A mutual exchange is where you ‘swap’ your home with a housing association or council tenant’s home.
You can find more information about mutual exchange on the government's website.
It is up to you to find someone to swap homes with.
You can advertise your home in many ways including on social media sites, such as Facebook, in newspapers and local shops.
You can also register at www.homeswapper.co.uk which is a website specifically designed to help you get in touch with people who are looking to swap homes too.
When you find a home you would like, it is up to you to contact the tenant to see if they will agree to exchange with you.
Before you swap your home, remember:
- Both you, and the other tenant must be on top of your rent payments and not have broken the terms of your current tenancy agreements.
- You cannot move into a property where you are under-occupying by more than one bedroom.
- If you have pets, make sure that the other tenant’s landlord will allow you to have them.
- Agree with the other person what will be left in their current home when you move in, because you will be responsible for it.
- It is a good idea to view the other tenant’s property more than once, and at different times of the day or week.
- If your current home has disabled adaptations, you might not be able to get the same adaptations in your new home.
- Make sure you understand the other tenant’s tenancy agreement and tenants’ handbook, as you will be taking on all of their rights and
You both need to contact your landlords and ask for a mutual exchange form.
- Complete the form and return it to us. We’ll arrange to visit you to inspect your home, and arrange a viewing of your home with the new
- After we get a report from the other landlord, we will decide if we are happy for the exchange to go ahead.
- Within 6 weeks of getting your application, we’ll write to you to let you know our decision. If we agree to the exchange, we might attach some conditions to the agreement.
- We rarely refuse or delay requests, but if we do we will contact you to explain why, and we will let you know how to solve the problem.
- When you have got permission to go ahead, you need to agree a moving date with us and the other tenant.
- Before you leave, we will visit your home to carry out a general inspection and a gas and electrical check so that we know the home is
safe for the new tenant.
- We’ll arrange for you and the new tenant to sign the paperwork.
If you’re moving to a new home that is not managed by us, you need to check with the other landlord what your repairs, rights and responsibilities are.
If you’re moving into an Staffs Housing home, you are:
- When you take on a Staffs Housing home, we’ll give you a list of things you’ll be responsible for before you move in. We will be responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of your home.
- Moving in ‘as seen’. We are not responsible for any damage, or for the cleanliness, condition or internal decoration of the property left by the previous tenant.
- If we have to repair anything because of damage or neglect by the previous tenant, you will be charged for the work.
- If the previous tenant has left items in the home or garden that you don’t want, you’ll need to arrange to have them removed.
We don't like to say no, but sometimes we have the right to refuse a mutual exchange under Schedule 3 of the Housing Act 1985 or Schedule 14 of the Localism Act 2011.
- When any rent lawfully due from a tenant under one of the existing tenancies has not been paid.
- When an obligation under one of the existing tenancies has been broken or not performed.
- A court order for possession or a suspended possession order has been made for either property.
- The landlord has served a notice of seeking possession and the notice is still in force, or possession proceedings are in progress.
- The property is substantially larger than is reasonably needed.
- The property is not reasonably suitable to the needs of the applicant.
- The property is part of or close to a building that is held for non-housing purposes, or is situated in a cemetery and was let in connection with employment with the landlord or with a local authority, a new town corporation, housing action trust, an urban development corporation, or the governors of a grant-aided school.
- The landlord is a charity and the mutual exchange would conflict with the objects of the charity.
- The property has been substantially adapted for occupation by a physically disabled person, and if the assignment went ahead a physically disabled person would not be living there.
- The landlord lets properties to people in difficult circumstances (other than merely financial circumstances) and the mutual exchange would lead to a tenant not fulfilling the criteria.
- The property is let to people with special needs and there is a social service or special facility nearby to the properties to assist people with those special needs, and if the exchange was to go ahead, no person with those special needs would be living there.
- The property is the subject of a management agreement where the manager is a housing association of which at least half the members are tenants subject to the agreement and at least half of the tenants of the properties are members of the association, and the person exchanging homes is not a member or is unwilling to become one.
- An injunction order under section 153 of the Housing Act 1996 or an anti-social behaviour order or a Demotion Order or a possession order under ground two for secure tenancies or Ground 14 for assured tenancies is in force, or an application for one of those is pending either against the tenant, the proposed assignee or a person who resides with either of them.
If you've already found someone to exchange with
Applying couldn't be simpler. Just follow the link below and complete short application form to start your mutual exchange.
If you're looking for someone to exchange with
If you've not found someone to swap your home with, we can help. We keep a database of customers that want to exchange their homes and try to match them. To add your details to our list, complete the form at the bottom of this page.