Sandwell Council provides assistance to tenants who wish to downsize to more appropriate sized accommodation. This is called the Tenants Assistance Scheme.

The scheme provides support from the Neighbourhood Officer, if required, and up to £650 financial assistance which can be spent on a number of options.

The scheme is designed to assist tenants who are affected by the impact of the under-occupation charge (bedroom tax) as well as tenants not of working age who wish to downsize to more suitably sized accommodation.

Who qualifies?

To qualify you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a secure tenant.
  • Be a tenant under-occupying a house, and/or a tenant affected by a reduction in Housing Benefit as a result of the bedroom tax and move to more suitable accommodation. If you are under-occupying a flat, maisonette, bungalow or bedsit and paying the bedroom tax charge, your tenancy start date must be prior to the introduction of the Welfare Reform Act, 17 April 2013.
  • Your home must be in good condition, clean and tidy. Any fixtures missing will need to be replaced and any damage not attributed to fair wear and tear must be rectified.
  • You must give us vacant possession - this means you must leave the home empty of other people and possessions so that the property can be re-let quickly.

Are you downsizing from a 2 bedroom or a 4 bedroom house?

Receive a cash payment

If you are downsizing from a two bedroom or a four bedroom house through the Tenants Assistance Scheme, in addition to the Help and Support available you may also receive a cash payment of £300 per bedroom released.

For example, if you move from a four bedroom house to a one bedroom property you will receive £900.

What kind of help and support is available?

You can choose from the following options up to the value of £650

  • Payment to cover costs of your removals and packing (supplied by Sandwell Council)
  • Payment to clear any recent rent arrears owed to Sandwell Council
  • One week rent overlap
  • Disconnection and re-connection of washing machine
  • Disconnection and re-connection of telephone
  • Fitting of carpets (existing and new) up to the value of £100
  • Redirection of mail for three months
  • Handyman service (supplied by Sandwell Council)
  • Assistance with decoration of your new property
  • Assistance completing forms
  • Assistance with bidding
  • Accompanied viewing of your chosen property

What do I do next?

Step 1

Enquire about the tenant assistance scheme

Step 2

Start looking for a new property by bidding for properties through our Choice Based Lettings Scheme. We can provide assistance if required.

Step 3

Once you have been successful with your bidding you will be offered a property. If you decide to accept the offer, we will discuss the variety of options and make the necessary arrangements.

Step 4

Once you have signed for your new property, we will arrange the required assistance to move into your new home.

Once you have moved in you will receive payment per bedroom released.

This is a limited amount of money available each year and once spent we will be unable to continue to offer the scheme to anymore households. 

As a result the scheme may be withdrawn at short notice.