FAMILIES can get up to £8,000 in FREE cash from their local council just by moving house.
If you're renting a house that's bigger than what you actually need, you could be paid to move somewhere smaller to free up the space for a larger family.
A number of councils have schemes in place offering incentives for Brits to downsize because of a housing shortage faced in many areas across the UK.
It's left large families no choice but to live in cramped living conditions – so to tackle the problem, some authorities are offering big payouts to encourage people to move somewhere more suitable.
The Sun has spotted that some councils are offering up to £8,000 in free cash – but what you could get depends on where you live.
Each council will have its own scheme in place, which means some might be offering more help than others.
Your local authority might not even have a scheme on offer in the first place – you should get in touch with yours for more information.
You can find out which is your local council using the gov.uk's online tool to get in touch.
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How does it work?
In general, these schemes work by councils giving you money for the number of rooms you give up in order to downsize.
You will get a certain amount of money for each room you give up – so if you moved from a four-bed to a two-bed home, you'd be freeing up two rooms.
So in this case, if your local council was offering £1,000 per room you released, you'd bank £2,000.
Councils may also offer extra payments on top of this, or to foot the costs of you moving, as added incentives.
You usually need to live in council housing, or have a landlord who is a housing association, to qualify.
And for many councils, you can't currently owe rent to your landlord if you've fallen behind.
How much can I get?
What you can get depends on what your local council is offering.
But The Sun has spotted some councils offering up to £8,000 to move to a smaller house – such as Croydon Council.
If you live in council housing or your landlord is a housing association, you'll qualify.
The local authority is offering £2,000 for each bedroom, and the maximum amount you can get is capped at £8,000.
To apply, you'll need to fill out a form on Croydon Council's website.
Brent Council is offering a maximum of £6,000 if you qualify for its downsizing scheme, where you'll get £2,000 for each bedroom.
The council will also foot the cost for you moving house if you relocate somewhere in Brent – otherwise you can get a maximum of £500 for these costs.
You can apply on Brent's website – you'll need to live in council housing to qualify.
West Devon Borough Council and South Hams District Council are both offering up to £5,000 to get people downsizing.
Under the scheme, residents will get a fixed payment of £1,000, and a "High Demand Area" payment of £2,500.
On top of that, you'll get £500 per bedroom which is released – to apply, head to the council's website for more information.
While families living in Somerset West and Taunton can get a maximum of £2,000 to move onto somewhere smaller if they live in council housing.
And for those who are in rent arrears or owe money to the council, what you owe will be taken out of the cash awarded to you.
You'll need to complete an online form on the council's website to be considered for the scheme.
While renters in council housing living in the Oxford City Council catchment area can bank up to £4,000 for moving somewhere smaller.
That's not including the compensation you can claim for moving expenses – capped at £2,000.
To apply, get in touch with the council if you live in the area.
Moray Council is offering a minimum of £1,900, with an added £400 for each bedroom you have released.
For more information, visit the council's website.
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