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Home exchange

This web page helps social housing tenants who want to exchange their home with another council or housing association tenant - to learn more about "mutual exchange" and how to go about finding a property.

Home swap

 

If you are a social housing tenant wanting to move home, you may have the right to swap properties with another tenant anywhere in the UK.  This is known as "mutual exchange".

It can be a faster way of finding a new home than applying for a transfer, especially if you are assessed as a low priority.

 


 

Who is eligible for mutual exchange?

Not all tenants have the right to exchange properties.  As a minimum you will need to have one of the following types of tenancy:

•           a secure or flexible council tenancy

•           an assured tenancy

•           an assured shorthold tenancy of two years or more.

Your tenancy agreement will tell you if you have the right to an exchange and if you still aren't sure then check with your landlord. Other factors affecting eligibility are:

•           You usually can't swap within the first twelve months of your tenancy

•           Your right to exchange will depend on the tenancy type of the person you want to swap with

Even if you have the right to an exchange, you need permission from your landlord, and they can refuse the exchange on certain grounds such as if:

•           You are in rent arrears

•           Your landlord has issued possession proceedings against you

•           The property is too large or small for the tenant you want to swap with

•           The property is adapted for a disabled person and the tenant you want to swap with doesn't need the adaptations

Before you start looking for a home swap, we would advise that you contact your landlord and check that you will be able to exchange your tenancy. You must get their permission and follow the proper process, as you may be evicted if you try to exchange your tenancy without permission.

Finding an exchange

You can do a range of things to find out about homes to exchange with including:

  • Tenancy exchange websites:

There are a number of nationwide tenancy exchange websites that will help you to find another tenant to swap homes with. Many landlords have made arrangements with a specific website that enable their tenants to use the services free of change. Ask your landlord which site (if any) they have made arrangements with, otherwise, you will usually need to pay a fee to register.

             HomeSwapper             www.homeswapper.co.uk

             House Exchange          www.houseexchange.org.uk

             Council Exchange        www.council-exchange.org.uk

You will have to register online and complete details about your current home, the kind of home you're looking for, and where you want it to be. Once registered, you can make contact with other tenants and arrange viewings. The websites will send you details of properties that match your requirements and keep you updated with information on people who want to move into your area.

  • Ask friends, family and work colleagues
  • Speak to your housing officer - they may know of tenants wanting to move
  • Put an advert in a newsagent's window or on supermarket notice boards