Housing Mutual Exchange
Are you a council tenant or a housing association tenant looking for a new home? A Housing Mutual Exchange, where you swap homes with another tenant, is now the quickest and most effective way to find that new home.
If you are a council or housing association tenant you can apply to swap homes with another tenant. This is called a "Housing Mutual Exchange". Finding a mutual exchange could save you months (even years) of waiting on a housing transfer list, ...and the best bit is that you get to choose the home you want for yourself.
Housing Mutual Exchange operates across the whole country, enabling council and housing association tenants to swap their home with another tenant in their own local area, or further afield in another town or county.
There are many reasons why tenants wish to swap homes, for example:
- to relocate to another location for work or family reasons
- to 'downsize' to smaller accommodation
- to get an extra bedroom for a growing family, or a garden perhaps
- to get ground floor accommodation for mobility reasons.
At the moment mutual exchange is the quickest and most effective way to find that new home. Most mutual exchanges are simply a straightforward exchange between two tenants, but it's not uncommon for exchanges to involve four or more tenants at a time.
Find an exchange with HomeSwapper, the national online home swap service
We recommend tenants sign-up to HomeSwapper, the national online home swap service that can automatically match your requirements to possible home exchanges you can look at in seconds!!! Sign-up to HomeSwapper now.(FREE to Basildon Council tenants).
In addition to searching HomeSwapper many people find a mutual exchange by advertising in a newspaper or shop window. Talking to friends and relatives will sometimes bring news of someone looking for a mutual exchange.
Who can apply for a Housing Mutual Exchange?
All council, housing association and housing trust tenants with a Secure Tenancy can apply for a mutual exchange.
Most housing association and housing trust tenants with and Assured Tenancy can apply for a mutual exchange. If you are not sure about your Assured Tenancy, enquire with your housing association or housing trust landlord.
Tenants in leased or private rented accommodation CANNOT apply for a mutual exchange.
Restrictions on housing mutual exchanges
There are certain restrictions on on a tenant's entitlement to a housing mutual exchange, the following would not be entitled to a housing mutual exchange:
- tenants in rent arrears
- tenants applying to buy their homes
- tenants whose property is in poor internal condition and does not pass our home inspection
- tenants applying for an exchange to a property that is more than one bedroom in excess of their housing need, (see the Council's Housing allocations policy for further information on this condition).
Submitting your Housing Mutual Exchange application
When you have found a suitable swap then it's time to submit a Housing Mutual Exchange application.
Please download a Housing Mutual Exchange application form [84kb] or request an application form by post from the Tenancy and Estate Management Team, see contact details below.
Processing your application and the time to completion
A mutual exchange involves various checks and administrative work and usually takes six weeks to complete from the date your application is received.
Final permission to move and the cost of moving
IMPORTANT: No matter how urgently you want to move house remember this: if either you or the person you are swapping with, move house before the application process has been completed or before you have been given proper written permission to move, then you will be putting yourselves both at risk of eviction from your council or housing association/trust home.
Tenants are responsible for all costs associated with moving house. You should consider costs carefully before beginning your search for a mutual exchange.