Exchanging your council home

What happens next?

Your application will be processed by the new tenancy and exchange officers. The landlord has 42 days to decide whether the exchange can go ahead or not.

After initial checks have been completed, and your application is accepted, you will receive a letter stating that consent has been given in principle. If your application is refused you will receive a letter outlining the reason(s) why.

Your Neighbourhood Housing Officer will then contact you within the next five working days to arrange a convenient time for a property inspection to be carried out.

You might find it useful to check the following:


  • Are all work tops and units in a reasonable condition?
  • Are all cupboard doors and drawers fitted correctly and handles secure?
  • Is the main door to the kitchen fitted?

Bathrooms and toilets

  • Do the taps work?
  • Is the toilet in working order?

Flooring and staircases

  • Are all banisters and handrails attached and secure?

Doors and windows

  • Are the front and rear external doors sound and secure?
  • Are all the windows sound and secure?
  • Are all internal doors in good order?


  • Are all skirting boards attached?
  • Is the property in reasonable decorative condition?

Gardens and lofts

  • Is your garden tidy and free from hazards?
  • If there is grass, has it been cut?
  • If you have a loft has it been cleared?


  • Do you have any repairs that you have not reported yet? If so report them


  • Have you carried out any alterations without prior permission? If so you must obtain retrospective permission from us. This can delay the Exchange.

If your application is refused you will receive a letter outlining the reason(s) why.

If your property passes inspection, an electrical safety check will be arranged for you.

When everything is complete and everyone is ready, we can discuss sign up and moving dates. When the dates to sign and move have been agreed, you will receive written confirmation. You must not move until consent has been given and the relevant paperwork has been completed. The exchange can be refused or cancelled at any stage until all paperwork is signed and approved.

Please note, if you are exchanging into a council property, regardless of circumstances, a rent payment is due when you sign. You will need to pay up to a month in advance. Failure to do so will result in the exchange being cancelled.

When your rent is due

The timing of your rent payment depends on how often you pay rent:

  • Weekly - one week in advance
  • Fortnightly - two weeks in advance
  • Monthly - four weeks in advance

If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you will be required to pay at least one week in advance.

Completing the Exchange

If you are a secure tenant this is done by an Agreement of Assignment, which is signed by both the outgoing tenant and the incoming tenant and witnessed by an officer of your landlord. The agreement transfers the existing tenancy of the property from one tenant to the other tenant, without creating a new tenancy.

If you are on a five year or ten year flexible tenancy then this is done by surrender and re-grant. You will be asked to sign a termination form surrender and sign a relevant flexible tenancy agreement (re-grant).

Please understand that you must not move under any circumstances before the mutual exchange process has been completed. Should you do so, you will lose your security of tenure and Swindon Borough Council will take legal action against you. This means that you could possibly lose your home.

Make an enquiry

If you would like further information about mutual exchanges, use our online form below:

Mutual exchange enquiry form

Alternatively, email: Mx@swindon.gov.uk.

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