There are many reasons due to which residents may need or even choose to move out of their council house. It can be anything from uninhabitable living conditions to the health conditions of a family member or a change in personal circumstances due to which a change of residence is required. If the decision to move comes from the tenant, they are required to issue a four weeks notice to the local council office or their social housing landlord.

How Long Do The Council Give You To Move House?

The number of days you will have to move out depends upon whether you, the tenant have handed in a notice of vacating the council premises, you are being moved to other premises due to a change in your circumstances or you are being asked by the council to move from the premises due to emergency repair work to be done on the property.

In case of emergency work, you might be given a week’s time to move premises if the conditions of your existing house are deemed to be serious health concerns. In case you are moving out on the council’s request for transfer to another premises, it depends upon the amount of repair work that needs to be done on the property. It may take up to 28 days for council notice to come into effect. 

Once your previous tenancy ends, the council authorities will inform you of the date when the new tenancy will start; based on this you will be allotted a time frame. However, if you are giving notice of the end of the tenancy at council premises, you are required to give a 4 week’s notice. This will serve as the council notice period for moving out; unless you are required to manage any repair work due to damage to property during your stay.To learn more about the council’s role with regards to your housing needs, we will try to answer the following questions:

  • Can Council Inspect My House Before I Move House?
  • Can Council Help With Deposit?
  • Can Council Help With Moving Costs?
  • Can Council Help With Furniture?
  • Can Council Help With Carpets?
  • What Happens To Council Tax If My Address Changes?
  • Can I Move To A New House With Council Tax Arrears?
  • What Are The Different Types Of Tenancies For Council Housing?

Can Council Inspect My House Before I Move House?

Yes, council authorities have a duty to visit houses; both privately rented ones and especially council housing premises. Such visits are scheduled in advance and residents are informed ahead of the visit to expect a visit by the council authorities at a specified date and time.

The nature and purpose of this visit may vary. For instance, sometimes visits by council authorities are an informal assessment before a formal inspection is carried out for home improvement or extension work to be carried out. However, it is normal for council authorities to run an inspection when a tenant is about to move to other premises.

Details of the reasons for council visits and their consequences can be found here Shelter Legal England – Local authority duties to inspect homes and assess hazards

Can Council Help With Deposit?

Yes, local councils can help with deposits by offering you a rent deposit scheme or a rent guarantee scheme. These are convenient options to make deposit payments convenient for those individuals who are either on low-income or are facing financial challenges in meeting their living expenses.

Through a rent deposit scheme, financial aid is extended to those who are unable to afford a rent deposit. The applicant receives the entire amount in advance and repays it in instalments.

A rent guarantee scheme provides a written guarantee to your landlord confirming your inability to make an immediate cash deposit and your commitment to pay the amount over a period of time. If the tenant is unable to pay this amount as per the date committed, the guarantor of the rent guarantee scheme is liable to make payment on their behalf. For this, the tenant might have to pay a nominal fee to the guarantor over the period of the guarantee.

However, in most cases, individuals facing homelessness or in dire need to leave their previous homes into a new one will be favoured for such schemes.

In some cases, individuals may be able to receive funds for tenancy deposits through a homelessness prevention fund or social services. Additionally, councils may be able to arrange grants through charities to help those who need financial assistance.

Can Council Help With Moving Costs?

Yes, councils can help with moving costs. They have certain allowances available with them to extend financial aid in the form of grants or loans to those who are in need and qualify. 

At times, they may be able to arrange a Discretionary Housing Payment; which is a one time grant extended to cover the costs of housing. Local authorities will consider the following factors in this regard:

  • Conditions that make the applicant’s circumstances critical, exceptional or different.
  • Whether or not a one-time payment will provide real help for their situation.
  • Whether one-time assistance is required or it will be repeated due to financial constraints.
  • Possible long term solution for the applicant’s financial assistance.
  • The amount that they will receive.

Your local Citizen’s Advice centre can prove to be a useful guide in connecting you to charities who help people with rent and moving costs.

Can Council Help With Furniture?

Yes, the council can help with furniture by giving vouchers to residents to purchase furniture through certain schemes or charities. Sometimes this furniture is available at extremely low-cost; while at other times, charities may pay for them while residents claim to use it. 

This means that while councils may not directly pay for the furniture that a council house resident requires, they can connect them to charities who can either offer the pay for the furniture while the resident pays them back in instalments or sometimes they may simply make the payment on behalf of the resident(s) who is not expected to make any payment at all. 

Can Council Help With Carpets?

No, councils do not help with the provision of carpets for residents of council houses. However, if you inform your local authorities that you need carpets for your council house, they will be able to connect you to certain charities to help you find grants for furniture and carpets, while some of them may offer preloved items including carpets at reasonable prices.

However, local councils may also help you in providing hot meals and other household equipment such as a cooker. This is called a “welfare scheme”. Since each council runs their own welfare scheme you may need to connect with your own council office to learn specific details of it applies in your area Find your local council It is not necessary that you need to claim benefits to qualify for a welfare assistance scheme.

What Happens To Council Tax If My Address Changes?

There are different answers to this, depending upon the circumstances. As a general rule, it is advisable to inform your local council office of a change in address 21 days in advance; even if this change of address is going to be temporary. If you have not been able to do that and have already moved into another place, you must inform them immediately.

Once you inform the council office of your change in address, it takes them around 20 days to process a new council tax bill, depending upon any major changes such as change of valuation band for your house or change of council district or the addition/subtraction of council tax benefits if there is a change in your personal circumstances as well along with a change in address.

If you were claiming benefits prior to the change in address, you will also be required to inform the benefits team of your local council.

Can I Move To A New House With Council Tax Arrears?

Yes, there is no legal restriction on a council tax debtor to move to new premises with arrears due towards their previous council. 

However, the debt will still remain in their name and will not be transferred to the new owners or tenants. This means that if you have council tax arrears and you move to a new house, you will not only be paying council tax for the new property but will also be obliged to clear your dues concerning the previous premises as well.

The best way to proceed in such a situation would be to inform your local council of your intention to move and work out a mutually agreed payment plan so that after your move to the new premises, the number of your tax bills due do not inflate. 

You can search for your local council’s website by typing your postal code in this weblink Find your local council

What Are The Different Types Of Tenancies For Council Housing?

A tenancy agreement serves as a legal agreement bound by terms and conditions that the undersigning parties agree to while a living space is rented out. Tenancy agreements for council housing may be classified as below:

  • Introductory Tenancy: This is considered to be a 12 month trial period for tenants during which their rights to exchange property or make modifications to it are limited. 
  • Secure Tenancy: This form of tenancy secures your occupancy in the council house for life; unless you break any tenancy rules stated in the agreement. In this case, you may sub-let rooms in the property but not the entire premises. 
  • Flexible Tenancy: This type of tenancy is usually for a fixed term of 2 to 5 years; at the end of which the council may decide to offer you a renewed contract on similar terms, offer a secure tenancy or not renew at any terms at all. 
  • Joint Tenancy: Under this contract, you and the joint tenant both become liable for rent payments and become eligible for all the privileges under secure tenancy jointly. 

Conclusion:

While moving out of council premises may be due to any number of reasons, there is generally sufficient time for the tenants to make necessary adjustments for themselves as well as manage any repair work that they are required to carry out prior to their move. However, it comes as a financial relief to many residents when councils are willing to help with moving costs as well as furniture and household essentials.

FAQs: How Long Do The Council Give You To Move House?

Can the council help you move house?

Yes, councils can help with moving costs. They have certain allowances available with them to extend financial aid in the form of grants or loans to those who are in need and qualify. At times, they may be able to arrange a Discretionary Housing Payment; which is a one time grant extended to cover the costs of housing. 

How long can you be away from your council house?

If you are going to be away from your council house for more than 42 days, you are required to inform your council office.

How do you get a council to move you?

You need to inform your council office and provide them with any necessary documents that they require to proceed with your move from the council house.

Do the council have to rehouse me?

If the tenants run the risk of being homeless, the council will take the responsibility of rehousing them. If you fear such a situation, you should inform your council office and wait for them to make alternate housing arrangements for you before you vacate the current premises.

Do the council give you money to move out?

If you are moving out of council housing to a private residence, you might receive cash incentives from the council authorities to move out.

References:

What to do before you move out | End your council home tenancy

Transferring to another council house | Ending your council tenancy | The Highland Council

Shelter Legal England – Local authority duties to inspect homes and assess hazards

Contact us

House inspection | Ending your council tenancy | The Highland Council

Get help with renting costs.

Council Tax change of address

Dealing with Council Tax arrears

Council housing: Types of tenancy

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