A mutual exchange takes place when two or more tenants swap their council or housing association homes. Each tenant must move into their proposed exchange partner’s property, and must only do this after they have been given permission from the landlord and all parties to the exchange have signed the deed of assignment which gives them the tenancy to the property.
You can't exchange into an empty property.
We provide tenants with a local and national exchange service called House Exchange.
This is the UK’s largest database of people looking to swap homes.
Before you can exchange properties, a housing officer will have to visit your home to do an inspection. If there are any repairs or removals, you will be responsible for arranging to do these before the exchange can go ahead.
You will be sent a letter listing what needs to be done. When you have done the repairs, you can contact the housing officer again to do another inspection. If the incoming tenants are willing to take on these repairs this can be arranged by both parties agreeing in writing.
You need to be careful when deciding whether to carry out an exchange because you will be accepting the property ‘as seen’. We will not carry out additional work or bring the property up to our usual lettable standard if it falls short of this.
Repairs must be fixed before an exchange or confirmation in writing that the incoming tenant is accepting responsibility.
An exchange will not take place until all repairs are successfully completed.
If you know that things need doing, you should sort these out before you agree to a mutual exchange.
Before exchanging a property, you should be aware of the following.
Therefore, it's a good idea to visit the property a few times at different times of the day and night.
An exchange will be at no cost to the council.
Either tenant can withdraw from the exchange up to the point of signing for each other’s properties.
When asked to name your landlord, that will be Luton Council
You will also need to have a mobile phone or email address to receive updates of potential exchanges through House Exchange.
You can browse available swaps without registering. However, you will need to register if you see a swap that you are interested in.
Although you can look at available swaps, you can't apply until your application has been approved.
If you don't have internet access, you can come to the CSC at the Town Centre library where we will help you to register your details.
Once your registration has been approved, you can look for suitable exchanges. You can choose homes anywhere in the UK. When you have found a suitable swap you will need to complete a Mutual Exchange form and bring it to one of our offices, along with the following documents.
If the person you want to exchange with is not a tenant of Luton Council, we will need to contact their landlord for a reference.
We have a maximum of 42 days to make a decision but always try to do this sooner if possible.
Although at this point, we have agreed for the exchange to go ahead, you still need to sign a Deed of Assignment before the move takes place.
To move without signing a deed of assignment will make you illegal occupiers of your new home.
You will be asked to return to your own home at your cost.
Failure to do so may result in you losing your tenancy, leaving you intentionally homeless.
A Deed of Assignment is a legal document, which transfers the names on the tenancy from your name into the new tenancy holder’s name(s). Without this document, the tenancy of your new property will still be in other person's name and your old property will still be in your name.
When you tell us the date that you and the other parties have agreed to move, we will arrange a time, before you move, for you and all parties to sign the deeds.
You will all need to be present at the same time to witness each other’s signatures.
Along with your signature, we will require four weeks rent in advance from whoever is moving into the Luton Council, and if you are receiving benefits a notification of a change in circumstances receipt.
You should do this before sign-up. Other housing providers will have their own procedure.
Once signed, you will each receive a copy of the deeds. From this point, all parties relevant are bound to the exchange, and you can legally move.
All tenancies will start on a Monday.
Your exchange can be refused if: