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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Transfers

Secure Housing Executive (NIHE) and housing association tenants can apply for a transfer to a different NIHE or housing association property.  You can ask for a transfer anywhere in the UK and tenants from England, Scotland & Wales can transfer to properties in Northern Ireland.

Applying for a transfer

You have to be a secure tenant of a housing association, NIHE or a local authority to apply for a transfer.  You can’t normally apply if:

  • you’ve been living in your current home for less than 2 years
  • you owe more than 4 weeks’ rent
  • your property is in a bad condition or neglected
  • you owe your landlord money for damages
  • you’ve broken the terms of your tenancy agreement

However, you might be able to apply even though you don’t meet all the criteria above if

  • you have passed the 4 tests for homelessness
  • you have been given other homeless points
  • the Housing Executive thinks you need a transfer on health or social grounds
  • you are living in shared accommodation and want to move somewhere on your own
  • you can’t afford your rent and heating costs
  • your landlord thinks it would be a good idea for you to transfer.

To apply for a transfer, fill in the Housing/Transfer Application form.  If you don’t currently live in Northern Ireland, fill in the Housing/Transfer Application form for Outside NI.

After you’ve applied

Once your application has been processed a housing officer will award you points using the Common Selection Scheme.  You’ll go on the waiting list and be entitled to 3 reasonable offers of accommodation.  If you refuse all 3 offers you could lose some of your points and you won’t get any further offers for 12 months.

It’s impossible to say how long you’ll have to wait before you find a new home.  It’s a good idea to contact the Housing Executive or any housing associations that operate in the area you’re moving to and ask how many points transfer applicants need for that area. 

Priority transfer applicants

There is a special type of transfer status which is given to some people on the waiting list.  This is a Management Transfer and it is only given to people who meet certain criteria.You should ask if you can be given this status if

  • you have passed all 4 homelessness tests 
  • you’ve been given intimidation points
  • transferring you could help sort out a neighbourhood dispute which is getting worse
  • you’re being transferred because the area you live in is being redeveloped
  • you want to move somewhere else and your current home is scheduled for major repairs or improvements
  • you live in housing built for a specific user group and it is due to be demolished or transferred to another landlord or you don’t need this type of housing anymore
  • someone in your household needs specially adapted housing, other than a bungalow or ground floor property
  • you have a district heating debt and transferring you would stop this increasing

People with Management Transfer status will go on the waiting list like all other applicants. However, when a housing manager is offering a property to someone they can offer it to someone with this special status even if other people on the list have more points as long as the decision would solve a housing management problem.