What is a Mutual Exchange?

A Mutual Exchange is a home swap of properties between two or more assured or secure public sector tenants which results in each party moving permanently into  each others homes.

All Council and Housing Association Housing Trusing and Co-operative tenants with Secure or assured Tenancies can apply to exchange homes. Tenants must get permission from their landlord before going ahead with a homeswap. Its quite simple to do, some paperwork will need to filled out though there is no charge for this.

Why do I need permission to home swap?

You are responsible for your home. You are required to keep to the terms of your Tenancy Agreement and must not swap homes with another tenant without your Landlords permission otherwise you could be breaking the law. The Landlord could take legal action against you, if you exchange your home without permission and you could loose your home.

Before a landlord allows an exchange to take place, the Landlord will check that the tenants have met certain conditions:

  • Your rent has been paid up to date with no outstanding arrears
  • Each tenant must move to a home thats suitable for their housing needs.
  • A tenant moving into a specially adapted property must be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance DLA , landlords do not usually allow able body tenants to move into disabled housing or housing for special needs.
  • If your home has been specifically built for a specific tenant such as over 55 years only or  elderly tenants then the swap partner must also be over 55 or elderly, these homes are often bungalows or ground floor flats and warden controlled community housing.
  • Some tenants may be told to do some DIY in the form of decorating or other housing maintenance before their home exchange can be accepted, Alternatively the new occupier may be allowed to sign an agreement, to take on the responsibility of alterations to a home.
  • Not all tenants have the right to buy (rtb) once they have moved so check with the landlords and not the tenants before you swap!
  • You can swap homes within the UK which includes England Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland.

How will I find someone to swap homes with?

Tenants in the past found exchanges  by placing postcards in shop windows or visiting the landlords offices to look through exchange books . However, due to the internet  tenants are now finding suitable exchange partners through online homeswap websites.

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