Mutual exchanges


What is a Mutual Exchange?

A mutual exchange is when two or more tenants swap their homes. Each tenant must move into their exchange partner’s property and take on responsibility for that tenancy. If you are thinking of moving home and would like to exchange, you will first need to register with HomeSwapper at 

Do I need permission?

Yes. You must complete an application form to get our permission to exchange. It is important that you visit and inspect the property you want to move to. You should look for any improvements the tenant has made, as they will become your responsibility. When we get your application form, we’ll let you know within 42 days whether it has been accepted and send you a letter to let you know what our decision is. We will not refuse permission without good reason. You should not make any arrangements to move until you have received written approval from all landlords. You must not exchange your home without our permission. If you do, you may have to move back and we could take legal action to end your tenancy. 

What happens when you receive my application?

If you are moving to another of our properties we will ask you to sign to agree that you take responsibility for any alterations, repairs or damage we may have found. You must make sure that you are able to repair or replace these if necessary in the future before you sign. You will also become responsible for clearing any items left in the property by the previous tenants. When we receive your application, we will arrange a time to inspect your home with you. Your exchange partner will also be invited to attend, and we will invite you to attend the inspection of the property you want to move to, if it is one of our homes. We will check for any alterations, repairs or damage that may become the responsibility of the incoming tenant, or which may need to be fixed before you move. 

Are there any other conditions?

Yes. Before the exchange can go ahead:

■ You must be up to date with your rent payments. You will not be able to exchange if you have rent arrears.

■ You must have no history of causing a nuisance or anti-social behaviour.

■ Your home must be in good condition.

If you want to exchange with a tenant living in a council property or housing association, we will have to provide a written reference for your tenancy to them. They will do the same for their tenant. 

Could my application be refused?

We will not refuse an application for a mutual exchange without having a good reason. However, we may refuse if:

■ One of the homes would be overcrowded or under-occupied.

■ We are taking legal action to repossess your home or the home you want to swap with.

■ The exchange would mean that a home adapted for elderly or disabled people would have nobody living in it who needs the adaptation.

It is illegal to pay anyone to persuade them to exchange tenancies with you. If you are a joint tenant, we must have the written permission of all joint tenants. 

When will you make your decision?

By law, we must make a decision within 42 days of receiving your completed application form. If we refuse your application, we will write to you within 42 days of receiving your application to explain why we have refused and tell you how you can appeal.

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