Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Council Housing - Mutual Exchanges

A mutual exchange is when two or more tenants exchange their properties, also known as a home swap. Each tenant must move into their proposed exchange partner’s property, and must only do this after they have signed into their new property with the relevant landlords. You cannot exchange into an empty property. 

To be able to exchange, you must meet the following six criteria:  

  • You must be a secure council tenant or an assured tenant from a Housing Association
  • You must not have a Court Order or a Notice to Quit for either rent arrears or Anti-Social Behaviour
  • None of the tenants involved in the proposed swap should have breached their tenancy agreement
  • None of the properties to be swapped should be considered to be too big or too small for the proposed tenants
  • All landlords (including those that are not Swindon Borough Council) must give consent for the exchange
  • You must meet the criteria for the property you are going in to

You may be able to find someone to exchange with by registering on the Homeswapper website (www.homeswapper.co.uk) which is free to all Swindon Borough Council tenants. This is a nationwide service so you can move not only within Swindon, but anywhere in the country.

Apply for a Mutual Exchange (Home Swap)

Please see A Guide To Applying For An Exchange for details on who can exchange and reasons why your application might be refused.

If you feel you are eligible to apply for an exchange, please download and complete the Exchange Application Form and Mutual Exchange and Housing Benefit Form.

Each tenant will need to fill out an application form even if they are not a tenant of Swindon Borough Council. You may also have to complete a form for your exchange partner’s landlord. Once we receive the application forms back we can then approve or deny your exchange. By law we have 42 days from the day we receive the last person’s exchange application to do this, but we aim to do it as soon as possible.

If you have done any works to your home without permission please inform us as soon as possible so it does not hold up your exchange. You can apply right now for retrospective permission by telephoning your Neighbourhood Housing Officer.

Please do not move until you have come in to sign with us, (and any other landlords involved) as you could lose your security of tenure. 

A six-step guide to exchanging

  1. Sign up on the Homeswapper website to find an exchange partner.
  2. Request permissions for any unauthorised works done to your home.
  3. Complete the Exchange Application Forms and return to us at Swindon Direct.
  4. Wait for us to call you to arrange inspections and safety checks, if we have agreed to the exchange
  5. Wait for us to call you to arrange the sign-up appointment, which will be after we have received all the checks back (and a tenancy report if one side of the exchange is not a Swindon Borough Council tenant)
  6. After you have signed with us (and the other landlord if one side of the exchange is not a Swindon Borough Council tenant) you can then move homes. 

Who can I speak to about an exchange?

If you would like to speak to someone about a mutual exchange please contact us: 

Tel: 01793 464309 or 01793 463288

E-mail: bsturgeon@swindon.gov.uk or kgingell@swindon.gov.uk

Fax: 01793 464465

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