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What is the Tenant Incentive Scheme?

The Tenant Incentive Scheme is a voluntary scheme that offers support and financial assistance to tenants to encourage them to right-size or move to more suitable accommodation according to their needs.

Why would I want to move?

You may want to move because:

  • your current home has become unaffordable, and you want to save money on household bills
  • your children have left home, and you do not need the excess space or hassle of maintaining a bigger property
  • your current home has become unsuitable, and you need to move into a property that gives you a better quality of life
  • you want to move into retirement living
  • your current home is too big and difficult to manage
  • your current home has been adapted and your household no longer requires the adaptations.

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible if you are an existing tenant of Bury Council or Six Town Housing and you:

  • live in a property that is too big for your needs, with at least one spare bedroom and you want to move to a smaller property which better meets your needs (according to the Council’s Allocation Policy) and is more affordable and easier to maintain
  • live in a property of any size that has been specifically adapted for people with disabilities and you want to move to another property as there is no one in your household who currently needs the adaptations
  • are over 60 years of age and want to move into retirement living such as sheltered housing
  • are not in arrears with your rent account - if you are, you must have an agreement to clear the arrears when an offer of accommodation is made.

In addition:

  • you must have maintained your current home to a satisfactory condition (subject to inspection)
  • you must have kept to the terms and condition of your tenancy agreement
  • the property you live in must be your only and main home
  • your current home must be in an area of demand so that we can easily re-let it
  • you must not have unmanageable Council related debt (including Council Tax).

You may not be eligible for this scheme if:

  • you are subject to a Possession Order
  • you have been served with a Notice of Seeking Possession
  • we are taking legal proceedings against you or action against you for antisocial behaviour
  • you have been served with a Demotion Notice or have an introductory tenancy (subject to review)
  • you have previously received a payment from the Tenant Incentive Scheme within the last two years
  • we need to move you so that repairs can be made to your current home.

You will not be eligible for this scheme if you are under occupying and moving into owner occupation, private rented, shared ownership or accommodation with family and friends.

The Council’s Head of Homelessness and Housing Options will determine each application on a case by case basis.

Financial and Practical Assistance Framework

If you qualify for this scheme and funding is available, we will give you a basic payment of £1,000, plus £500 to help with removal expenses. Additional payments will be made to tenants who are downsizing (moving into a smaller property). The payments we offer depend on the number of bedrooms you are giving up.

Downsizing (moving into a smaller property)

If you are downsizing we will give you an additional payment of £500 for each bedroom that you give up. For example, a tenant moving from a four-bedroom house to a two-bedroom property will be entitled to the following:

Example: a tenant moving from a four-bedroom house to a two-bedroom property will be entitled to the following



Basic payment


Removal expenses


£500 for each bedroom given up


Total payment


The Council’s Allocations Policy allows for downsizing with flexibility for tenants who are downsizing to obtain properties that are theoretically larger than their needs. For example, a single tenant living alone in a three-bedroom property may be unwilling to move to a one-bedroom property, which they would normally qualify for under the Allocations Policy. In such cases, discretion may be applied to allow an additional bedroom to be obtained.

Adapted properties

A payment of £1,500 (£1,000 basic payment, plus £500 to help with removal expenses) will be awarded to tenants that require adaptations to meet their specific needs, where they agree to move to a property that has previously been adapted and meets their requirements.

If a tenant is living in an adapted property which they no longer require and agrees to swap their home with another tenant that requires the adaptations, both households would receive a payment of £1,500 (£1,000 basic payment, plus £500 to help with removal expenses). All house swaps must meet the specific needs of the tenants in accordance with the Council’s Allocations Policy.

The need for all adaptations will be considered under the Council’s Adaptations Policy.

Moving into retirement living

If you are moving from a one bedroom general needs property into retirement living, we will give you a payment of £1,500 (£1,000 basic payment, plus £500 to help with removal expenses). If you are moving from a larger property into retirement living, we will give you an additional payment of £500 for each bedroom that you give up.

Practical Assistance

We can also offer you practical assistance to help you move. For example, Six Town Housing (the Council’s managing agent) will nominate a named officer to help you with the following if required:

  • Arranging viewings
  • Removal arrangements
  • Assistance with benefit claims, registration and money advice
  • Filling in forms
  • Arranging to disconnect or reconnect utilities and other household appliances etc.
  • Redirection of mail and notifying others of your change of address
  • Helping you dispose of unwanted furniture and other items.

How do I apply?

You must complete the on-line Tenant Incentive Scheme Initial enquiry form.

We will assess your application which will include a home visit and inspection conducted by Six Town Housing. We aim to process all applications within four weeks of receipt and will notify you of the outcome as soon as we are able.

If your application is successful, you will be given priority for re-housing and will be able to log on to the Council’s Choice Based Lettings system and bid for properties that you would consider moving to.


Funding is limited and priority will be given to the following:

  • Tenants affected by the Bedroom Tax who are at risk of eviction
  • Tenants moving from accommodation that is more urgently needed or of most benefit to the Council in priority order, for example, where downsizing will result in three beds spare, two beds spare etc, once a move has taken place
  • Tenants moving out of major adapted properties.

General information

Six Town Housing will facilitate delivery of the Tenant Incentive Scheme which includes reviewing applications, evaluating tenancies, undertaking property visits and inspections, and providing practical assistance to tenants to help them move. All recommendations will be referred to the Council’s Head of Homelessness and Housing Options for approval.

If a move is approved under the scheme and you have rent arrears or other Council related debt (including Council Tax), the Council will use part or all of the payment to clear any outstanding debt. The Council will also make deductions for the cost of any works it has to undertake to the vacated property, as a result of damage or neglect caused by you.

Payments will only be made once you have moved, returned the keys to the vacated property and the Council has received confirmation regarding existing Council related debt and necessary works to the property.

Only one payment will be made to you.