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Search Moves transfer scheme


News update

  • From 11th October 2017 property adverts will not be linked to a fortnightly cycle, but will open and close on any day of the week
  • Going forward no properties will be advertised as Cross Partner, you will only be able to bid on properties advertised by PA Housing for transfers.

Please remember to regularly check your account, set up property alert emails or contact us to find out about getting set up for automatic bidding.

Search Moves Transfer Scheme

We only carry out a very small number of transfers each year, and there are many more people looking for transfers than there are properties available.

Typically, you might only be successful with a transfer if:

  • you are facing harassment or domestic violence
  • you need to move for medical reasons
  • your home is much too small, or too large, or
  • your home is deemed by us to need major repair work.


If any of the above apply to you, and you want to move within the areas in which we have properties, you may qualify to go on our transfer list provided that:

  • you have lived in your present home for 12 months
  • you have a clear rent account, and
  • you have no other serious breaches of your tenancy conditions.


If you have a current Notice to Seek Possession, court order or other similar legal action in place, we will not accept your transfer application. If you are on the transfer list and receive a notice or order, we will cancel your application.

Applicants who do not have an identified need to move to another home will not be able to register. If you would like to move out of choice you should refer to the ‘Swapping Homes’ page.

In order to be considered for a transfer you will need to apply on-line. Please phone the Customer Advice team on 0300 123 2221 if you require assistance to do this. You are able to use the computers in our office reception if you do not have access to the internet at home, or via friends and family.

Currently, for residents either living in, working in, or with immediate family in Elmbridge or Spelthorne boroughs, please visit SearchMoves. For residents outside these boroughs please register on HomeKey via the link on the HomeSwapper website. Both systems offer Choice Based lettings where any properties available will be advertised. Once registered you would need to register your interest in a property by ‘bidding’ on it.

From late 2017 we aim to have all our South East region transfer applicants registered on Search Moves. There will be a number of changes to the how the current Search Moves partnership works and how, when and where properties are advertised. We will keep you updated as these progress but please see the FAQs below for current information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Changes to Search Moves policy and Cross Partner advertising

  • Why do the organisations in Search Moves want to have separate policies?

    Elmbridge and Spelthorne Councils need to have a policy which best meets the local needs of their residents, and these may not always be the same. As a landlord PA Housing needs to ensure that the policy for tenants wishing to transfer, and for those we are asked to house by the Councils, is adapted to reflect the different priorities to applicants applying to the councils.

  • Why does this mean that we have to stop cross-partner advertising?

    If applicants registered with each partner were allowed to bid on the same properties, after they have been assessed according to different policies it could mean that two households with the same circumstances might have been given different bandings. This wouldn’t be fair. There will be 3 separate lists of available properties, 1 for Homeseekers registered with Elmbridge Council, 1 for Homeseekers registered with Spelthorne Council, and one for Transfer applicants registered with PA Housing.

  • What other changes are planned for Search Moves?

    Later on this year we plan to also change when properties on Search Moves are advertised. Rather than a two week cycle of adverts being ‘open’ and ‘closed’, properties may be advertised on any day of the week and are not tied into a specific cycle of adverts being open for bids. Each advert will clearly state the closing date by which bids must be received. See the section ‘Daily Bidding’ for more information.

  • Will local homes still be let to local people now that Paragon has merged with asra?

    Yes, although in future we plan to move more former Paragon PA Housing transfer applicants onto Locata, when we do we will also advertise properties from other areas as well. At least 75% of all properties available to transferring tenants will be advertised with preference to those who have a connection to the borough in which the property sits. A few properties, however, especially Independent Living schemes, may be open to all PA Housing transfer applicants in London and the South East.

  • Will there be any more properties available?

    In reality, no. We still have to provide an overall 75% of properties to the Borough councils for nominations. What we are setting out to do in Elmbridge is to work with the Council on a re-housing plan so that the homes we offer to them, and those we keep for transfers, best meet the pressures on both housing lists. In future it may seem as though there are more properties available when we advertise properties from other areas on Search Moves as well as those in Elmbridge or Spelthorne, but these will only be available to applicants with the relevant local connection.


 ‘Daily Bidding’ or ‘Any day adverts’ – From Autumn 2017

  • How many properties can I bid on?

    You can bid on up to 3 properties which are open for bidding at the same time. Because these may close on different dates you might want to wait until one closes before bidding on another in order to maximise the potential number of bids you can place.

  • How long will advertised properties be open for me to bid on?

    Most will be advertised for 5 days. Some may be only open for 3 days, and others for up to 10 days.

  • Why are properties advertised for different lengths of time?

    Usually properties are advertised during the Notice period, so if we decide to do this straight away we may advertise the property for longer. If the property is one of many similar properties (such as Independent Living schemes) we may also advertise it for longer. Higher demand properties, or those unexpectedly available, may be advertised for shorter periods. Remember to check regularly to see if you would like to place any bids – the closing date for each will be clearly shown on the advert.

  • Can I still be posted out a freesheet of property adverts?

    No, as the list will be updated daily we won’t be able to do this anymore. If it is difficult for you to check on-line you can register for auto-bidding so that you do not miss out on any properties.

  • I usually phone up for staff to bid for me – will I have to phone every day?

    No, you won’t have to call every day. We would recommend you set-up auto-bidding instead. If this is still not for you then calling twice a week (perhaps Tuesday and Thursday) should mean that you do not miss out on any properties. You can also drop-in to reception at the Walton office if you are passing.

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