You may want to move home because it is too big or too small or because you have a medical or social reason. However, because demand for accommodation far outweighs supply, we are unable to help everyone.

Two ways of moving include:

  • Transfers
  • Mutual exchanges.

If you should decide to move from one of our homes, you must leave it in a good condition ready for the next tenant to move in.

Transfers

A transfer is when you move from your current home to another home owned by us or another registered social landlord.

How do I apply for a transfer?

We are a member of Home-Link, a sub-regional choice based lettings scheme. Home-Link gives choice about where you would like to live and operates in the local council areas of:

  • Cambridge City
  • Huntingdonshire District
  • East Cambridgeshire District
  • South Cambridgeshire District
  • Fenland District
  • St Edmundsbury District
  • Forest Heath District.

Councils and housing associations who have properties available to let advertise fortnightly on the Home-Link website, at council and housing association offices, and other access points.

To apply for a transfer you will need to register with Home-Link. You can do this by completing their application form and returning it to Huntingdonshire District Council or by completing the form online at the Home-Link website. Once registered you will receive a welcome pack and user guide explaining:

  • How the scheme works
  • How your housing needs have been assessed using a banding system
  • How to express an interest, called “bidding”, in properties advertised.

Please note that in order to transfer you must:

  • Have a clear rent account
  • Ensure your home is in good condition
  • Make good any alterations you have done.

For information about the Home-Link scheme and expressing interest in/bidding for properties being advertised, see www.home-link.org.uk.

For enquires about an existing or making a new application contact Huntingdonshire District Council: Tel: 01480 388222 or 01480 388223 Email: housingreception@huntsdc.gov.uk Web: www.huntsdc.gov.uk

For further details about available Chorus Homes properties advertised in the latest Home-Link magazine, please call 0345 266 9760.

Mutual exchange

What is a mutual exchange?

This is when you “swap” your home with another tenant who may be one of our tenants or a tenant of another landlord.

A mutual exchange is often a quicker way for you to move than a transfer.

How do I apply for a mutual exchange?

You must first find a tenant who wishes to carry out a mutual exchange with you. You can do this by: Registering with the Home-Link scheme at www.home-link.org.uk by clicking on the ‘Mutual Exchange’ link.

If you are unable to access the internet, please call at our offices or contact us on 0345 266 9760 for a paper copy of the mutual exchange registration form. 

Apply through HomeSwapper (www.homeswapper.co.uk), a mutual exchange website for social tenants. Applicants registering on HomeSwapper may be required to pay an administration fee (details of these charges can be found on the HomeSwapper website).

What happens next?

When you have found a mutual exchange partner, please complete a Request for Mutual Exchange form at www.home-link.org.uk.

If you are unable to access the internet or are applying under the HomeSwapper scheme, please contact our offices for a paper copy.

We have 42 days in which to let you know whether we agree to your request (from the day we receive all the information we need from you and the other person). We will visit you at home to complete a tenancy report.

After we have considered the report we will then make our decision and inform you of the outcome, in writing. Both you and the other tenant involved will need to sign a deed of assignment prepared by us. This passes on your tenancies to each other, so you accept the terms and conditions of the other tenancy.

It is always worth checking that you are prepared to accept these terms, as the rights may be different to your existing rights. If you have any queries we will be happy to advise you of the differences in the tenancy and what this may mean to you.

How does Home-Link’s Mutual Exchange scheme work?

Home-Link runs a computerised mutual exchange register. If you are unable to access the internet, please call at our offices or contact for assistance.

The Home-Link Mutual Exchange website helps tenants exchange homes for the Cambridgeshire sub-region and elsewhere in the country.

  • This service is free and offers clear information about:
  • What is a mutual exchange
  • Who can apply
  • Any tenancy rights that may be affected by mutually exchanging your home
  • What happens when you find an exchange partner
  • Landlords’ rights to refuse a mutual exchange

Hints and tips when viewing a home advertised for exchange

Simple registration process: 

  • online
  • paper form

Easy search functions for:

  • ‘Find a home’ including maps of property locations
  • Changing application details
  • Removing application details.

How does HomeSwapper work?

HomeSwapper runs a computerised mutual exchange register. If you do not have internet access please call at our offices, where we will be pleased to help you. HomeSwapper helps tenants exchange homes and covers the whole of the UK.

It could help you move within your local area or move to a different part of the country. It offers the following features:

  • New homes automatically matched to you
  • Email and text match alerts
  • 'My Favourites' function
  • Maps of property locations
  • Quick registration process
  • Instant access to swappers’ contact details.

It also produces written details of applicants registered. You can also view the register at our offices.

If I carry out a mutual exchange will I lose my Preserved Right to Buy?

If you currently have the Preserved Right to Buy as part of your tenancy rights, you will only keep this right if you carry out a mutual exchange to another Chorus Homes home.

Can Chorus Homes refuse permission for me to carry out a mutual exchange?

Yes. Here are a few examples of why we might refuse a mutual exchange:

  • A property would be overcrowded or substantially under-occupied
  • One of the properties is unsuitable because it is sheltered accommodation, designed for elderly people, or alternatively it has been adapted specifically for use by a person with disabilities and no such person is in the new household
  • A tenant is subject to a Notice of Seeking Possession or a court order. We can also give permission for the exchange subject to certain conditions being met.

Examples of conditions would be:

  • Payment of rent arrears
  • Make good any repairs or improvements to our satisfaction.

It is against the law for you to offer anyone a financial incentive to swap homes with you, and could therefore put your tenancy at risk. When moving homes via the mutual exchange route you are taking responsibility for the property in its current condition, including repairs, decorations and garden upkeep. However, your landlord is still responsible for ensuring that your home meets certain standards, including those detailed under “Chorus Homes’ responsibilities”.

Assured Shorthold tenants

If you have an Assured Shorthold tenancy you do not have the right to exchange. 

What to do if moving out

We will inspect your home and explain what you will need to do before you move out. We will look for repairs that will need to be made, check that any alterations you have made have been authorised by us and are acceptable, and that the property is clean and safe for the new tenant to move in.

We will also advise what you can and cannot leave behind. If the work or repairs are not to an acceptable standard we will charge you for the cost for carrying the work out.

What should I do if I wish to end my tenancy?

If you wish to end your tenancy you must notify us, in writing, at least four full weeks before you intend leaving your home. All tenancies begin and end on a Monday and all keys to your home must be returned by 12 noon on the day that your notice to end your tenancy ends. I

f keys are returned after that date (which must be a Monday) you will be charged for the next week’s rent.

When you give us notice to end your tenancy, we will write to you to explain the process in detail.

We will also send you key tags so that you can make sure that all keys are labelled clearly with your name and address when you return them to us.

What happens during the notice period?

We will visit you at home, to discuss what you need to do before you leave. During this visit we will assess what repairs/damage (if any) you are responsible for.

In the meantime we will be identifying a new tenant to move into your home, and by arrangement with you, will allow them to view the property.

What state do you expect me to leave my home in when I go?

We expect you to leave your former home clean and clear of all your personal belongings and refuse. This includes the gardens, roof space, and any outbuildings or sheds.

Any repairs not due to fair wear and tear are your responsibility and if they have to be carried out by us, after you leave, you will be charged for them.

Can I leave items in my home for the new tenant, for example a carpet that is in good condition?

Please discuss this with a member of staff who will agree with you what can be left. If the new tenant does not want the item, and we have to dispose of it, we may charge you.

I have handed in my notice, but I have a partner/lodger living with me who wishes to stay in the property.

What should I do? You must give us vacant possession of your home. If not, we may need to take court proceedings to regain possession of your home, and require you to pay costs and charges for the property while it cannot be rented to somebody else.

Unless you are a Fixed Term tenant, notice to end a tenancy is valid, even if given by only one of the joint tenants. The other joint tenant will have to move out when the tenancy ends.

Who else should I tell that I am moving?

Remember to tell all organisations who need to know your new address:

  • Council Tax
  • Housing Benefit
  • The Department for Work and Pensions
  • Utility companies
  • Bank/building societies and credit companies
  • Social Services
  • School/libraries
  • TV licensing
  • GP, Dentist etc.

When you leave, please make sure you have:

  • Paid all your rent
  • Left no one in occupation
  • Removed all your possessions and property from home and garden
  • Left the premises clean and tidy, including garden and outbuildings
  • Left internal decorations in a good condition
  • Reinstated any fixtures and fittings, as agreed with Chorus Homes, making good any damage and any alterations
  • Notified the water, gas and electricity companies
  • Returned all keys (and key fobs) to our head office by noon on the tenancy end date (including window locks and shed keys, where applicable)
  • Given us a forwarding address Keys and key fobs

You will be given a date of when you need to return all keys and key fobs to our head office in Huntingdon. If you do not return them by the agreed date, you will have to pay additional rent.

Further information For more clarification of what we expect when you leave a Chorus Homes property, please call 0345 266 9760.

If you’re a Secure or Assured tenant (but not an Assured Shorthold tenant), you have the right to alter your home, providing you get our written permission first.

Information about altering your home