Think carefully – not just about what you need now, but also what you might need in the future. These are some important things to consider:
Can you afford to move? Don’t forget to factor in removal costs and agent’s fees.
Is the area you have chosen safe?
Will the area be as nice in winter as it is in summer?
What are the local amenities? Is it close to a cash machine, GP surgery, dentist and shops, and can you access them easily?
Will you still be able to do all the things you like to do?
Will your family and friends be able to visit you?
Is the new home easy to run and maintain?
It’s a good idea to get advice, but the final decision should be yours.
If you can, try to see a property in person to get a feel for the home and the area before you decide to live there. If you're applying for a council or housing association property and need help viewing homes to check whether they're accessible to you, ask your council, a local disability charity or an occupational therapist for help.
Options for council or housing association tenants
If you want to move from a council or housing association property, ask your housing provider about your options.
Tenant cash incentive scheme
Under this scheme, you may be offered a cash payment to help you buy a property if you agree to give up your council or housing association home. You will usually be downsizing, because the aim of the scheme is to free up housing for larger households on the council waiting list. Find your local council – on Gov.uk if you live in England or Wales, or mygov.scot if you live in Scotland – and ask for details of schemes operating in your area.
Also known as 'mutual exchanges', these can help social housing tenants to exchange homes. This may mean moving to another area or a different type of home. You register to advertise your home and look at other properties.
To exchange homes, you must:
not owe any rent
get your landlord’s written permission
contact other tenants until you find someone to exchange with.
Depending on the nature of your tenancy, there may be other requirements.
As well as helping you move, removal companies may offer other services, such as packing, storing unused furniture, disposing of unwanted goods and cleaning your home. Our moving home checklist has more information.
If you need to get rid of some things, remember:
some charities will collect unwanted goods
your council will collect large items but may charge
auction companies may be interested in your antiques
house clearance or rubbish removal companies can take away anything you can’t find a home for.
Help with the costs of moving
If you are on a low income and receive Pension Credit, you may be able to get a loan from your local council to help with removal costs.
If you live in England or Wales and you receive Housing Benefit, you could apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to help with moving costs. You don't have to pay back a DHP. See our factsheet Housing Benefit for more information on DHPs.
If you live in Scotland, you may qualify for a DHP if you rent your home and you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Visit mygov.scot for more information.