If you’re looking to move home but want to know what your options are you can find out about them on this page.
If you meet the criteria you have the option to move home by; swapping your home, transferring to another Crown Simmons property or buying a home with through part-rent/part-buy. If you no longer meet the criteria for these homes, you have the option of moving into the private market.
Swap Your Home
If you’ve lived in your Crown Simmons property for longer than 12 months, stayed on top of your rent and don’t have a ‘Notice Seeking Possession’, then you may be able to swap your home!
If you feel your home isn’t quite suitable for you, or you need to move to a different part of the country for work, you could try swapping your home with another of our own residents, or a different person who rents from the council or a housing association.
Part of a government scheme called ‘HomeSwap Direct’, if you found a home that you felt was better suited to your needs and the person who lived in that home found your home suited their needs, you could both swap.
Usually residents do this through websites or at events designed around residents who want to swap, being introduced to other residents who want to swap, and services to help them do this.
home-swap.org.uk has lots of useful information on swapping your home, and services to help you find a swap include:
We currently work through HomeSwapper so it’s free for our residents to sign-up. A lot of the other providers let you advertise your home for swapping for a small fee too, if you wanted to try and get your home seen by more people.
Crown Simmons will sometimes be invited to events for home swaps and we will post these events on this website and social media. We will also try and contact residents who have previously shown interest in swapping their home individually.
Once you have found someone who you’d like to swap with (who would like to swap with you too), you need to apply (by writing to us, e-mailing us or calling us) to Crown Simmons to get formal permission for the swap to go ahead. You can also call us to ask us to send you and the person you’d like to swap with application forms, as the other tenant will need to apply to their landlord as well. You must not proceed with any move until formal permission by both landlords has been given.
You should make sure that you are happy with the condition of the other property by inspecting each room personally. If you notice any problems that would have been the previous resident’s responsibility (see ‘Who is responsible for what?’), after you have swapped, Crown Simmons and the other landlord are unlikely to agree to fix these for you.
When we receive your swap application we will arrange to inspect your property. We have a maximum of 42 days to consider your application and will not refuse it without very good reason.
Reasons for possibly refusing an exchange include:
- A tenant is under a ‘Notice of Seeking Possession’ or legal proceedings for eviction have begun.
- A property is adapted or designed to help a disabled tenant and the incoming tenant does not require this.
- A property is much too large or too small for either tenant.
- A tenant owes rent (eg. is in arrears)
- A tenant’s ‘Starter Tenancy’ has been extended
Transfer to another Crown Simmons Property
If you feel your current home isn’t quite suitable for you, you could apply to Crown Simmons for a transfer to another of our properties.
We are a small housing association, so we don’t have many properties, this means we don’t always have properties available, and we are sometimes required to allocate homes to people on the local housing waiting list first. Each case, however, is individually accessed, so if you feel that you need to move, apply and we will put you on a waiting list until a suitable property comes up.
We will do what we can to help tenants with the highest need for re-housing. Tenants will normally only be considered for a transfer if they have lived in one of our properties for two years and there are no tenancy problems, for example with rent or anti-social behaviour.
Buy a Home with Shared Ownership
Shared ownership is a scheme where tenants can buy a proportion (usually 30%) of a new home with a mortgage, and pay rent on the rest. It is also known as part rent/part buy. Over time, you can buy more of the property until you own 100%, which is known as ‘Staircasing’.
Shared Ownership is usually available to the following people:
- First Time Buyers (if they would be unable to afford to buy a home normally)
- People who work in health, education and fire services, the police and local council
- People experiencing a major change in circumstances (e.g. a forced sale because of divorce/separation, overcrowding at an existing home due to a new family addition, having to care for a sick relative)
- Housing Association and Council tenants
You must be able to do the following:
- Register and apply through BPHA on keyhomes-east (you may also have to register your interest in Shared Ownership with your local council – you should register with all the necessary organisations as soon as you know you want to buy a home)
- Get a mortgage
- Show you have enough money to cover the cost of buying a home
- Show you have enough money to pay a 5-10% deposit on the property you’re buying
The scheme is not usually available to the following people:
- Those who could afford to buy a house normally or have previously owned their own home
- People who still owe their landlord or lender rent or mortgage payments
- People who can’t get a mortgage
FirstStepsLondon is an independent scheme set up by the Government to help first-time buyers, click here to find out more.
Private Rent or Buy
If you are able to raise the money for a deposit, associated fees and you can afford monthly rent or mortgage payments you can move home into the ‘private market’.
If the circumstances which meant you could apply for a home with Crown Simmons change and you earn more in your job or inherit a large amount of money which means you could afford to rent or buy in the ‘private’ or ‘open’ market (from normal landlords or letting agents), please let us know.
As a Housing Association, Crown Simmons sets out to provide homes for people who could otherwise not afford to live in a home paying ‘market rates’ for housing.