writing as to what they need to do to put this right and advised of their right of appeal.
Tenants are required to contact us once they have dealt with any issues identified during the PTI and a further visit will be carried out.
Once a property meets the required standard the application will be reinstated to the appropriate band.
The above requirements may be waived where the transfer applicant needs to move because of:
- domestic abuse
- fear of violence
- where Band A is awarded for medical needs
- where the moving tenant is under-occupying their current home by 2 bedrooms or more and has been given Band B priority, is over 60 and also has medical or welfare grounds to move which do not enable them to address the outstanding issues identified in the PTI, for example decorating
Tenants who are in breach of their tenancy agreement, for example, rent arrears, condition of property, or unsocial behaviour, will only be considered when we are satisfied that the breaches have been remedied.
Transfer Incentive Scheme
In order to encourage Dover District Council tenants who are under-occupying homes, to move to smaller non-family housing, or if a tenant is occupying fully adapted, wheelchair accessible accommodation and no longer requires the use of these facilities, the Council operates an incentive scheme.
To assist with removal costs and other expenses, a grant of £500 upfront is paid as soon as the tenancy to the new address has been signed. The balance of £500, plus a payment of £1000 per room given up, is paid following the move.
This grant will only be payable to tenants who are either occupying fully adapted homes or who are over the age of 55 and where the move is as a result of a successful bid to alternative Council or Housing Association property through the choice based lettings scheme.
Any debt owed to us will be recovered from this grant.
We recognise that there may be exceptional circumstances where the only way a housing need can be resolved is through the use of discretion and to ensure the most efficient use of our available stock.
If a Council or Housing Association tenant has an urgent need for rehousing due to a confirmed risk to the personal safety of themselves or their household, or other exceptional factors, their landlord may agree a management transfer. This will only be agreed if there are no other options available or feasible.
Examples of exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to:
- threat to life
- emergency cases whose homes are damaged by fire, flood or other disaster may be provided with another tenancy if it is not possible to repair the existing home, or if any repair work will take such a long period of time that there will be serious disruption to family life
- households who, on police advice, must be moved immediately due to serious threats to one or more members of the household, or whose continuing occupation would pose a threat to the community
- an applicant who has an exceptional need that is not covered in the Allocations Policy. For example, where child or public protection issues require rehousing or for severe domestic abuse where all other options to remain in the home have been considered
- tenants where their flexible tenancy will not be renewed because their circumstances have changed necessitating a move to smaller accommodation
Management Transfers are agreed jointly by the Landlord’s Housing Manager in relation to tenancy management and the Housing Options Manager. In certain circumstances temporary accommodation may be requested whilst the reason for a permanent move is investigated.
Because the circumstances are exceptional and rehousing considered urgent, the Management Transfer will have the following restrictions:
- Only one offer of suitable permanent rehousing will be made.
- This will be a direct offer to ensure that a household's urgent needs are met as quickly as possible.
- The offer will be on a ‘like for like’ basis. This is based on property type and bedroom numbers with no account being taken of room sizes and facilities such as gardens.
- Areas of choice for rehousing cannot be considered but the Management Transfer move will be away from the applicant’s current home. Area restrictions will only be taken into account if there are proven factors that pose a risk to personal safety, relevant to the reason for transfer.
- Other medical and social factors which would normally qualify the applicant for a Housing Register transfer will not be taken into account.
- A refusal of a direct offer will be considered by the Head of Housing and where appropriate, with Housing Management.
Tel: 01304 872265