Social housing allocations legal framework: statutory guidance for social landlords

Sets out the legal framework which social landlords must work within when developing their allocations policies.

8. Tenants Who Are Under-Occupying

8.1 The 2014 Act introduces a new category of applicant who must get reasonable preference in the allocation of social housing, tenants of social housing who are under-occupying. Landlords use different definitions of under-occupancy and these should be set out in their allocation policies. Where a social housing tenant is seeking to transfer from one landlord to another, it is for the landlord that the tenant is applying to, to decide whether the tenant is under-occupying in line with its own definition, and therefore whether the tenant should be given reasonable preference.

8.2 Landlords are expected to make best use of their housing stock. As well as providing information on the benefits of downsizing, such as potentially lower fuel bills, landlords could incentivise tenants to move to a smaller house by:

  • giving extra points/priority for each room under-occupied, within the landlord's allocation policy;
  • paying financial incentives to the tenant; or
  • providing help with removal costs or for things like white goods and carpeting.



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