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Mutual exchange

 

What is a mutual exchange?

A mutual exchange is when two, three, four or more tenants exchange (swap) their properties.  Each tenant must move into their exchange partner's property.  A tenant cannot exchange into an empty property.

You can exchange with:

  • a tenant of a housing association; or

  • a tenant of another council.

You must not exchange your property without your landlords permission.

Will I need permission before a mutual exchange can take place?

Yes. You must contact your landlord (and any other landlord involved) to get permission to exchange. Your request will not be refused without good reason.

How can I apply for a mutual exchange?

Once you have found another tenant to exchange your home with, you should both contact your landlords who will provide you with the appropriate forms and information regarding mutual exchanges.

Who can I exchange with?

You may be able to swap your home with another tenant of a housing association, other registered social landlord or Council anywhere in the country.

How do I find someone to swap with?

Tenants of the B-with-us landlords listed below can register free of charge with HomeSwapper. Tenants of other landlords can still join HomeSwapper for a small fee.

Accent Foundation Group Ltd
Eaves Brook
Great Places Housing Group
Green Vale Homes
Guinness Northern Counties
Housing Pendle
Hyndburn Homes
Irwell Valley Housing Association Ltd
Muir Group Housing Association Ltd
New Progress Housing Association
Places for People Ltd
Regenda Group
St Vincents Housing Association Ltd
Twin Valley Homes

Click on the link below to register for a mutual exchange with HomeSwapper

There are also a number of national websites which advertise mutual exchanges for social housing tenancies.

 

What do I do if I have found someone to exchange with?

If you know who you would like to exchange with, you will both need to contact your landlord.

How quickly will we make our decision?

By law, your landlord must make a decision within 42 days of receiving your request to mutually exchange with another tenant.

Are there any other conditions that I must meet?

Yes. Your Housing Officer will visit you to inspect any alterations you have made and to make sure that the property is in good condition.  We will also check your rent account.  If you have rent arrears (missed rent payments), you may not be able to move straight away.

If you want to exchange with the tenant of another council or a registered social landlord, your landlord will have to provide a written reference for your tenancy to the other landlord.  The other council or registered social landlord will do the same for their tenant.

Other conditions that you must meet before the exchange can go ahead include the following:

  • you must not owe any rent (unless you have been keeping to a repayment agreement for a set time);

  • you must not have caused a nuisance or caused anti-social behaviour; and

  • you must have allowed your landlord carry out gas and electricity safety checks within the last 12 months.

Why will my request be refused?

Your landlord will not unreasonably refuse an application for a mutual exchange.  However, your landlord may refuse an application if:

  • one of the homes would be overcrowded;

  • the landlord is 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; or

  • we have a possession order against you.

It is illegal to pay anyone to persuade them to exchange tenancies with you.  If you exchange without asking for permission, we may force you to move back.

What will happen if my request is refused?

If your landlord refuses your application, they should write to you within 42 days of receiving your request to explain why the request has been refused and will include details of you how you can appeal against the decision.

What will happen if my request is accepted?

A date will be arranged for the exchange to take place which is suitable for everyone involved.  You will be asked to sign the appropriate paperwork needed for the exchange to take place.

Reviews and appeals

If you are refused a mutual exchange, you can appeal by writing to your landlord. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal then you should contact your landlord. Your complaint will then be dealt with according to your landlords official complaints procedure.

For further information regarding mutual exchanges please contact your landlord.

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