Great news - You've found a home swap! It's important to consider the mutual exchange process and what you need to do next 

All parties involved must now get permission from their landlord.

  1. Obtain a mutual exchange application form from your landlord.

Please note: All parties may be required to complete application forms for each of the landlord partners involved in the mutual exchange chain.

  1. Fill in the mutual exchange application form(s) and either hand these back to your landlord or the landlord involved in the chain as requested, send it by registered post as this will give you proof of delivery or they may accept an electronic version by email.

Please remember that all parties (including you) have a legal right to pull out of a mutual exchange at any point before signing the paperwork

This rarely happens as most people do genuinely want to home swap, however, it is something to remain aware of.

  Your landlord will let you know, in writing, within 42 days if your application has been approved or refused.

They may refuse your 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. Please refer back to our ‘Can I mutual exchange?’ page for information.

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 to the property and if these had been completed with your landlords consent.

  Your application has been accepted.

Your Landlord 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.

Things to consider

  • 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 'Right to Buy', or may not have the 'Right to Acquire'.
  • Following the visits, 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.
  • Your current landlord will check your rent account and any look at any conditions they have asked to be put right. A clear rent account is normally required.
  • They will confirm the health & safety checks are pass or fail.

Next steps

Your current landlord will:-

  • send a tenancy reference to your new landlord
  • confirm who your new landlord is at the same stage in the process before proceeding
  • confirm in writing their decision to grant you consent to exchange
  • 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.

    Your exchange has been approved

  • You and the person you are home swapping with will need to sign the deed of assignment and agree a home swap moving date. Your landlord will guide you through this process.
  • You will then move into your new property on the agreed date.

  What if your exchange has been refused?

  • Your landlord will inform you in writing why the home swap has been turned down. There are only a few reasons/certain grounds when a mutual exchange is refused and they must give you clear reasons why this has happened.
  • Check the reason given for the refusal carefully, they might have made a mistake and it may be worthwhile appealing the decision. Your Housing Officer may be able to help you; it could be something simple like making a few repairs or clearing rent arrears in order for them to approve the mutual exchange so your home exchange can go ahead.

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House Exchange is a joint initiative between Clarion Housing Group and 101Smart Ltd.

Clarion Housing Group Limited is a charitable registered society (Reg No 28038R).
Registered with the Regulator for Social Housing (Reg No LH4087) VAT No (675 646 394).
Registered office: Level 6, 6 More London Place, Tooley Street, London SE1 2DA.

101 Smart Ltd is a registered limited company in England (Reg No 5294196).
Registered office: Unit 15 Beech Avenue, Taverham, Norfolk NR8 6HW.