Housing and Property
Tel: 0300 123 4566
You can download our leaflet 'Downsizing Incentive Scheme for Moray Council Tenants' (, 15 pages, 130KB).
The Downsizing Incentive Scheme is a pilot scheme introduced to support Council tenants who live in housing that is now too large for their needs to consider moving to a smaller house by offering practical and financial help. It is a voluntary scheme. This means that you do not have to move if you don’t want to.
Our objective is not just to help people wanting to transfer to a smaller home but also to release properties that are in the highest demand in areas of greatest need.
You may want to downsize because your current home is too big for you. You may find it easier to maintain and pay the bills in a smaller home.
If you are interested, please contact us (our contact details are on the left side of this page). We will ask you to confirm some basic details, including if you have filled in a housing transfer application form.
You may qualify if you:
In certain circumstances you may not be eligible for the scheme. These include:
Yes. If you have not filled in a housing application form, you will need to fill one in. If you have already filled in a housing application form, you are probably on our waiting list and will not need to fill in another form. We will check this when you contact us.
You do not need to apply for the same area where you live but it must be in Moray. If a smaller property that meets your housing needs (as decided by our Allocations Policy) is available in an area of your preference, we may be able to make you an offer in this area.
The scheme works along with our Allocations Policy. That means you will be given two reasonable offers that take your preferences into account. If you refuse these offers within a period of one year, we will not make any other offers of accommodation to you for six months from the date of your last offer. Refusing an offer of housing because you did not get a grant under the scheme will not be considered a reasonable reason.
We will always try and give you practical help. However, funding for this scheme is limited. You will get the financial help:
If you have registered an interest in the scheme, we will review your housing application and assess your eligibility.
Depending on your circumstances and needs, we can help you with the following:
If you accept an offer of housing you will also be expected to confirm that you are giving up your current tenancy and you must sign a form to agree to this. This means that you and any members of your household must move out of your property and return the keys to your local area office. Any relatives, friends or lodgers who stay with you will not be granted permission to take over this tenancy.
Your named officer will provide you with more information about this before you sign up for your new tenancy.
If you have furniture that you won’t need in your new home, then we can give you information and signpost you to agencies that can help you. We can also help with arranging to dispose of it.
If you qualify for the scheme and there is funding left, you will get a basic payment of £1500. In addition, we will give you £400 for each bedroom that you give up. For example, if you move from a 4 bedroom house to a two bedroom house you will be entitled to:
|£1500 basic grant|
|+||£800 (£400 per bedroom given up)|
|=||£2300 grant awarded|
We will arrange for a payment to be made within 14 days of signing your tenancy agreement. (Remember if you are paid by cheque, your bank will take additional time to process the cheque).
If you do not have a bank account, you can suggest someone else who has a bank account to get a cheque on your behalf. This can be arranged when you sign your tenancy agreement.
The right to buy rules are complicated. If you end your tenancy, it means that your entitlement to a discount and qualifying period may change. Because of this, you should think very carefully before moving from your home and make sure that you get advice.
You will not have the right to buy if:
If you decide to take part in the downsizing incentive scheme, we will explain all of the changes to you.
If you had the right to buy before 30 September 2002 (called the “old right buy”) and decide to transfer, you will lose the old right to buy and move to the modernised right to buy. This will affect your discount. Please see the information below.
The “modernised right to buy” may apply to you if your tenancy started on or after 30 September 2002 or you moved to another tenancy after 30 September 2002. This includes if you transfer your tenancy.
If you have the “modernised right to buy”, it means that you will get up to a 35% discount off the market value of your home or £15,000, whichever is lower, and there is a five-year qualifying period before you can buy. The qualifying period can include time spent with any social landlord. It does not have to be your present council but the tenancies must have been continuous.
If you are a first time council tenant and your tenancy began after 1 March 2011, or if you were previously a council tenant (or the tenant of any other social landlord) and have returned to the sector after a break and now rent a council property, you do not have the right to buy.
New supply housing means either a property that we have bought or built since 25 June 2008. If you move to take up the tenancy of new supply council housing, you will generally not have the right to buy. This may only apply for the time you live in that property.
Remember this is a voluntary scheme and you do not need to move unless you choose to do so. If you change your mind about moving just get in contact with your named officer as soon as possible. They will tell you if you need to do anything else.
It’s also important that you keep your named officer up to date with any changes in your circumstances.
If you end your tenancy within 12 months of getting a grant, you must repay the money that you received, unless there are exceptional circumstances. You will only get a downsizing grant once.
If you are not satisfied with a decision made under the Downsizing Incentive Scheme:
The Council operates a Complaints Procedure that is available to any applicant who is not satisfied with the way in which an application has been dealt with.
If you want more information on the downsizing incentive scheme, please contact us (our details are in the left hand side of this page).