Mutual Exchange FAQs
Does your current property no longer suit your requirements? Are you looking to move to a different area? If the answer is yes, then a mutual exchange with another ForHousing tenant or a tenant of a different housing association or council might be the answer you are looking for.
Here’s what you need to know if you are thinking about a mutual exchange.
Q. What is a mutual exchange?
Put simply, a mutual exchange is when tenants exchange, or swap, their properties. You may be able to exchange with another ForHousing tenant or a tenant at another housing association or council. If you do complete an exchange you would automatically be bound by the terms and conditions (including payment of rent and service charges) of the tenancy agreement signed by the person you are exchanging with.
Q. Can I apply for a mutual exchange?
If you are an assured or secure tenant of ForHousing you can apply to exchange.
You can’t apply to exchange if you are an assured shorthold tenant or a starter tenant.
Q. How do you find someone to exchange with?
We have partnered with HomeSwapper who operate a website which matches social housing tenants who want to swap homes. The service is free for our tenants to use. To join you will need a current email address or phone number to register on the HomeSwapper website.
You need to register your details and then we will either approve or reject your account. If your account is approved you can start to look for a suitable tenant to swap homes with.
Other mutual exchange platforms may be available locally, please check for details.
Q. What to check in the property you want to exchange into?
Most adverts on HomeSwapper (and other mutual exchange platforms) will contain pictures and information about the property size and local facilities. However, you need to be sure the property you want to swap to meet your needs. Ask yourself whether it is the right size and near to the type of facilities that you need such as shops, doctors and schools.
You also need to make sure you can afford the rent and running costs. ForHousing can help you with this if you are unsure.
Make sure you view the property. We recommend that you do this more than once. You should check that the property is in good condition. If the tenant of the other property has carried out certain improvements or installed non-standard features you will be responsible for maintaining them. These could include: - showers, additional bathroom tiling, kitchen units etc
Q. Do I need permission to do a mutual exchange?
Yes. You will need to complete an application form. We, and any other landlord involved, will need to visit you and decide if the exchange can take place. You cannot exchange homes until you have our permission and permission of any other landlord involved in writing.
NB: Due to Covid19, ForHousing are asking tenants to sign a disclaimer as most home visits have been suspended.
Q. Who is eligible?
You will not be able to exchange homes with another tenant if:
The property you wish to move to is too big or too small for your requirements; or your property is too big or too small for the tenant you want to exchange with
There are court orders against you or the other tenant;
You or the other tenant have been served with a notice seeking possession because of arrears of rent or another breach of tenancy;
You or the other tenant are subject to a court order relating to antisocial behaviour;
You or the other tenant live in tied accommodation, i.e. a tenancy which is part of your employment, such as a caretaker;
Either home has been designed or adapted for someone with a disability and one of the tenants does not require the facilities; and either home has been built for a group of specific need and the tenant has been assessed as not having those needs.
Q. What happens next?
Once both parties have applied for an exchange and we have all the information we need, we will aim to tell you within 42 days if your application has been successful.
We may give consent for the exchange to take place subject to some conditions being met.
Conditions can include clearing rent arrears or completing repairs that are your responsibility. If the conditions are not met within the timescale we set, the exchange will be cancelled. You will be given the opportunity to re-apply when the conditions have been met.
Q. What do you do once consent has been given?
We will agree a date to meet to sign the paperwork. Once the paperwork has been signed you can move. Before moving we will insist that you arrange for qualified people to remove your appliances and re-install them. For any gas appliances these will need to be dealt with by a qualified Gas Safe engineer and you will need to provide us with certification. You should also let people know you are moving. When someone new moves into one of our properties we will carry out a gas and electrical safety check. We will also visit a new tenant to make sure they have settled in to their new ForHousing home.
If you need further information about exchanges contact us on 0300 123 5522 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are committed to providing equal access to information. If you would like this information in another format, please phone us on 0300 123 5522.