Allocations and lettings (onboarding) and moving in

When allocating our homes, our general needs accommodation is mainly allocated to those nominated to us by a local authority, or to our existing tenants and household members. Local authorities usually have 100% nomination rights to all of our new build properties and up to 75% of our homes being re-let.

If you are interested in living in a Swan home, you can register to bid for homes that become available to let on

Residents who live in a Swan home in London, can also register on Housing Moves. This is the Mayor of London’s housing mobility scheme that allows tenants of London boroughs or housing associations to move to a different area in London.

After registering, your needs will be assessed and you will be placed in one of six priority bands.

Band one: For those with an urgent need or downsizing from a three bed plus home into a one bedroom home.

Band two: For those with a high need, including those with a medical condition that is being made worse by their current home.

Band three: For those with a moderate level of need.

Band four: For those with a low level of need of who want to move to a property of the same size.

Band five: For those who have lived as a Swan tenant for at least three years and are aged over 21 years.

Band six: For those who do not currently live in a Swan home.

Anyone who is not a Swan tenant or already living in a Swan home, can also register on and may be able to bid on a Swan property that has not been reserved for Swan residents. These applicants will be placed in band six and will only be considered for one or two bedroom flats.

Moving in
When you sign for your new home, you will be given the keys and a tenant handbook, a copy of your tenancy agreement and other information to help you settle into your new home.

Condition of property
All Swan’s general needs homes are let unfurnished and as seen. Any outstanding repairs that are Swan’s responsibility will be agreed with you at the time you view the property. The property will have met Swan’s lettable standard before you are issued with the keys and signed your tenancy, unless you have moved through a mutual exchange when you will have agreed the condition with the outgoing tenant. Please note the works carried out in your home while it was empty were based on what could be seen, any works that are later identified as being necessary will be carried out after you have moved in.

It is your responsibility to advise utility companies such as electric, gas and water of the date your tenancy started. You should take meter readings when you first move into your home so you have them ready when a utility company asks you for them. If your home has a gas supply it may be capped when you first move in and you will need to call Axis on 0800 783 2768 to arrange for it to be uncapped. Please note if you are having a gas cooker connected, it must be fitted by a registered Gas Safe engineer.

TV and satellite
If you live in a house or bungalow you are responsible for your own television aerial. You do not need our permission for an ordinary TV aerial however you must obtain our permission before you put up a satellite dish. If you live in a flat you can access services via the communal satellite system (IRS) or via cable services, where installed. You are required to pay for your own satellite service. If we have not supplied a communal satellite dish, aerial or cable service we will let you know before you move in.

You are responsible for the internal decoration of your new home. If it has been assessed as being in a poor decorative condition we may give you some financial assistance in the form of vouchers towards your decoration costs. If you are an older or are registered disabled, or live in supported housing we may be able to help you with internal decorating if you cannot do it yourself and do not have any family who can help you. Please note residents are not permitted to decorate communal areas of buildings.

Benefit eligibility
You will become responsible for paying rent and council tax as soon as you sign your tenancy and collect the keys. Depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to claim welfare benefits to help towards your rent. If you apply for benefits it is your responsibility to ensure that your benefit application is completed promptly and that you provide all the information requested. Any delays with a benefits claim can result in rent arrears building up for which you are responsible. Failure to pay your rent on time could result in us commencing legal action against you to recover possession of the property.

Home contents insurance
You must arrange for your possessions and home to be insured as soon as you move any of your belongings into the property. Swan will not replace items or redecorate your home in the event of a fire, flood, vandalism or any other buildings related insured risk. ‘My Home’ contents insurance scheme is a special insurance scheme, available for all tenants and residents living in social and affordable housing. The insurance will cover most of your household goods and contents against theft, fire, burst pipes or other household risks. As well as covering your furniture, TV, clothing, carpets and electrical items, it also covers replacement of external locks if your keys are lost or stolen and the contents of your freezer. Where sprinklers are fitted inside your home it is important that you check with your contents insurer that their policy covers water damage as a result of sprinkler activation. You can find more details on the scheme and arrange cover in an easy and affordable way by calling them on 0345 450 7286 or visiting

Information about your home and building
When you move into your new home, there is important information that we must provide you:

• How to isolate your mains electrical circuits;
• Where your stop cock is;
• What to do if you smell gas (if installed in your home);
• How to test and maintain your fire detectors;
• What the fire evacuation strategy for your building (if you live in a flat) is;
• What to do if there is a fire or other emergency in your home;
• How to let us know if your home has been affected by a fire or flood or other incident;
• How to tell us if you are concerned about the safety of your home or building;
• How often we need access to your home to inspect gas services, electrical installations, your flat entrance fire door or other safety features;
• How you contact us to let us know if you need assistance to evacuate your home/ building in the event of an emergency;
• What works you can and cannot do to your home;
• If you live in a block of flats over 18 metres or 7 storeys in height - who your Building Safety Manager is (*from 2023);
• If you live in a block of flats - details of what you can and cannot store in your home, the communal areas and your balcony (if applicable)

For more information please contact our Onboarding Team on 0300 303 2500 or email

Click here to see our Allocations Policy.