Move or swap home

Move or swap home

If you’re a settle customer, there are two ways you can move home:

  • you can go onto the housing list and apply for a different property
  • you can swap your home with another tenant (also known as a mutual exchange)

If you’re over 55 you can also apply for one of our retirement or flexicare properties.

Apply for a different property

If you need to move, apply to join what’s called the Common Housing Register (also known as the waiting list). Housing is provided on a need’s basis which can take a long time. A quicker way to move might be to swap your home with another tenant (see below).

Step 1. Apply to join the common housing register

To do this, visit the Home4U website and fill in the application form. Once you’re registered, your housing application will come to us. You will be asked for supporting information.

Step 2. Search and bid for homes

There’s a high demand for homes in North Hertfordshire so applicants are allocated a banding and points based on their housing needs.

Once we’ve approved your application we will write to you and tell you what band you are in and how many points you have. You will then be able to start searching and bidding for homes online.

Step 3. Viewing properties

The three applicants with the highest priority need for that property will be invited to view the property.

If you have a higher priority than the other bidders (or if someone with a higher priority than you doesn’t want it) it may be offered to you.

Step 4. Accepting an offer and moving

If you accept the property, we’ll contact you to arrange a moving date.

Often, you’ll be asked to move quite quickly so it’s good to be ready.

You’ll need to give notice on your tenancy.

Swap your home

You can apply to swap your home with another tenant housed by us or another council or housing association. It can be a great way of finding a more suitable home.

Before you start

Please read our swap your home frequently asked questions [PDF].

This explains what you should check for and be aware of before you apply, and why we might not approve a home swap.

Please note, you can’t swap homes if you have any debts with us.

Step 1. Register on HomeSwapper

Register on the HomeSwapper website*.

On the site you’ll be able to search for properties and stay updated with any applications you make.

Step 2. Complete a HomeSwapper application form

When you find someone to swap with, complete the online application form on the Homeswapper website. You’ll need to upload copies of the following documents:

  • Photo ID for each named tenant. This can be a passport or driving license
  • Proof of child benefit for each household member under 18. This can be a bank statement showing your Child Benefit payment, your name and address
  • For each household member over 18, copies of two official letters, one dated less than one month ago, the other dated more than six months ago. These should be on headed paper and show their name and your current address

Once we’ve received all applications, we’ll let you know within 42 calendar days if the move can go ahead.

Step 3. Inspection of your home

During the 42 days, we’ll carry out a technical inspection of your home. This is to make sure it’s safe and suitable for the new tenants. These inspections can include a gas safety check, an electrical check and a general inspection.

These inspections will still take place in person, but we will ensure that social distancing is followed. We do ask that you make it as easy as possible for the team to access every room and plug socket, as this will avoid the need for us to touch any items and surfaces.

Sometimes we might need to repair things, or we might ask you to repair things that are your responsibility before we approve the swap.

Step 4. Approval and completion

Once everything’s agreed, you’ll receive written approval from us to go ahead with your exchange. You can then arrange a moving date with us and your exchange partner.

The final step is payment and the legal part of the exchange, which we can do in person or virtually. At this, you’ll need to provide us with:

  • Copies of your photographic ID such as your passport or photo driving licence
  • Proof of address
  • Payment of the first week’s rent (or the first month’s rent if you want to pay monthly)

We’ll also ask you to set up a Direct Debit for future payments.

All parties will then sign a legal document known as a Deed of Assignment and then you can move.

How we’ll support you

  • We have a paper process for those without internet access. Just contact us
  • We can provide a translator when you talk to us
  • We can make other adjustments if you have a disability or other special needs (see our reasonable adjustments policy)
  • We’ll provide you with communication and updates on your exchange through the HomeSwapper website
  • We can do the legal part of the exchange with you either in person or virtually

Apply for a retirement housing

We have self-contained retirement flats and bungalows for people over 55 (over 60 in St Albans) where residents can maintain their independence. There’s communal areas and facilities for residents to enjoy and each resident has a personal alarm.

Read more in:

How to apply

Simply follow the steps in the apply for a different property section above.

Apply for flexicare housing

We have flexicare flats and bungalows for people over 55 with long-term health problems. We call them flexicare because the amount and type of care is flexible for each resident.

You might need flexicare accommodation if you:

  • Are finding it hard to cope at home
  • Are already receiving home care
  • Have unpredictable care needs
  • Are a couple needing different amounts of care

What’s it like?

Our flexicare buildings are specially designed for those with care needs.

Each resident has their own one or two-bedroom self-contained flat or bungalow, allowing them to maintain their independence.

There are also communal areas and facilities for all residents to use. These include:

  • Communal lounge and separate dining area
  • Hairdressing salon
  • Treatment room
  • Communal laundry
  • IT room
  • Guest room for visitors
  • Indoor scooter parking
  • Wet rooms

Where are they?

Our flexicare locations [PDF]

If you’d like to have a look round any of our flexicare sites, please contact us.


Although you’ll rent your home from us, care services are provided by our partners Herts at Home.

How to apply

Simply follow the steps in the apply for a different property section above.