If you are a secure tenant of the Council or another social housing landlord including assured tenants with housing associations, you may apply to exchange or swap your home with another tenant. We call this a mutual exchange.
You must not owe any debt to the Council (this includes council tax and housing benefit). In your new home, you must not be overcrowded or under occupying by more than one bedroom.
You can advertise your home for exchange with another tenant in one of the following ways:
- Advertising in the local paper or a local shop
- Registering with Homeswapper - we pay for our tenants to use the site.
Once you have found a person to exchange with, each applicant will need to submit a Mutual Exchange Application Form. We will then aim to give you a decision within six weeks as to whether the exchange has been approved or not.
As part of your application you will be required to provide copies of the below documentation;
- Two forms of ID for ALL members in the household one of which must be photographic (EG, passport, birth certificate, counter signed photographs)
- Two passport sized photos for all adults in the household
- Proof of residency for all adult members of the household (EG, utility bill, bank statement)
- Proof of National Insurance numbers for all adults in the household
- Proof of child benefit (If applicable)
Failure to provide the above listed items may result in your application to exchange tenancies being refused or delayed. It is therefore in your best interests to provide this information with your application or as soon as possible after your application submission.
All mutual exchanges are subject to a variety of checks;
- Money owed to the Council - this can include but is not limited to rent, council tax, former tenant debts and court costs.
- Property inspection - a member of our repairs team will visit your property. any repairs issues will be highlighted. should any damage be deemed tenant neglect or damage, you will be required to correct this or make full upfront payment for the works to be conducted.
- Gas and electric checks - each new tenant must have these checks and we conduct them towards the end of the exchange.
If you are an introductory tenant or a non-secure tenant (such as people in temporary accommodation), you are not permitted to exchange.
Important things to note and consider before applying for a mutual exchange
Mutual Exchanges are initiated by the residents, it is therefore your responsibility to ensure you have viewed the property you intend to move to and understand that you are moving to the property as seen.
The Council will conduct gas and electric safety checks and where remedial works are required, these will be completed before the exchange is allowed to proceed.
You will be asked to sign a disclosure to accept responsibility for any tenant damage noted at the property (as much as reasonably can be with furniture in situ) and the Council will not complete any remedial works on these. It will be for you to rectify upon moving into your new property.
You are responsible for notifying all utility companies, including council tax and benefits, that you have changed address. The Council will not do this for you.
All rent and/or other debts owed to the Council must be paid up in full on the day of deed signing, we aim to repay any overpaid rent to you within 28 calendar days of your exchange to allow for any reconciliations on the account.
If you are on the transfer register, upon completion of your mutual exchange, you will lose any transfer points you may have earned whilst at your current address. If an application is submitted and cancelled prior to completion, you will retain your points.
A lot of work is done behind the scenes for mutual exchanges, therefore, you will only be contacted by your housing officer if and when we require information from you. We will not be able to provide you daily or weekly updates, but will endeavour to complete the entire process within 6 weeks as stated above.