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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Transfers

You can apply for a transfer if you're renting a home from the Housing Executive or a registered housing association in Northern Ireland.

Applying for a transfer

You can apply for a transfer if

  • you are a secure tenant, and
  • you have lived in your current home for 2 years.

Apply by filling in the Housing/Transfer application form. Return the completed form to your current landlord.

You can also apply for a transfer online.

Landlord says you can't apply for a transfer

Your landlord can refuse to put you on the transfer list if

  • you owe more than 4 weeks' rent,
  • your property is in a bad condition or neglected
  • you owe your landlord money for damages, or
  • you've broken the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Get advice if your landlord says you can't get a transfer. They can still put you on the transfer list if

  • you have passed the 4 tests for homelessness
  • you have other homeless points
  • 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.

How long will you wait for a housing transfer?

The length of time you'll wait for an offer depends on

  • how many housing points you have, and
  • what area you want to move to.

Some areas are very popular or do not have a lot of housing. You'll need a lot more points to get an offer in these areas. Your housing officer decides how many points you have.

Ask your housing officer to send you a breakdown of your points. Check this breakdown against our list of points to see if there are other points you should have.

Get advice if you think you should have more points.

What is a management transfer?

A management transfer is a special type of transfer status. If you have this status your housing officer can offer you a property if

  • other people on the list have more points than you, but
  • it makes good housing sense to offer the property to you instead.

Your housing officer can give you management transfer status if

  • you have passed all 4 homelessness tests
  • you have intimidation points
  • transferring you could help sort out a neighbourhood dispute which is getting worse
  • you have to move because your landlord is redeveloping the area you live in
  • your current home is due to have 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
  • you live in specialist housing and 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

Bedroom tax and transfers

The bedroom tax reduces the amount of benefits you get if your home is too big for you. Most people in Northern Ireland get an extra payment to replace this cut in your money.

You could lose this extra money if

  • you move to another social housing property, and
  • the new home is still too big for you, and
  • your move was not a management transfer. 

Get advice if

  • you are waiting for a transfer and
  • you get benefits to help with your rent, and
  • your current home has more bedrooms than you need.

Transferring if you rent your home from a landlord in Great Britain

Landlords based in Great Britain can't transfer you to Northern Ireland. Instead, you should

Transferring your tenancy to Great Britain

You can't transfer your tenancy to Great Britain. But, you can try to swap tenancies with someone living in Great Britain. Use the Homeswapper website to find a swap partner.

Get advice if you want to move. Talk to

Citizens Information can talk to you about housing in the Republic of Ireland.