If you are a council or housing association tenant, you have the right to swap your home with another council or housing association tenant. To be able to do this you must first get your landlord’s written consent, which can only be refused in certain circumstances. All of the social landlords operating in the borough subscribe to Homeswapper, a national mutual exchange service. Your landlord will be able to provide you with further information on mutual exchanges.
Your landlord has 42 days in which to consent and can only refuse to grant consent in a limited number of grounds, as defined in law, which include but not limited to:
- A possession order is in force, possession proceedings have started against you or a notice seeking possession has been served against you or the proposed assignee;
- The property you want to exchange to does not meet your needs, in that it may be too big or too small; or
- The property has been specifically designed or adapted for you because of a physical disability and the person you want to swap with does not have the same needs.
A full list of grounds can be obtained from your landlord.
Before the mutual exchange is be permitted, your rent account will also need to be up to date.
The advantages of mutual exchange are:
- You can exchange with a council or housing association tenant anywhere in the United Kingdom;
- By choosing to exchange you may not have to wait on the list for a transfer of tenancy; and
- You can view the other property and be sure it is suitable for your needs before requesting an exchange.
The disadvantages of mutual exchange are:
- The other party can pull out at any time, right up until you move;
- You will have to accept responsibility for alterations carried out by the tenant you are exchanging with; and
- Any outstanding repairs will be dealt with in accordance with the landlord’s normal repairs procedure so may not be completed before you move in.
For further information please contact your landlord directly.