Home swap/mutual exchange
Where two or more council or housing association tenants agree to exchange (swap) their properties.
The exchange must be approved by all the landlords involved before it can go ahead, but permission cannot be unreasonably refused. If you find an exchange, you will need to complete an application with your landlord and include the details of the person you wish to swap with. Contact your landlord for more information on how to apply.
Am I eligible to exchange?
If you hold a secure or an assured tenancy then you will be eligible to exchange your property with:
- A housing association tenant
- A council tenant
There are some types of housing that are not eligible for a swap or have special conditions to be met. If this includes your home or one you wish to swap with, your landlord will tell you.
How do I find someone to swap homes with?
We would recommend that you contact your landlord to obtain details of the mutual exchange service they recommend or subscribe to. They may advise you to register with an internet mutual exchange service. Links to those sites are available in the right hand menu.
Registering with a mutual exchange service will allow you to advertise your own property and search, view and match other properties that have been added by housing association and council tenants across the UK.
You could also try other internet services, adverts in local shops, newspapers or libraries or speak to family, friends and neighbours.
Obtaining permission to swap
You and the person(s) you wish to swap with must make sure your landlord(s) agree prior to you exchanging properties. Your landlord and your prospective landlord will need to ensure the properties are in good order and that no rent arrears are outstanding. They will also need to ensure the properties being exchanged are suitable for the applicants moving in and that neither household will be overcrowded or under-occupying by more than the permitted number (usually one bedroom).
Important Tenancy issues
Be aware that when you swap homes you will also swap tenancies. This will normally mean you will sign a new tenancy agreement and have different rights and obligations. You should ask to see a copy of any new tenancy terms and conditions before agreeing to exchange.
Once you have signed up for the exchange (signed an agreement), you are legally required to move. You cannot change your mind at that point. Be sure that you are prepared to move before signing any agreement.
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