Housing advice and information

Mutual exchange

If you are an existing tenant of a council or housing association, you can find a new home through exchanging your home with another tenant of a council or housing association. This is called a mutual exchange and can often be a lot quicker than waiting for a transfer. You can look for an exchange anywhere in the district, County, or Country.

How does mutual exchange work?

  • Find someone who wants to swap with you.
  • Arrange to view each others' homes.
  • Apply to your landlord and the other tenant's landlord for permission to swap. They will normally have forms for you to use for this purpose.
  • Your landlord will inspect your property and will request a tenancy report from the other tenant's landlord.
  • Your landlord will inform you within 28 days whether they agree to your exchange.
  • If both the landlords involved agree, arrangements will be made by them for you to complete the necessary paperwork. This means assigning the tenancies to you and the other tenant involved.

You will normally also have to meet some conditions before an exchange can go ahead, such as:

  • Not owing any money to the landlord for such things as the rent, rechargeable repairs or any other reason.
  • Doing all the repairs that are your responsibility under your tenancy agreement including those for any damages that you have caused.

It is very important that you do not move until you have written permission from your landlord, otherwise you could lose your home and then have nowhere to live.

Reasons landlords could refuse permission for an exchange

Landlords will not give permission for a mutual exchange to go ahead if:

  • They have started taking legal action against you for breaking a condition of your tenancy agreement.
  • If the property you are looking to move to is too big or too small for your household.
  • The property is adapted for a tenant with disabilities and you do not need these adaptations.
  • The property you wish to move to is not let on an assured or secure tenancy by another housing association or council.
  • The property is designated for letting to certain groups, such as to persons over 60 years old, and you do not meet this restriction.
  • The property has local connection criteria which you do not meet this.

Help to find an exchange

If you wish, you canregister on the Home Exchange scheme (opens new window). You can use this site to find another property you would like to exchange your property for and also your property will be advertised here for other tenants to see. This is a free service for tenants of landlords who are members of the service. If your landlord is not a member, then a small registration fee will be charged.

For further information on mutual exchanges or assistance with registration on the Home Exchange website you should contact your landlord.

It is very important to remember that you will require your landlord's permission to exchange

Last updated: 21/03/2024 10:24:37