Last updated: 22 November 2023

Next review: 28 September 2024

Find out how you could transfer to a different property.

You can:

How to apply for a housing transfer

If you are an existing Waltham Forest Housing tenant, you can apply for a transfer to a different property.

Guide to rehousing options for council tenants in Waltham Forest (PDF)


A decant is where a Council secure tenant is required to move at the instigation of the Council.  A decant may be required for several possible reasons, including:

  • Major repairs or refurbishments are required to the property which cannot be carried out with the tenant remaining in the property
  • The Council plans to redevelop or demolish the property, or otherwise dispose of it, including estate regeneration programmes
  • Other circumstances where the council may require possession of the property

The following are examples of moves not regarded as decants unless they also fall into the above categories:

  • Transfers at the request of the tenant, for instance, due to disrepair, overcrowding, medical need, or other reasons. 
  • Tenants downsizing to smaller accommodation through the Council’s transfer incentive scheme
  • Any provision of accommodation under the homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996)
  • Mutual exchange home swaps

Who decides if I need to be decanted?

If the reason we need you to move is related to repairs needed in your home, the surveyor dealing with your case will make the initial decision about whether the work can be done with you living there.

If you can't stay in your home your case will be passed to your Tenancy Officer who will gather all the information about what you need and your household.

For permanent moves, our Rehousing Team will be in contact with you to help you find your new home and support you throughout the process.

For temporary moves, our Temporary Accommodation Team will help you find somewhere to live and your Tenancy Officer will keep you updated on when you can return home.

How long will it take?

If your home is not safe for you to remain in we will be in contact and offer you an emergency place to stay within 24 hours if this is needed. If your home is safe for you to remain in and we can plan your move an officer will be in touch with you within 7 working days to plan your move and agree our frequency of contact with you.

Home Loss and disturbance payments

Because the move is being required by the Council and is not of the tenant’s choosing, the tenant may be entitled to compensation, known as Home Loss and Disturbance Payments. 

Home Loss eligibility and payments are based on rules set by the Government. 

Disturbance Payments are assessed by the Council to cover reasonable expenses associated with being displaced, such as removal expenses and a contribution towards curtains and carpets.

Tenants who are downsizing may also be eligible for a cash payment through our transfer incentive scheme.

Temporary decant

A temporary decant is where a tenant is required to move to temporary accommodation, for instance, while repairs are being carried out to their home, and then returning later to their main home.  In these cases, Home Loss and Disturbance payments may not be made, depending on the circumstances. 

Rehousing options for decants

Tenants granted decant status for a permanent move are awarded high priority to bid for alternative properties, and/or may be made direct offers of alternative accommodation.  We will aim to find tenants being decanted a home that they are satisfied with and that meets their needs.   

Keeping you up to date

If you are having to move permanently as a decant, we will keep in contact with you and provide updates on your status and potential moves, at three monthly intervals.   

If you are having to move temporarily we will agree with you on the frequency of contact until you can return home so you know what is happening.

Guide to Housing Allocation Scheme 2021 (PDF).