Your housing options

You may want to relocate. This could be for a number of reasons - moving closer to family and work, for example, or looking for a bigger or smaller home.

If you do want to move,  you can find out about your options below:

Mutual exchange >

Local authority housing process >

The private housing market >



Mutual exchange

This is a mutually agreed ‘home swap’ between two or more customers who hold an assured (fully or flexible) or secure tenancy in the social and affordable housing sector.  If you've passed your tenancy probationary period, you can apply to carry out an exchange with:

•    Another Sage customer

•    A local authority (council) tenant

•    Another housing association customer

If you decide you do want to carry out a mutual exchange, you must make an application to your proposed new housing provider and to us at Sage Homes.

We will not unreasonably refuse a mutual exchange application. If we do refuse, we'll make sure that we tell you why. You cannot apply to exchange if your rent account is in arrears.

How to find a property

Customers seeking a mutual exchange can find a potential swap by:

•    Registering on dedicated websites – these are regulated and monitored and allow customers to match to potential exchange partners:

•    Word of mouth – finding a potential exchange partner through friends, family or acquaintances.

•    Social media – there are groups on social media platforms that allow customers to share and discuss mutual exchange.

How to apply for a mutual exchange

The local authority housing process

Your local authority has ‘nomination rights’ for properties owned by Sage Homes. This means that they are responsible for nominating applicants to us for housing. We are not able to offer customers housing outside of this process.

If you have experienced a change of circumstance which means that your home may not be suitable anymore, you can re-apply to the local authority’s housing register for re-housing. Your housing needs must be assessed and prioritised via the normal housing application route.

You can find out which local authority is responsible for housing in your area here and you can learn more about their housing application process on their website. 

The private housing market

You could find a place to rent through a letting agent, directly through a landlord, or online. Most landlords and letting agents will carry out checks on applicants which may include:

•    Right to rent checks (checking you have a legal right to rent in the UK)

•    Income and finance checks (making sure you can afford to rent)

•    References from former housing providers (confirming your previous tenancy conduct has been satisfactory)

Renting directly from a landlord

It can be a positive experience renting from a landlord because you'll often communicate directly so won't have to use a third party to raise issues. However, please be mindful that not all private landlords are regulated.  

Finding a home in the private sector

You can look for alternative accommodation in the private sector in several ways: 

•    Via social media or online forums

•    On local noticeboards or newspapers

•    Through Rightmove,  Zoopla or Spareroom

If you're responding to an advertisement on social media, please make sure that it's genuine. Check out the landlord or letting agent online and ask for a viewing in person.

Be fraud aware

Scammers may advertise properties that they do not own, that do not exist or have already been rented to someone else. They may ask for a fee to secure the let or before allowing a viewing in the property. Do not transfer any money without viewing the property.

For more information about renting privately visit