Search the Halton Housing Website

Can’t find what you’re 
looking for?

Filter your search results by visiting our help and support page.

Help & Support
My Tenancy
Internal Transfer Policy

Internal Transfer Policy

Transfer of tenancies can take place physically by moving home or by a change in tenancy through assignment or succession.  For the purposes of this document, this policy will focus on physical movement of customers from one property to another under the transfer process or mutual exchange procedures that are currently in place.

Transfer requests are initially processed through the Property Pool Plus (PPP) Allocations Policy which we initially adopted in March 2012.  This complies with the legislation that governs movement of customers within the social rented sector and captures those with and without housing need.  For those who fall into the “housing need” category of what is termed “reasonable preference” categories are assessed and placed into 3 main bands: A, B and C.

Current Position 

Over the course of the first half of 2016 Halton Housing has seen a significant increase in the level of transfers being processed and issues arising from the poor condition some are left in. This has placed additional pressure on resources, both financial and in terms of staff time spent administering and progressing these through to letting stage.

Anecdotally, some transferees have expressed a desire to wait until new build developments come online. This creates a rush of applications to move without due care being exercised in how existing properties are left. This approach by a customer only fulfils their own desires without meeting their commitments under the tenancy agreement.

Future Action

To exercise control over these issues and temper the flow of movement between existing/new housing stock, some exclusions will be applied by Halton Housing on transferees to ensure that it can reduce the high levels of movement currently being experienced and reduce the risk of financial detriment.  It intends to do this by ensuring that operational decisions made are fair and reasonable and comply with the Equalities Act 2010.

Policy Statement

The Trust will look to continue to meet housing needs and will continue to process requests for transfers. However, the purpose of this policy is to set out HHT’s approach to rehousing our existing customers and instances whereby it will bypass existing customers who have applied/bid on properties through the PPP allocations scheme.

We recognise that enabling customers to move home within its own properties encourages mobility, helps create sustainable communities and makes best use of our housing stock.  However, it is also important to recognise that our existing customers also have a duty to take reasonable care of their property and vacate a property that is in good and lettable condition in order to minimise the financial impact on Halton Housing.  To ensure consistency of approach to all customers transferring or exchanging from their existing homes.

Evidence for the first half of 2016 shows that 100 transfers have taken place so far equating to 27% of the total number of lettings for the same period.  The average cost of a transfer during Q1/2 is currently £1,023.28 compared to £1017.99 last year and 32% (22 cases) of transfers moving to new build homes did not have a priority under the PPP Policy.

Increased costs in carrying out relevant gas and electric tests at the time a property becomes relet may cost Halton Housing in excess of £32k per annum if current transfer trends continue.

Again, costs associated with the legally required gas and electric tests also apply to Mutual Exchanges and a charge may be levied to the customer for this enforced requirement in the future. 

Applying the Policy

HH customers can apply for a transfer through one of the routes listed below, however most transfers will access a transfer through the PPP process;

  • Property Pool Plus Sub Regional Choice Based Lettings Scheme
  • High Priority Panel Review undertaken by Senior Officers within Housing Services where mitigating/extenuating circumstances are considered and require a management decision on whether an urgent move is required.

Customers can apply for Mutual Exchanges, which are subject to a separate Policy, utilising our Mutual Exchange Applications:

  • Movemaker
  • HomeSwapper

We recognise that customers’ circumstances change over time and in particular this may result in a need to move home.  This transfer policy is designed to allow flexibility recognising that not all properties are high in demand and ensures that it maximises the efficient and effective use of stock.

Halton Housing’s approach is to have an efficient and effective housing management service with regard to maximising the use of its properties and ensure that HH customers utilise the most appropriate and effective solution in resolving their housing situation. This will be done by:

  • Ensuring customers’ homes are maintained in accordance with their tenancy agreement and Leave It Clean standards are evident before applications are activated on PPP.
  • Halton Housing transferring customers have agreed and completed the actions required of them through the pre-transfer inspection process.  Any defects that relate to minor outstanding day to day repairs are processed.  That any damage arising from customer abuse/neglect is completed or payment made and works agreed under the Charges Policy.
  • Ensuring that rent and housing related debts are not transferred and fully paid up in advance of any move;
  • Ensuring that affordability and past payment history is considered prior to any move being agreed.
  • Ensuring transferring customer’s existing property is viewed with expression of interest being noted prior to allowing any matching on the shortlist to take place.
  • Limit the number of transfers to those who fall into the top three priority bandings of A, B and C within the PPP Policy only.
  • No like for like transfers to take place unless there are extenuating circumstances which require review by the Trust’s High Priority Panel or through the review mechanism within the PPP Policy itself.
  • Reasonable consideration will be given to address affordability issues, arrears accrual and property turnover to ensure customers are in the best position to manage their rent account and to ensure we maximise our rental income

The Housing Options Manager is primarily responsible for ensuring the implementation of this policy.

Regulatory and/or Legal Compliance

The Framework for Housing Associations

Housing Associations are not normally subject to the same statutory regulation as Local Housing authorities under Part VI of the Housing Act 1996 in relation to the allocation of housing stock. The exceptions to this are where a housing association is operating an allocation scheme:

  • In partnership with a local housing authority; or
  • On behalf of a local housing authority as the Trust does now 

Regulatory Compliance

The HCA’s current Regulatory Framework that came into force from April 2012 has some specific outcomes and expectations within the Home and Tenancy Standards that also relate to this policy.

  • Tenancy Standard

One of the required outcomes of the Tenancy Standard relating to Allocations and Mutual Exchange states that:

“1.1 Registered providers shall let their homes in a fair, transparent and efficient way. They shall take into account the housing needs and aspirations of tenants and potential tenants. They shall demonstrate how their lettings: 

  • make the best use of available housing
  • are compatible with the purpose of the housing
  • contribute to local authorities’ strategic housing function and sustainable communities.”

We’ll aim to meet these regulatory requirements by the effective implementation of this policy.

Legal Compliance

Currently we operate under the PPP Allocations Policy, the scheme used for determining priority between applicants which includes the following clause which allows us flexibility at point of allocation. This policy supports the procedures used by HHT when making decisions at point of application for transfer, assessment and subsequent allocation.

This policy also ensures Halton Housing complies with the following relevant legislation:

  • Landlord and Tenant Act 1985  Housing Acts 1995, as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002
  • Localism Act 2011
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016
  • Equality Act 2010

Diversity Considerations

Following completion of the Equality Impact Screening Checklist this confirms that an EIA Stage 2 assessment is not required. 

This policy supports the following ‘Our Direction’ priorities:

  • Protect our Income
  • Reduce our Costs and Drive Efficiency
  • Focus our Resources and Services 

Related Help & Support Articles

Find helpful articles on finding your next home with Halton Housing, and how to apply for a home here.

Help & Support Categories

We have 6 Help and Support categories to help make finding the help and advice you’re looking for that little bit easier, the categories include: Your Home, Health and Wellbeing, Help with Halton, Online Accessibility, Payments and Money and Your Career.

Looking to Move?

To apply to live in any of our properties you must have an active Property Pool Plus account. To register for an account, simply follow all of the Property Pool Plus registration steps.

Manage Your Tenancy 24 Hours a Day, at the Click of a Button by Downloading Our Customer App.

Our Customer App allows you to manage your Halton Housing tenancy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can now pay your rent, raise a query, report a repair, report anti-social behaviour and do so much more via the Customer App, download it today!

Latest News

Stay up to date with all the latest Halton Housing news here

Read More News
halton housings annual report 2018/19
Your Community

Annual Report 2018/19 Published

11th December 2019

We have now published our Annual Report for 2018/19. We want to make sure that we are accountable to our customers for how we spend their rent money and how well we perform. The report sets out our performance in a range of key areas, including how we keep our customers safe, how we provide […]

find out more
halton housing colleagues completing CIH qualifications
Halton News

Colleagues celebrate completing CIH housing q...

5th December 2019

Colleagues at Halton Housing are celebrating after successfully completing a range of Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) qualifications.  Eight colleagues completed level 3 CIH qualifications in Housing/Property Management following hard work and dedication over the past 18 months.   The CIH is the professional body for the housing sector. A registered charity with a Royal Charter, the Institute provides […]

find out more
Your Community

Starter Tenancy Officer rescues dog featured ...

29th November 2019

Emma Bennett, a Starter Tenancy Officer here at Halton Housing has wonderfully rescued and adopted a neglected dog that was featured on Channel 5 series  ‘The Dog Rescuers with Alan Davies‘ aired earlier this week. Emma rescued Floyd the dog from one of our properties following an appalling case of neglect being discovered, where the dog […]

find out more
Halton News

#FixTheHousingCrisis – 25-29 Nov 19

28th November 2019

This week, we are supporting the launch of the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) General Election campaign to #FixTheHousingCrisis. The campaign is all about the housing association sector calling on the next government, to work with us to fix the housing crisis for good, by placing housing associations as key partners, regardless of which party wins […]

find out more
Halton Housing supporting Cheshire Police on there Operation Treacle
Halton News

Early morning warrant executed on Brentfield

28th November 2019

Our Anti-Social Behaviour and Tenancy Enforcement teams supported Cheshire Police in the early hours of yesterday morning (Wednesday 27th November) to execute a warrant at an address on Brentfield, Widnes. Over one hundred wraps of crack cocaine and heroin, along with cash, cannabis and a large knife were recovered. Two males were arrested; one of […]

find out more
Halton News

Helping Hands provides funding to Halton Chil...

27th November 2019

Halton Housing’s Helping Hands initiative makes available funding, skills, materials and resources to community projects and groups which benefit the Borough. Through our Helping Hands initiative we have been able to provide funding of £1000 to support the 2019 Christmas Hamper Project which has taken place of the last 7 years, to help over 150 vulnerable families […]

find out more

Sign Up For Regular Updates

Would you like to receive news and updates straight to your inbox? Tell us your email address and areas you are interested in, and we will send you relevant updates

alert align-leftanti_socialinfo-Asset 3 arrow_down_thicker_no_fillarrow_down_white arrow_down_whitearrow_downarrow_leftarrow_rightarrow_up_accordion arrow_up_tail article Untitled-1info-Asset 4 tenancycalendarcameracard clockcollaborationcomputerAsset 4 cross_arrows crosscurves down_arrowdownload-2duohouseAsset 2emote_1 emote_2 emote_3 emote_4 emote_5 figured_arrowsUntitled-2flaggradient_briefcase info-Asset 5 helphh Untitled-2Untitled-3house_helpicon_additional_incomeicon_alcoholicon_benefitsicon_bettingicon_car_insuranceicon_child_benefitsicon_childcareAsset 1 icon_clothingicon_council_taxAsset 4 icon_electricityicon_gasicon_groceryicon_gymAsset 5 icon_home_insuranceicon_iAsset 3 icon_petrolAsset 1 icon_renticon_takeawaysicon_total_incomeicon_travel_feesicon_tvWage after Taxicon_waterkey_features keyholderleft_arrowinfo-Asset 5 live_chatUntitled-3 megaphonemessagemouse new_homes pause Page 1Created with Sketch. pen info-Asset 9 percentagepersontickpet_iconinfo-Asset 6 plant_iconplay Asset 2 info-Asset 7 property_overview qualright_arrow_whiteright_arrowsearch Untitled-3slider_next slider_prev smileyFacebook Google Plus Instagram social_linkedin Pinterest Twitter YouTube socialUntitled-3square_triangle Untitled-3info-Asset 8 triangle-left Untitled-2 wifi-glyph-24