East Lothian Council

Mutual Exchanges and Transfers


Your current council property may no longer meet you or your family’s housing needs.  For example you may wish to move to a smaller or larger property or one that is more suited to your health needs. All East Lothian Council tenants that have a secure tenancy can apply to transfer to another council house.

In order to be considered for a move, you need to complete an ‘Application for Housing’ form and return it to your local area housing office.  Your housing circumstances will be assessed and an award of points made – we will confirm this to you in writing. For more information on applying, go to our topic about 'Applying for a Council home'

How long you have to wait for re-housing will depend on the level of points your application is awarded, your areas of choice and the property types you have selected. If you have any questions contact your Community Housing Officer using the 'Contacts' number on the left of this page.

Incentives for downsizing

We offer incentives to help make transferring to your new council home easier. You could be eligible for a payment of at least £3,000 if you move to a smaller property owned by the Council or a Housing Association. To help you with your move, we can also arrange for you to have access to both properties for up to two weeks. Further information is available in our Transfers Incentives leaflet. You can also watch this video about downsizing, on the Council's YouTube pages. Please ask at your local housing office for more details and to discuss your individual circumstances. Where rent arrears or other Council debt is known, the Council may offset the grant payment against such debt.

Receiving Housing Benefit?

You may have heard about new rules that will reduce your Housing Benefit if you are in a home which is too big for your household. Please go to our topic on 'New Housing Benefit rules' to learn more.

Homes for older people

For more information on Council-run homes for older people, go to our topic on 'Sheltered Housing'.

Points to note when considering a Transfer or Mutual Exchange

  • New Build Properties - The rental cost in a new build property will be higher than in an older property provided by East Lothian Council. 
  • Housing Association tenants - If you currently live in property owned by a housing association, and you are looking to move, please go to the topic on 'Being a Housing Association tenant' and to 'Help for Housing Association tenants' for further information on applying to your landlord for a transfer.

Watch our housing advice videos. These show how we can help with a range of issues from relationship breakdown, to finding a private let. They explain recent Benefits changes, as well.
If you need any further advice or guidance, please contact us.

If you want to know more about your housing options, click on the link or call 01620 827827 and ask for your Local Housing Office - they will be happy to help

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.