Exchanging your home (Mutual Exchange)
If you are a secure tenant you can exchange your home with another council or housing association tenant. When you exchange your home you’ll also be swapping your rights for those of the other tenant so it’s useful to check:
- The terms and conditions of their tenancy
- Their security of tenure - you may find you would have to swap your secure tenancy for a fixed term tenancy
- The cost of their rent - you may find you would be paying more than you currently do and you need to be able to pay for the difference
- The conditions of the home you are exchanging into, check what repairs works, if any, are being carried out by your new landlord
What is a mutual exchange?
A mutual exchange is a home swap between two or more social housing tenants. This can be for a number of reasons, but often it can be due to needing more space (or sometimes less), moving for work or to be closer to family. A mutual exchange is a great alternative for tenants who don’t have a high enough priority or banding to be able to access a home through the normal allocation process.
Am I eligible to swap?
You will need to be a council housing tenant and hold a secure tenancy to have the right to mutually exchange. If you have an introductory tenancy, you will not be eligible to swap. It is always good to contact your Housing Officer to find out what type of tenancy you have and if you are allowed to swap homes before you start looking.
Do I have to swap locally?
Tenants can swap homes with any other social housing tenant that lives anywhere in the UK as long they have the right to mutual exchange. It’s important to note, however, that you won’t be able to swap with a private housing tenant.
Can home swaps involve more than one property?
Yes, they can. You can either exchange homes with one tenant, known as a direct exchange, or you could try and find a multi-way house exchange. A multi-way exchange involves more than two households. For example, Household A wants to move to Household B; Household B wants to move to Household C; and Household C wants to move to Household A.
This means that although someone might not want to move into your home, there may be a property out there that they do want to live in, and whose current tenants want to move to your home.
How do I find properties to swap to?
Stroud District Council are members of HomeSwapper who make searching for exchanges, communicating with other social housing tenants and arranging viewings, simple. Once you have found another tenant who is eligible to exchange, who lives in the UK, and wants to live in your home, you can progress the mutual exchange.
HomeSwapper has more than 200,000 adverts, is user-friendly and Stroud District Council tenants do not need to pay for this service as we are members of the scheme.
How do I apply for a mutual exchange
If you find someone to exchange with, you will need to complete an application form using ‘Swaptracker’ in order to apply for permission. Swaptracker is part of the Homeswapper service and allows you to apply and keep track of progress with your application.
If you already have a Homeswapper account, you can log into this and from the dashboard, click on the ‘Apply’ button in the Find a Swap box.
If you do not have a Homeswapper account, please contact your Housing Officer who will be able to email you a link to sign up.
Once you have set up an account you will be able to find out more information on how to use Swaptracker under the Help and Support section.
You will also need to pay for the landlord safety checks and any costs involved in your move.
For further advice on mutual exchanges and how to register on Homeswapper, please contact your Housing Officer.