What is a home swap or mutual exchange?
A home swap (sometimes also called mutual exchange) is when two or more social housing tenants, exchange their tenancies (with permission from their landlords).
Can I swap my home?
It will depend on the tenancy that you currently have.
If your tenancy is secure or flexible then you do have a legal right to exchange (swap) your home.
But, if you have a assured tenancy, then you do not have a legal right to exchange. This right is however often granted through a clause in your tenancy agreement.
If you currently have an assured shorthold tenancy (this includes starter tenancies, introductory tenancies and demoted tenancies) then you will not have the right to exchange (swap) your home.
How much does it cost to swap my home?
Once you agree a swap, you will have to pay the cost for removal, boxes, tape, travel, etc.*
Your landlord won’t charge you for the administration of arranging your home swap.
*It is illegal for you or the other tenant to charge any fee as part of the swap.
What size home can I move to?
The size of the property that you can move to does depend on the policy of the landlord who runs the property that you want to move into. You must check with the landlord to make sure that you are eligible to move into the property.
Can my landlords stop me swapping homes?
If there are reasonable grounds to refuse the swap the Landlords is in their right to not approve the swap. These could include:
- All the tenants involved in the swap having rent arrears.
- All landlord involved in the swap having started eviction proceedings against their tenant
- Any of the tenants have breached the terms of their tenancy agreement
- If either property is unsuitable for the tenant who wants to swap into it.
- If any of tenants will be overcrowded or under-occupying the home you they want to swap into
- If the property has been adapted for a disabled person and is therefore not suitable
- the property has age restriction (e.g. for over 55s)
Is it possible to choose the day that I swap?
Yes, it is, the date that you move should be agreed by all tenants involved in the swap.
How long does it take to swap?
Landlords have up to six weeks (42 days) to decide whether to give you permission to swap homes once both tenants have submitted their mutual exchange application forms.
If I need more advice where can I go?
If you do not already have a HomeSwapper account, the you can register online today. Here you will find lots of guides and advice on how to search for matches and apply for a swap.