Downsizing and mutual exchanges

Moving home

You may wish to move home for a number of reasons including downsizing, job changes, to be closer to family and friends or to reduce day to day living costs. 

There are a number of options for you to consider which could assist you finding a new home. We cannot guarantee you a move as the homes on offer are not ours. The more flexible you are with your preferences for the type, size and location then the more chance you have of finding a new home.

There are several housing mobility schemes and mutual exchange services that we work with. Some require you to register and search for properties online. Mutual exchanges require you to swap your tenancy with someone who wishes to move into your home.

To do this you will need our permission but we will not withhold this unreasonably. If you have more rooms than you need in your current home and are interested in moving to a new home then you may be interested in downsizing. If you downsize you may qualify for Westminster’s cash incentive scheme.

Cash incentive scheme (click to expand)

If you downsize you may qualify for Westminster’s cash incentive scheme (opens new window). This is open to tenants who wish to move within Westminster or to properties available through the Mayor of London’s seaside & Country Homes. If you wish to move to a smaller home in Westminster you will be given the highest possible priority for a new home.

As well as providing help to you throughout the re-housing process the cash incentive scheme can offer cash for each extra bedroom you free up when if you are offered a new home. For example, a move from a 3-bed property into one with two bedrooms would mean one bedroom is being freed up.

If you are older than the current pension credit age( opens new window) you can receive up to £3,000 for each bedroom freed up. If you are younger then you can receive up to £1,000 for each bedroom freed up. Either way, you can also receive up to £2,000 to put towards removal and decorating costs.

To find out more about the Cash Incentive Scheme contact Steve Payne, Cash Incentive Officer at Westminster Housing Solutions Service. 

Telephone: 020 7641 1000. 

Mutual Exchanges

A mutual exchange allows you to swap your home with another council or housing association tenant anywhere in the UK.

You cannot complete a mutual exchange if:

  •  your home is adapted for a person with special needs and nobody in the new tenant's household has those needs
  • the home you want to move to is much larger than your household needs
  • the home you want to move to is too small for your household and you would be overcrowded
  • possession proceedings have commenced for a breach of your tenancy conditions
  • your rent account is in arrears
  • your tenancy is an introductory tenancy

If you have any questions regarding mutual exchanges please contact your housing manager.

Housing Moves 

The Mayor of London’s Housing Moves (opens new window) scheme is open to you if you have an assured or secure tenancy and can help you move to other parts of London. If you are in work or training, are looking for a smaller property or wish to move in order to provide care for friends or relatives then the scheme will prioritise your application. Please note however that it is not possible to move to another property in Westminster using this scheme.

There is no minimum age requirement and there is no charge for registering with the scheme.


If you are looking to move to a council or housing association home away from London then you can register with HomefinderUK. Many of the homes advertised on this site are for older people but there are also properties for all adults available from time to time. You will receive priority on this scheme if you will free up a property when you move. Homefinder UK also offer a one-to-one service through which they will work to find a property that meets your requirements and contact landlords on your behalf in order to do so.

If you register for Homefinder UK (opens new window) you can also register for their sister service House Exchange (opens new window), a mutual exchange scheme.

There is no minimum age requirement and there is no charge for registering with the scheme.

Seaside & Country Homes

 If you or a member of your household is aged 60 or over you can apply for a move to one of more than 3,000 two-bedroom bungalows and one and two bedroomed flats available through the Mayor of London’s Seaside & Country Homes scheme(opens new window). 

There are properties available in the south west, on the south coast, across the south east, in Essex and East Anglia. Many are in seaside locations and a few are in more rural towns and villages. Many have private gardens. The more bedrooms that you have in your current property then the higher your priority will be for a new home.

There is no charge for registering for the scheme.


Homeswapper (opens new window) is a mutual exchange scheme and can help you to swap tenancies with tenants of other councils and housing associations, anywhere in the UK.

There are some 200,000 properties advertised on Homeswapper at any one time and if you register you can identify potential exchange partners almost immediately.

There is no minimum age requirement and there is no charge for registering with the scheme.