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The Mutual Exchange Process - Your Step by Step Guide

Step One - Find a swap

Visit the House Exchange website regularly to view all your matches available.
Choose a suitable property. View at least twice and ask questions, as this will be your new home.
Ask your landlord for permission to exchange.

Step Two - You have found a swap...what happens next?

  • All tenants are required to complete a mutual exchange form. Ask your landlord for details.
  • Return the above completed form to your landlord.

Step Three - Your Landlord has received your application... what happens next?

  • They will let you know, in writing, within 42 days if your application has been approved or refused.
  • They may refuse your home swap application on the grounds set out in Schedule 3 of the 1985 Housing Act & Section 15 of the 1988 Housing Act. They will advise you in writing on what grounds they have refused your application.
  • They may also impose a condition that you correct a tenancy matter before permission to move is granted. They will check if any alterations have been made and had been approved with landlords consent.

Step Four - Your application has been accepted, what happens next?

They may carry out the following visits:

First visit - Property Inspection    

  • They will assess the condition of your home, for any damage or alterations you may have made. Please ensure you always ask for landlords consent prior to undertaking any works to your home.
  • They will discuss any items you may be leaving or taking with you.
  • They will discuss any tenancy matters and any rent arrears.

Second visit - Health & Safety checks.

  • They will complete a thorough health & safety gas and electrical check.
  • Any remedial work should be carried out prior to your move.

Third Visit - Energy Performance Certificate 

  • From the 1st October 2008 it became a legal requirement for social landlords to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on change of a tenancy. They may arrange for an Energy Assessor to contact you for an appointment to complete an EPC prior to your move. If you have moved in after October, it may not be necessary to complete another as the (EPC) certificate is valid for 10 years.

 Step Five - Following the visits...

  • You are advised to check the rent of your new home and type of tenancy you will hold with your new landlord. You may lose your 'Rght to Buy', or may not have the 'Right to Acquire'.
  • Following the visit, a property report will be sent to your exchange partner to sign and return. It is important to inspect your proposed exchange a few times as you will be accepting 'as seen'. Ask questions at this stage as this will be your new home.
  • They will check your rent account and any look at any conditions they have asked to be put right. A clear rent account is required.
  • The will confirm the health & safety checks are pass or fail.

Step Six - Your landlord reviews all information 

  • They will send a tenancy reference to your new landlord.
  • They will confirm your new landlord is at the same stage in the process before proceeding. They will confirm in writing their decision to grant you consent to exchange. They will ask you and your exchange partner to agree a date to move. Please notify your landlord of the agreed date.
  • They may require 5 working days notice to prepare the paperwork.
  • All landlords involved in the exchange must give their consent before you can move.
  • If you move before you have signed the 'Deed of Assignment' or without your landlords permission they will ask you to move back. You could risk losing your home.

Step Seven - You have set a date to move with landlord's permission, what happens next?

  • You will be asked to arrange a time and date tha you and your exchange partner(s) can attend your landlords offices to sign the 'Deed of Assignments.' This appointment is usually arranged mid week prior to your move at the following weekend. Your assigned tenancy will commence the following Monday.
  • You will be required to provide your original tenancy agreement and two forms of ID, (please include one photo ID).
  •  If you are in receipt of housing benefit please remember to advise your local office you are moving as you may be required to complete a new form/change of circumstances.
  • You will be required to discuss all moving arrangements with your exchange partner.

Once you have signed the' Deed of Assignment' it is legally binding and you are expected to move on the date as agreed with your landlord.


House Exchange wishes you success and good luck in your new home. Please remove yourself from the system to make sure you do not continue to get contacted by tenants interested in your property.

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House Exchange offers an unrivalled service allowing tenants to search immediately for housing options across the whole of the UK.
  • Lots of participating landlords
  • Fast real-time searches
  • Immediate email alerts
  • Easily affordable
  • UK wide
If you want to know more start by registering for a home swap.

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