Moving to a smaller home

Reading Borough Council has a limited supply of family sized accommodation and properties adapted to be wheelchair accessible, but high demand for these properties. To meet housing needs within the borough we have put in place support to help those relocate from homes where there is at least one more bedroom than required, often referred to as under occupation, or is a home with adaptations that are no longer required. This is called the Tenant’s Incentive Scheme.

Reading Borough Council understand that moving to another home can be daunting, especially when tenants have lived in a property for a long period of time. However, we can support you with the move and look at options available, such as remaining in a specific area where there are friends and family to provide support, or near to other essential services.

The aim of the support available is to:

  • Reduce the number of people under occupying Reading Borough Council homes
  • Reduce the number of tenants who are overcrowded
  • Reduce the time that families have to remain in temporary accommodation
  • Increase options for those who require adapted properties
  • Encourage tenants who are under occupying to move to a property that better suits their needs

Who is eligible for support?

You are eligible for the Tenant’s Incentive Scheme if you:

  • Have held a secure tenancy with Reading Borough Council for one year or more
  • Have succeeded to a property as a secure tenant
  • Occupy a general needs family home
  • Have a clear rent account (although exceptions may be considered

This only applies to Reading Borough Council tenants. If you are a tenant of a Registered Provider you can ask your landlord for information on their own incentive schemes.

Who is not eligible for support?

You will not be eligible for the Tenant’s Incentive Scheme if you:

  • Will make someone homeless as a result of moving to smaller accommodation
  • Have a joint tenancy, and one party is no longer residing at the property (this will need to be resolved before an incentive can be offered)
  • You are subject to possession proceedings due to a breach of the tenancy agreement
  • The property is in such a poor condition that substantial works would be required once you leave (you will be expected to resolve these issues prior to applying for the incentive scheme)
  • You have been served with a Demotion Notice

What will be offered?

Reading Borough Council has a dedicated Officer who will support you from initial application to the time that you move.

The incentive scheme can offer:

  • Dedicated Officer support
  • Priority on the Housing Register (Homechoice at Reading) for another social housing property, of the correct size to meet your need
  • £1,000 payment on completion of a move (this may be reduced to pay off any outstanding arrears or recharges on your rent account)
  • Payment for removals
  • Payment for reconnection and disconnection of white goods
  • Vouchers for decoration materials

Senior managers may also b able to offer other discretionary incentives for a move to take place, especially if the property that will become vacant is in very high demand. Each of these cases will be considered individually.

How to apply

To be considered for the Tenant’s Incentive Scheme you will need to have an active application for Homechoice at Reading. You can apply via Housing Online.

If you require help completing the form you can contact the Under Occupation and Transfer Officer. They can be contacted by email at or by telephone on 01189 373720.

What happens next?

Once you have registered for a move your application will be considered and banded appropriately.

You will be contacted by the Under Occupation an Transfer Officer who will discuss your housing needs and provide advice on what8 housing you will be able to secure.

You will then need to start placing bids for vacant properties that are advertised.

If you place a successful bid, we will confirm what support you will be offered.

If you require any support with this process, would like to find out more, or any general query about your situation, please contact the Under Occupation and Transfer Officer for help.

Telephone: 01189 373720

Last updated on 30/05/2024