Exchanging your home

Couple moving boxes What is a mutual exchange?

A mutual exchange enables you to swap your home with another of our tenants or a tenant of another housing association or council.

Who can apply?

You cannot carry out an exchange if you have a starter tenancy, an assured short hold tenancy or a licence. Please contact your Neighbourhood Housing Manager if you are unsure about the type of tenancy you have.

We encourage our tenants who want to move to consider the option of exchanging with another tenant of a housing association or Council, if you do not have a high priority for a transfer on the housing waiting list.

How do I find a mutual exchange swap?

You can find a suitable home that you may wish to swap and move into by:

  • Accessing the mutual exchange section of the Kent Home Choice website at www.kenthomechoice.org.uk
  • Accessing the national home swap service called Home Swapper at www.homeswapper.co.uk/
  • Advertising in local newspapers, shop windows and at other housing associations and councils.

What happens when I find a property I want to exchange to?

When you have found someone to swap properties with, you should arrange to view the property to ensure that it is suitable for your needs.

After agreeing an exchange informally between yourselves, each of you should then apply formally to your own landlord for consent to the proposed exchange.

How long does it take to make a decision?

Once we have received your fully completed application form, we have 42 days to deal with your request.

During that period, we will write to you:

  • either giving permission for you to go ahead with the exchange and giving any conditions; or
  • advising that we have not granted permission and explain the reasons for refusal.

Can my exchange be refused?

We can refuse to give permission for a number of reasons including:

  • We have served a notice to quit or notice of seeking possession on you on the grounds of conduct
  • We have obtained an order for your eviction.
  • The property is unsuitable for your household, for example, it is too large, has two more bedrooms than you need, or too small and will lead to overcrowding.
  • The property is designed or adapted for someone with a physical disability.
  • You have a starter tenancy, assured short hold tenancy or a license.

Can my exchange be delayed?

We can attach a condition to any consent and you will be unable to move until the condition is met. For example, we could give permission on the condition that you clear outstanding rent arrears and remedy repairs that you are responsible for.

Will I have the right to buy my new property?

1 If you are our tenant and currently have the right to buy your home

  • By moving to another Town & Country property, you will retain your right to buy your home depending on the property you choose. Some of our properties are subject to local planning rules, which prevent them from being sold. Tenants with a right to buy will not be able to exchange into one of these.
  • By moving into a property owned by another housing association, you will lose your right to buy.

2 If you are a tenant of a council or another housing association and exchange into one of our properties, you will not have the right to buy.

3 If you have the right to buy the property you are currently occupying, any discount that you have will apply if, at a later date, you exchange again into a council where you do have the right to buy.

Download this information as a pdf leaflet: LN009 Mutual Exchange [pdf] 619KB