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Mutual exchange

If you have a secure or housing association tenancy then you may have the right to exchange your tenancy with another tenant (subject to your landlord's approval). This is called a mutual exchange.

When you have found a swap partner, you will need to get written consent from you landlord before you move.

If you are swapping with another tenant from a different landlord then you will need to contact their landlord and they will send you the relevant forms.

To register details or look for a swap partner use the Home Swapper website.

Find all the information you need to start your swap journey. 

What is mutual exchange?

A Mutual Exchange is when two or more tenants of a registered social landlord (a Housing Association or Local Authority) agree to swap houses with each other.

Mutual exchanges are often used by people who are unable to get the housing they require through the waiting list system. Exchanges can be a quick way to get another size or style of house or a move from one area to another.

How do I find someone to exchange with?

It is up to you to find an exchange partner for your home. Providing the home you are moving to is of suitable type and size you can move to any area. Tenants can use a variety of means to find exchange partners- from advertising in local papers, word of mouth, social media or a swapping site.

We have subscribed to Home Swapper, which is an online mutual exchange scheme designed to facilitate exchanges locally and across the country. This means that all our tenants can access the Home Swapper service free of charge.

Important considerations

Think very carefully before you exchange with someone. You may lose some of your tenancy rights if you swap. For example, if you are a secure tenant swapping with a Housing Association you may lose your Right to Buy.

  1. It is important to check your potential new home thoroughly before you move in. Look at everything, including the inside of cupboards, behind furniture and behind doors and agree with the other person what will be left in the home when you move in.

  2. View the property more than once and at different times of the day and week. We also advise a final viewing a couple of days prior to the exchange taking place to ensure you are aware of any responsibilities that you will be taking on.

  3. Please make sure that all outstanding repairs in your home are reported to us in advance of the property inspection taking place. We will not take responsibility for any repairs that are a result of tenant neglect or damage.

  4. Ensure that you do not owe any rent arrears and that you are not in breach of your tenancy. This means that your home and gardens are in good order, and you have not had any issues with anti-social behaviour.

  5. Once you have moved you will be responsible for the repairs or maintenance of any alterations, fixtures or fittings made by the previous tenants, these will not be picked up by us. This can mean putting right any damage caused by the previous occupants.
    This often includes:
    • Showers
    • Home security systems
    • Satellite dishes/TV aerials
    • Light fittings
    • Landscaping such as patios or decking
    • Fences, walls or gates
    • Timber sheds
    • Kitchen fittings
    • Laminate flooring
    • Doors
    • Wall or floor tiles
    • Fire surrounds
    • Fitted wardrobes
    • Any domestic appliances
When will permission be refused?

Permission can be refused if:

  • Legal action is being taken, for example: a Notice of Seeking Possession having been served, a court order issued or a member of your household being subject to a criminal behaviour order or an injunction order.
  • The property is unsuitable for the household wanting to move, for example, it is too large or too small or adapted for people with disabilities.

We can also attach a condition to any consent, and you would be unable to move until the condition was met. For example, we could give permission subject to you clearing arrears on the rent account or completing repairs or other work that you are responsible for.  This must be done to our satisfaction, and we will re-inspect your home to check this.

What to do if you have found someone to swap with?
  1. Request a Mutual Exchange application form. If another landlord is involved then you will need to get an application form from them too.

  2. You will be contacted to arrange an inspection of your property. Please ensure your home is in good order, tidy and clean and all internal doors are in place. You will also need to have completed any repairs that you are responsible for and raised any repairs with our customer services team that we are responsible for prior to the inspection taking place. If we identify any damage or alterations that need to be put right we will cancel the mutual exchange and you will need to reapply once repairs have been completed by you or raised to us.

  3. If you are exchanging with someone who has another landlord, we will send their landlord a reference about your tenancy and request a landlord reference from theirs.

  4. An electric check will need to be done on your property which we will arrange following our inspection. We will pass your contact details to our contractors and they will be in touch to arrange a suitable appointment time with you.

  5. We will visit the other household you are planning to exchange with to inspect their property (if they are one of our tenant).
  6. We will give you a decision as to whether the exchange can take place within 42 days from the date we receive all completed application forms.
  7. Once approved, we will book a date for you to sign the paperwork. We also need to complete a gas check on your property. Once the paperwork is signed you are ready to move! 
If the property is not in the condition you expected.

It is your responsibility to inspect the property thoroughly before you agree to move and again before you hand over your keys. You should agree with your exchange partner who will be responsible for any outstanding repairs and removal of rubbish.

You must not assume that we will take responsibility for carrying out any work unless you have written confirmation that we will do so.

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Last updated 14 December 2023
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