Swap your Home
Are you looking to start a mutual exchange?
Here you will find all the information you need to start your journey.
What is a Mutual Exchange?
A Mutual Exchange is when two or more customers of a registered social landlord (a Housing Association or Local Authority) agree to swap houses with each other. Mutual exchanges are often used by people who are unable to get the housing they require through the waiting list system. Exchanges can be a quick way to get another size or style of house or a move from one area to another.
How do I find someone to exchange with?
It is up to you to find an exchange partner to swap house with and providing the house you are moving to is of suitable type and size you can move to any area. Customers use a variety of means to find exchange partners from advertising in local papers, word of mouth or social media. Greatwell Homes subscribes to HomeSwapper, an online mutual exchange scheme designed to facilitate exchanges locally and across the country. This means that all Greatwell Homes customers can access the HomeSwapper service free of charge. To register, go to www.homeswapper.co.uk.
Think very carefully before you exchange with someone. You may lose some of your tenancy rights if you swap. For example, if you are a ‘Protected’ Greatwell Homes customers swapping with another Housing Association you may lose your Right to Buy.
- It is important to check your potential new home thoroughly before you move in. Look at everything, including the inside of cupboards, behind furniture and behind doors and agree with the other person what will be left in the home when you move in. You can find a checklist on the left-hand side of this page to use whilst completing a mutual exchange.
- View the property more than once and at different times of the day and week. We also advise a final viewing a couple of days prior to the exchange taking place to ensure you are aware of any responsibilities that you will be taking on.
- Please make sure that all outstanding repairs in your home are reported to us in advance of the property inspection taking place. Greatwell Homes will not take responsibility for any repairs that are a result of customer neglect or damage.
- Ensure that you do not owe any rent arrears and that you are not in breach of your tenancy. This means that your home and gardens are in good order and you have not had any issues with anti-social behaviour.
- Once you have moved you will be responsible for the repairs or maintenance of any alterations, fixtures or fittings made by the previous customers, these will not be picked up by Greatwell Homes. This can mean putting right any damage caused by the previous occupants. This often includes:
- Home security systems
- Satellite dishes/TV aerials
- Light fittings
- Landscaping such as patios or decking
- Fences, walls or gates
- Timber sheds
- Kitchen fittings
- Laminate flooring
- Wall or floor tiles
- Fire surrounds
- Fitted wardrobes
- Any domestic appliances
When will permission be refused?
Permission can be refused if:
- Legal action is being taken. Examples could include a Notice of Seeking Possession having been served, a court order issued or a member of your household being subject to a criminal behaviour order or an injunction order.
- The property is unsuitable for the household wanting to move e.g it is too large or too small or adapted for people with disabilities.
Greatwell Homes can also attach a condition to any consent, and you would be unable to move until the condition was met. For example, we could give permission subject to you clearing arrears on the rent account or completing repairs or other work that you are responsible for. This must be done to our satisfaction and we will re-inspect your home to check this.
What to do when you have found someone to swap with.
- Request a Mutual Exchange application form (you can find this on the left-hand side of the page) If another landlord is involved then you will need to get an application form from them too.
- You will be contacted to arrange an inspection of your property. Please ensure your home is in good order, tidy and clean and all internal doors are in place. You will also need to have completed any repairs that you are responsible for and raised any repairs with our customer services team that we are responsible for prior to the inspection taking place. If we identify any damage or alterations that need to be put right we will cancel the mutual exchange and you will need to reapply once repairs have been completed by you or raised to us.
- If you are exchanging with someone who has another landlord, we will send their landlord a reference about your tenancy and request a landlord reference from theirs.
- An electric check will need to be done on your property which we will arrange following our inspection. We will pass your contact details to our contractors, Lantei, and they will be in touch to arrange a suitable appointment time with you.
- We will visit the other household (if they are a Greatwell Homes customer) you are planning to exchange with to inspect their property.
- We will give you a decision as to whether the exchange can take place within 42 days from the date we receive all completed application forms.
- Once approved, we will book a date for you to sign the paperwork. We also need to complete a gas check on your property – this is done on the Thursday prior to the Friday that the exchange is due to take place. Once the paperwork is signed you are ready to move! Your tenancy at your new property begins the following Monday.
- If you are moving from a different Housing Association or Local Authority to Greatwell Homes you will be required to pay one week’s rent up front at the sign up appointment. Please note we cannot take cash, this must be paid by debit card or bank transfer.
If the property is not in the condition you expected.
It is your responsibility to inspect the property thoroughly before you agree to move and again before you hand over your keys. You should agree with your exchange partner who will be responsible for any outstanding repairs and removal of rubbish.
You must not assume that Greatwell Homes will take responsibility for carrying out any work unless you have written confirmation that we will do so.
Please be aware that Greatwell Homes reserves the right to stop an exchange going ahead until repairs that are the responsibility of the customer are completed to an acceptable standard.