Mutual exchange - swapping your council home
HomeSwapper is an easy quick way to register for a mutual exchange
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.
HomeSwapper is the biggest mutual exchange service throughout the county and is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. With over 400,000 registered users, there has been over 200,000 live adverts posted in the last six months and 10,000 swaps successfully completed.
It is quick and easy to register. The website is easy and simple to understand with search tools including the unique 'multiswap tool' and instant messaging.
In addition you can also download the HomeSwapper app to look at your matches on the go wherever you are. To download the app, please select the buttons below.
Go to the HomeSwapper website to register for a mutual exchange. You will be asked some questions about your home and the type of home you are looking for. This will create ‘your home advert’ and allows you to see homes that you would like. It couldn’t be easier!
If you have any questions, please contact our business support officers on 01582 546528 or 01582 546228.
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.
- You will take on the new property in the condition you find it, including:
- vinyl or laminate flooring
- newel posts, banisters
- wooden panelling
- extra tiling to walls
- tenants own fitted kitchen or bathroom
- light fittings and switches
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.
Go to HomeSwapper website to register for a mutual exchange. You will be asked some questions about your home and the type of home you are looking for. This will create ‘your home advert’ and allows you to see homes that you would like. It couldn’t be easier!
It is quick and easy register. The website is easy and simple to understand with search tools including the unique multiswap tool and instant messaging. In addition you can also download the Homeswapper App to look at your matches on the go wherever you are.
Once you have found an exchange partner(s), all parties must complete the application form on the Homeswapper website and upload all required proofs of ID.
Please be aware that we cannot start to process your application until all parties have completed the required forms and provided sufficient evidence of their identity.
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:
- either you or the incoming tenant are due to be evicted
- either you or the incoming tenant is subject to a current Notice of Seeking Possession - this will have been served where there are outstanding rent arrears, and / or breached terms of your tenancy agreement (antisocial behaviour, neglect of premises and / or land, obtaining a tenancy by false statement)
- the tenant is on an introductory tenancy
- the incoming tenant is under occupying, by more than one bedroom
- either you or the incoming tenant requires extensive adaptations to our property, we may refuse due to suitability for disability. If you know that you or a member of your household can't climb stairs, a house or first floor flat may not be suitable accommodation and likewise for the incoming tenants
- your property is adapted for a physically disabled person and the new tenants don't require the adaptations