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If you live in a property that is too big for you, we can help you to downsize to a smaller, more manageable home.

We can help any council tenant who is living in a home that is too big for them and wants to move somewhere smaller in Islington.


Why downsize?

  • Pay less rent and council tax.            
  • Save money on heating bills.
  • Avoid paying out on bedroom tax (£30-£50 average amount saved).
  • Earn cash between *£1000-£2000 per spare bedroom that you give up (as well as £750 towards removal costs) *Available for Islington Council tenants only.
  • Have a fresh start.
  • Move to a new area.
  • Free up a home for an overcrowded family.


Help available to you

Whatever your circumstances, we understand moving home can be a daunting experience, so our friendly downsizing team are here to help you every step of the way.  Your dedicated downsizing officer can help you with:

  • Bidding for a new home (council/ housing association property) and attending visits.
  • Removals
  • Disconnection/reconnection of services
  • Clearing unwanted furniture/ carpets


Dedicated support

An officer can help you find properties and bid on your behalf.


Apply for the scheme

To apply for this scheme, you will need to complete a Change of Circumstances form. Once accepted, you will receive points award letter with priority bidding points and a dedicated officer to manage the process. If you need help completing the form contact us on 020 7527 4140 and choose option 3.

Alternatively, email 

We can help and advise you on:

  • applying for a move
  • bidding for a transfer to a smaller council or housing association property on the Home Connections website
  • removals
  • clearing your property of unwanted furniture and carpets


Ways to downsize: (see FAQs below)

There are several ways you can move to a different property:

  • Apply for a transfer as an 'under-occupier'. You will have a higher priority on the transfer list.
  • Interested in swapping your home with another Council tenant?
  • Mutual exchange is a scheme available to people who live in a council or housing association property who would like to swap their home with another tenant.  People use the scheme to get a larger or smaller home or relocate to a different area. For more information, visit our Swapping Homes webpage.
  • Over 55, with growing support needs? We have specially designed accommodation, made up of self-contained properties with shared communal faculties.  Most schemes have 24-hour emergency on call system.  For more information and to apply, visit our webpage for Housing options for older people.
  • Over 55 If you’re a Council/ or social housing tenant over 55 and eligible, you could move away from the London area through the Seaside and Country Homes Scheme. For more information, see the Seaside and Country Homes Scheme.
  • The Homefinder UK scheme advertises affordable homes across whole the UK.


Beat the ‘bedroom tax’

If you get Housing Benefit, have more bedrooms than are allowed under government rules and you are of working age, your Housing Benefit will not be enough to pay all your rent. This is known as the bedroom tax. If you move to a smaller home that meets the rules, the tax will no longer apply.

If you receive pension credit you will not be affected by the bedroom tax. Read more about the bedroom tax.


Want to stay in your home?  You could help others

  • Become a Foster CarerEvery child deserves a safe, secure, and happy childhood. Islington need individuals and couples to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people by adopting a child or becoming a foster carer. See our Adoption and fostering in Islington Council webpage. 
  • Islington Shared LivesShared Lives is a modern and flexible way for adults and young people aged 16 and over to access care and support. We offer our residents the opportunity to be supported in a family environment and help them to develop skills and meaningful friendships that enable them to live life to the full. See our Islington Shared Lives Scheme webpage.


Downsizing: FAQS


Downsizing is when a council tenant downsizes to a property with fewer bedrooms within the borough.


  1. What do you mean by ‘giving up a bedroom'?The property you move into must have fewer bedrooms than the one you move out of .  For example, if you move from a three-bedroom you will be entitled to a cash payment (contact the downsizing team for details).
  2. How will I save money? Most residents save money by reducing their heating bills.  Some residents save money by avoiding having to pay the bedroom tax. 
  3. How long will it take? Some residents prefer to move as soon as possible but it depends on your preferences.  If you are flexible in terms of area and type of property it is likely that we will be able to offer you somewhere quickly.  However, if you are seeking something very specific it can take long time until a suitable property becomes available.
  4. Can I downsize and still have a spare room? Usually, no. Unless you have an assessed need for a one-bedroom home, but you currently live in a 3-bed or larger home then would allow you to be considered for 2-bedroom home. 
  5. What happens next? Once you make a housing application and receive your housing priority points letter you can search for any suitable vacancies on our choice based letting scheme ‘Homeconnections’.  You will receive your bidding ID and PIN number and the link to Homeconnections in your housing priority points letter. You can place up to 3 bids on suitable properties each week.
  6. What is a viewing? If you are successful on a bid for a property you will be invited to attend a viewing to see the property.
  7. How will you invite me? You will receive a text at least 24 hours before the viewing date.  You must confirm attendance by replying to the text.  Your dedicated officer may also call you to confirm.
  8. What happens if I don’t show up to my viewing? Most residents inform us if they are unable to attend, but if you fail to turn up it will be recorded on the system.  We do not penalise tenant for not attending a viewing, but it is helpful to let us know if you are unable to attend so that other tenants get the opportunity to be invited.
  9. Who else will attend the viewing? There can be up to seven other people viewing the property. 
  10. How do I accept a property and will I be penalised for rejecting it? After the viewing the property, the attending officer will give you a viewing sheet for you to accept or reject the property.  If you reject the property, we ask that you provide your refusal reasons. Islington currently do not penalise tenants for rejecting an offer. 
  11. How are properties/offers prioritised? Applicants are shortlisted for each vacancy in points order.  However, some properties may have other priorities listed in the advertisement.  For example, priority for ground floor homes prioritised for those applicants with a medical assessed need for this type of home.  Local lettings priority to those living in the local area to the vacancy.  Downsizing tenants may be offered priority for one-bedroom vacancies.
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