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Transfer or swap your public housing home

How to transfer to another Housing ACT home or swap your home with another tenant.

Transfer to another home

You can apply to move from a public housing home to another public housing home. This is called a transfer.

Applying for a transfer is the same as applying for a public housing home for the first time:

  • We will assess your application and put you in one of the 3 public housing waiting lists.
  • You might have to wait a long time for a home unless you’re on the priority transfer list.

For a priority transfer you must show why your home is not suitable or why your need for a new home is urgent.

You could include:

  • supporting letters from doctors, teachers, social or welfare workers
  • an assessment from an occupational therapist showing your property does not meet your medical needs.

You should talk to your housing manager first about your options.

To apply for a transfer, follow the instructions to apply for public housing.

Swap your home

You can apply to swap your home with another Housing ACT tenant. This is called a mutual exchange. Follow these steps to apply for a mutual exchange.

1. Register your interest to swap your home

Add your contact details to the mutual exchange list. This is a list of people who want to swap their homes.

Download and fill in the Mutual exchange form [Word 75kB]. You can also get the form if you visit Housing ACT.

Your information will stay on the list for 3 months. To stay on the list longer, you’ll need to fill in a form every 3 months.

2. Check the exchange register

Ask us for a list of homes on the exchange register that match your preferences, including location and property type.

If you find a home you like, you can contact the tenant to talk about an exchange.

You should arrange to inspect the home before you agree to exchange.

You must not exchange homes before Housing ACT approves it.

3. When you find a home to swap

  1. Make sure you're allowed the size and type of property that you want to move to. Check the housing size guidelines.
  2. Fill in the application for public housing and the ‘Mutual exchange’ section to swap your property with another Housing ACT tenant.

Both households must apply.

We will assess your applications and let you know the outcome.

We may not approve your application if you have broken a condition of your previous public housing lease.

4. Before we approve the swap

  1. We will inspect both homes. If we find damage that you’re responsible for, you must fix the problems in your home.
  2. If you owe us any money, you must pay it back. Both tenants must not have debts to us.
  3. When you’ve fixed the maintenance problems, you must meet with us to:
    • end your current lease and rent accounts
    • sign a new lease and get a new rent account
    • exchange keys.

What you'll pay

You must pay for your own moving costs. This includes:

  • packing and unpacking
  • cleaning
  • reconnection fees for electricity, telephone and gas.

You can ask us about help to cover these costs if you transfer to a home with fewer bedrooms.

You must arrange your own electricity, gas and phone services. This includes:

  • disconnecting your old home
  • reconnecting your new home.

Contact us

Visit Housing ACT service centre

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

153 Emu Bank
Canberra ACT 2601

This page is managed by: Community Services Directorate