What is mutual exchange?

12 Sep 2018


HomeSwapper is the UK home of mutual exchange and we’re constantly impressed by the knowledge of our tenants on the subject. For those new to swapping though, there can be a lot to learn, so we wanted to write this article as a helpful guide to what mutual exchange really means…


What is a mutual exchange?

First and foremost: a mutual exchange is a home swap between two social housing tenants. This can occur for a variety 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 social housing tenant with a secure or assured tenancy to have the right to a mutual exchange. If you have a starter tenancy or a demotion order etc you will probably not be eligible to swap – if you think this might apply to you, it’s always a good to contact your landlord 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 council tenant or Housing Association tenant that lives anywhere in the UK. It’s important to note here that you won’t be able to swap with a private housing tenant. When searching for your mutual exchange, you are not restricted to your current landlord – in fact all social housing landlords must allow mutual exchanges.


Can home swaps involve more than one property?

If you find a match and agree a home swap then you can swap with one tenant or you can try and find a MultiSwap house exchange. A MultiSwap is a swap involving more than two homes, where a swapper moves into the home of a person who is moving into the home of another person, and so on. This means that although a swapper 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. So everyone gets the home they want!


How do I find properties to swap to?

This is where HomeSwapper comes in! We make searching for your swap, communicating with the other tenant and arranging viewings simple. Once you have found another tenant who is eligible to swap, lives in the UK and wants to live in your home, you can progress the mutual exchange.

With HomeSwapper, you have access to more than 10 million matches, and our site supports MultiSwap chains for up to five homes. If you’re thinking about starting a MultiSwap chain, you can read our recent ‘How to’ guide on creating MultiSwaps here.

Now that you know what mutual exchange is and how it works, what are you waiting for? Start your search today with HomeSwapper!