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Mutual exchange

If you have a secure Council tenancy then you have the right to exchange your tenancy with another Council or Housing Association tenant. This is called a mutual exchange.

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. You can use a variety of means to find an exchange partner- from advertising in local papers, word of mouth, social media or a swapping site.

The Council subscribes 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.

If you are struggling to use the website contact the Lettings Team  and they will be able to assist in registering your home and looking for a suitable exchange:

Some 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:

  • Home security systems
  • Light fittings
  • Landscaping such as patios or decking
  • Fences, walls or gates
  • Timber sheds
  • Laminate flooring
  • Fitted wardrobes
  • Any domestic appliances

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.

When you have found someone to exchange 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.
  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. Once the paperwork is signed you are ready to move!

Permission to exchange

Permission to exchange 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.