1. Immediately Available Homes

To view a list of all our current immediately available properties, see the Platform Places page of this website.

Click to view a list of our Immediately Available Properties to rent with Platform Places

Alternatively, you can find out more about your other options and the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions on this page

2. Choice-Based Lettings

Most of our properties are let by Choice-Based Lettings schemes. These are run by your local council or authority, and you will need to sign up and then bid for properties via their website or portal. Please check your local council's website for more information and how to apply for a Choice-Based Lettings property.

We are currently working on an interactive map of all local authorities for which we provide Choice-Based Lettings properties, and hope to have this ready by the end of August 2020.

3. Mutual Exchange

What is a Mutual Exchange?

A mutual exchange is a home swap between two or more social housing customers. This can occur for a variety of reasons, but often it can be due to needing a smaller or larger home, moving for work or to be closer to family. A mutual exchange is a great alternative for tenants who don’t have a high enough priority or banding to be able to access a home through the normal allocation process.

Before proceeding with a mutual exchange application it is very important that you make sure you look carefully at the condition of the property inside and outside, we strongly recommend more than one viewing and ensure that you check any walls, doors or surfaces that are covered and that you are completely satisfied with everything, as properties are taken as seen.

Who can mutual exchange?

You will need to be a social housing customer with a secure or assured tenancy to have the right to a mutual exchange. If you have a starter tenancy or a demotion order you will probably not be eligible to swap – if you think this might apply to you, it’s always a good to contact us first to find out what type of tenancy you have and if you are allowed to swap homes before you start looking.

How do I go about finding an exchange?

To register your home or search for a mutual exchange please visit www.homeswapper.co.uk 

Homeswapper makes searching for your swap, communicating with the other tenant and arranging viewings simple. Once you have found another tenant who is eligible to swap, lives in the UK and wants to live in your home, you can progress the mutual exchange.

Other ways to find an exchange include: Word of mouth, local shops, local paper or social media.

If you do not have access to the internet and require support, please contact our Platform Hub on 0333 200 7304.

What do I do when I find another party to exchange with?

All exchange partners will have to fill in a Mutual Exchange Form, even if they’re not a Platform customer. The process does not start until all applications have been received.

If you haven’t got access to internet – please contact Platform Hub on 0333 200 7304 and a paper version will be sent to you.

Where do I return my mutual exchange form?

If you complete the electronic version of the Application form with Adobe signature, this form will be automatically emailed to our Mutual Exchange Team. Please note that this form is to be completed by all applicants and not just Platform Housing Group tenants.

If you requested a paper form, when fully completed please return to our head office address:

Platform Housing Group, 1700 Solihull Parkway, Birmingham Business Park, Solihull B37 7YD

What will I have to pay?

When you apply for an exchange, you are required to pay for gas/oil and electric safety checks at your home. The current cost for these are as follows  

  • Gas check £65.64

  • Electrical check £128.00

  • Oil check £112.80.

If the person you are looking to exchange with is also a PHG tenant, they will need to pay for the checks at their home too.

Platform tenants will have to pay for their checks upon application for a mutual exchange. Please contact 0333 200 7304 to make payment. We will not proceed with your application form until payment is made. 

These fees are not refundable once the checks have been completed, even if the application is withdrawn or abandoned.

If your application is successful you are required to pay one month’s rent in advance at the point of exchange of tenancy agreements.

What if I am exchanging with a tenant who is not a customer of PHG?

If you successfully find someone to exchange with who rents their home from a different landlord you must complete the application process via both landlords.

Where the proposed incoming tenant holds a tenancy with another landlord, we will contact that landlord to obtain a reference. This reference requests details about their rent account, any reports of antisocial behaviour and an overview of the conduct of their tenancy. We will also give a reference about your tenancy to another landlord following your property inspection.

What checks will you do?

Once your completed application is received, we will acknowledge that we have received it.

There are a number of checks carried out by PHG before the decision is made for the mutual exchange to go ahead:

  • Eligibility – the type of tenancy will be checked to ensure you have the right to mutual exchange, some tenancy agreements do not allow you to exchange.

  • Rent Account – your account should be clear of all debt owed to PHG and kept up to date throughout the mutual exchange process

  • Breaches of Tenancy – if you have been served any type of legal notice because you have breached your tenancy in any way, until the situation is resolved and/or the notice has expired, permission for a mutual exchange will not be granted. Examples of breaches of tenancy are non-payment of rent, anti-social behaviour, poor condition of property, etc.

  • Electrical Check – we will arrange this check before agreeing to the mutual exchange to ensure your property is safe.

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – this is needed for the mutual exchange to go ahead. We can use one if we have already got one on record, otherwise we will arrange for this to be carried out before the decision is made. There will be no cost to you for this.

  • Gas/Oil Check – if your property has a gas supply, we will arrange this check to take place on the start date of the tenancy to ensure the property is safe. We will charge you £65.64 to complete this check at the point of application. During this check our gas engineer will carry out a visual electrical inspection on two key areas: cooker and bathroom (shower) cable exposure.

If you have oil heating, we will arrange for an oil check to be completed on the start of the tenancy to ensure the property is safe. We will charge you £112.80 to complete this check at the point of application.

  • Property Inspection –You are required to submit electronically two photos at the opposite corners of any internal room including the hallway and landing, the photographs must show the front and back of the doors.

If you are responsible for a front and / or rear garden please provide photographs showing all of the areas within the boundary of the property which includes the condition of fencing. 

If you have any outstanding repairs, please identify these and confirm that they have been reported.

Non-standard items and damage

There will be items within the home that you own but will want to leave behind. These may be gifted to the new tenant, examples include carpets, sheds, laminate flooring, lighting.

If any items are damaged, you may be asked to repair or remove these prior to exchange being agreed. PHG will take no responsibility for these items.

It is important you have open discussions with the person you are exchanging with if you notice something that is damaged or you are not willing to accept responsibility for but is being left at the property.

You are reminded to make sure you know which fixtures and fittings belong to Platform Housing and you leave these in their proper place.

If you exchange and then choose to end the tenancy in the future, you will be requested to remove items in line with our vacating standard.

What are the reasons I would not be allowed to exchange?

Reasons vary, but the following are common:

  • Any exchange partner has outstanding debts with PHG relating to current or previous arrears or recharges. Where extenuating circumstances apply including Domestic Violence, under-occupation, over-crowding or persons at risk, we may authorise these debts to be paid through an ongoing agreement.

  • The tenancy is still within the probationary period or the probationary period has been extended

  • The tenancy of either party has been demoted, under Notice or a Possession Order, or there is on-going action for anti-social behaviour involving any household members or invited guests

  • There is evidence of anti-social behaviour against the proposed incoming exchange partner

  • Either property would be overcrowded or under-occupied as a result of the exchange

  • A customer has carried out DIY that in the view of PHG poses a Health and Safety risk

Will you allow under-occupancy when I exchange?

We may consider under-occupancy of a maximum of one bedroom, but you may incur under- occupancy charges and we will carry out affordability checks with you.

For more information about Benefits, please visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits 

How long does it take for the exchange to complete?

Housing associations have 42 calendar days to make a decision on receipt of all completed application forms. Once the decision has been made by PHG, all tenancy paperwork will be sent to you electronically, if accessible, to sign and return together before the move can take place.

Can we move without PHG’s consent?

You should not move or make any arrangements for removal until you have written permission from PHG. Failure to gain written permission will mean that you cease to be a legal tenant and possession proceedings will commence.

Can PHG help me with moving costs?

PHG will not assist with any moving or decorative costs and may refuse to undertake certain repairs other than to fulfil their repairing obligations as a Landlord

There are lots of repairs at my new address. Will you do them for me?

If when you view the property you identify any repairs that are required, please discuss this as part of the application process to establish what is our responsibility as the landlord. Some repairs may not be completed and be deemed as the customers responsibility.

Can I take my gas cooker/electrical cooker?

If the cooker is yours then you can take it.

If you have a gas cooker -you must ensure that you will employ a Gas Safe Registered engineer to remove your gas appliance.

And if it is electrical cooker- you will employ a qualified trade operative (electrician) to remove safely your electrical appliances.

Can I take my electrical shower?

This is an example where a fixture maybe PHG property so you are not allowed to take it with you. If you installed a shower and obtained permission for doing so from us then you can take it. You are advised that you use a qualified trade operative (electrician) to remove it safely and make good.

Do I need to notify my Utility Suppliers that I am moving?

Before you move out

When you move out you need to read your gas, electricity and water meters and provide final readings to your suppliers.

Before you move in

We strongly advise you to find out from the outgoing tenant(s) the name and contact details of their suppliers so that you can notify the companies if you wish to continue receiving their supplies. If there are pre-payment / card meters you should arrange for the supply to be transferred into your name.

Paying rent and Welfare Benefit reform changes - how they might affect you

If your application is successful you are required to pay one month’s rent in advance at the point of exchange of tenancy agreements. We will require you to pay your rent by Direct Debit.

Even if you do not claim housing benefit now, it may affect you in the future if you wish to make a claim. This applies if you are new to Platform Housing, or an existing tenant exchanging or transferring homes.

For more information about Benefits, please visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits

Back to the list

4. When can I view the property and move in?

When you have completed the Platform Housing Move application form (see FAQ 3) and a Lettings Officer has confirmed that you are a suitable customer in line with our Lettings Policy, the property will be reserved for you.

There are occasions where properties can be withdrawn so offers are always provisional.

You will be emailed your tenancy agreement to read, and you will need to confirm you agree to the terms and conditions. To do this you will then need to sign electronically and return the agreement to us within 48 hours of receipt, don’t worry this is an automated and simple process. You are required to do this before viewing the property, but don't worry - the agreement won't become legally binding until after you've viewed the property in person and confirmed that you still wish to accept it (read on for more details)

The EPC, gas certificate and electric certificate will be sent to you via email when available, with a decoration voucher if awarded.

There may be a period that you don’t hear from us whilst our contractor Platform Property Care complete repairs to the property. However once we have received a date that your new home will be ready we will contact you.

We will not know what work is required until the property is empty and will not leave the property empty for longer than is completely necessary. During this period you must not visit the property for health and safety reasons, our operatives are not allowed to let you in to have a look around.

When we have a date, your details will be passed to our Communities and Neighbourhoods team to arrange a time for you to attend the property. At that appointment the Neighbourhood Officer will contact you by phone and will provide you with the keysafe code to allow you access to view the property. The Neighbourhood Officer will stay on the phone to answer any queries that you may have. It is important to let us know if your mobile number changes.

You will be asked whether you wish to accept the property and if you do then the Neighbourhood Officer will need to finalise some details with you, but once the call is finished you are able to keep the keys and start moving in.

Your tenancy agreement will be signed by a representative from Platform Housing and will be returned to you by email. This then becomes a legally binding document.

If the property has gas central heating then an engineer will need to visit to test the boiler and show you how to use the heating and hot water system, details of your appointment or how to book an appointment will be provided by the Neighbourhood Officer.

Your gas and electric supplier will be British Gas, it is important that you contact them immediately with your metre readings and ensure there is credit on both pre-payment metres before the engineer attends.

  1. Rent and Immediately Available FAQs