Mutual Exchanges

A mutual exchange is when two or more council or housing association tenants, in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, who occupy permanent self-contained accommodation, have a legal right to exchange their tenancies under section 92 of the Housing Act 1985.

  • Each tenant must move into their exchange partner’s property
  • A tenant cannot exchange into an empty property
  • You must not exchange your property without our permission
  • A mutual exchange ends your tenancy and a new tenancy is created for you.

You can exchange with;

  • A tenant of a housing association;
  • A tenant of another council.

You can search online for a mutual exchange by using the property search page and selecting mutual exchange. You will then need to contact the applicant you wish to exchange with directly. You can do this through their contact details on the advert.

You can create a mutual exchange advert for your property by logging into your account and completing an application form for mutual exchange. If you are not registered you will need to register. Once you have completed this you will submit it and it will be verified by a member of staff. You must ensure you put your contact details onto your advert or other potential exchange tenants will not be able to contact you.

Once you have decided who you would like to exchange with, and have viewed each others properties you can then complete our applications form and return it to your area housing office. You need to complete this to apply for permission to do a mutual exchange.

To improve the chance of finding someone to swap with, it helps to give the following information;

  • The type of home you live in (such as a house or flat);
  • Which area, or street, the home is in;
  • Marketing Information - Any special features that might make the property attractive to other tenants (such as a new kitchen, garage, big garden, close to school, close to GP surgery); Anything else that is important to the household.
  • What type of home is wanted, and the number of bedrooms needed;
  • The area(s) that would be considered;
  • Adding photos can also enhance your advertisement.

Once you have found someone to exchange with, an officer will visit you to inspect any alterations you have made and will make sure that your property is in good condition. We will also check your rent account. If you have any rent arrears (missed rent payments), you may not be able to move straight away.

If you want to exchange with the tenant of another council or registered social landlord, we will have to provide a written reference for your tenancy to the other landlord. The other council or registered social landlord will do the same for their tenant.

Other conditions that you should meet before the exchange may be allowed to go ahead include the following;

  • You cannot have any  rent arrears
  • You cannot have been or be causing a nuisance or anti-social behaviour.
  • You must have let us make a gas and electricity safety check.
  • You must not have made any alterations without permission.

We will not unreasonably refuse an application for a mutual exchange. However, we may refuse an application if;

  • There is a court order against you on any grounds, including rent arrears
  • There is a current notice seeking possession in force
  • Your proposed new property is too big for your needs
  • Your proposed new property is too small for your needs resulting in statutory overcrowding
  • The property is specifically designed or adapted for the elderly and/or disabled and you do not qualify for such housing
  • You may not be eligible for this property under the current housing policy
  • Your current tenancy is demoted or licensed.

Changes to Mutual Exchange - National Exchanges

Changes have been made to our system with regard to your MX application. Due to a national agenda aimed at improving mobility throughout the country our IT system has been updated to enable you to see MX properties being advertised throughout the country on other home swap/mutual exchange sites.

In order for you to participate in the new National Home Swap scheme you will need to visit your account page to update to your details and identify the areas that you are interested in.

Please note that these changes are being implemented throughout the coming months and as we move further into the autumn you will begin to see more and more matches and have more opportunities to move across the country.