Frequently Asked QuestionsMoving House

What is a Mutual Exchange?

By January 19, 2020 No Comments

A mutual exchange enables you to swap your home with that of another of our tenants or a tenant of another housing association or council, providing they have the right to mutual exchange and agree to swap homes with you.

Who can apply for an exchange?

All assured tenants can apply for an exchange at any time during their tenancy. Fixed-term or starter tenants cannot exchange their home in the first 12 months, or during any extension period, but they can exchange once they’ve successfully completed their probation period. We encourage our tenants who want to move to consider the option of exchanging their home especially if they are not high priority for a transfer on the housing waiting list. You cannot carry out an exchange if you have a starter tenancy, an assured short hold tenancy or a licence. Please contact us if you are unsure about the type of tenancy you have.

Is a Mutual Exchange right for you?

Mutual exchange can be the fastest, easiest way to find the right home for you, especially if you are not considered a priority under the transfer or choice-based lettings schemes. We encourage all tenants who want to move to consider the option of mutual exchange.

How to apply for a Mutual Exchange:

Please carefully read below and follow the instructions relevant to you. There are 2 options:-  

    1. Current Town & Country tenant or a tenant of a landlord who is registered with Homeswapper – please check with individual landlords.
    2. Applicants looking to exchange into Town & Country and who’s landlords aren’t registered for Homeswapper. – please see option 2

    EXISITNG TOWN & COUNTRY TENANTS

  • Visit the HomeSwapper site and register your details (if you haven’t already done so)
  • Please ensure you select your HomeSwapper-approved landlord (failure to do so may result in being charged to use the service)
  • Your account will need to be authorised for approval by your landlord (this can take a couple of days)
  • After your account is approved by your landlord you will have the ability to apply for an exchange directly through the website
  • On your HomeSwapper dashboard you will see a button to “Apply” for an exchange. Please note: the “Apply” button will only be shown once we have approved your account.
  • Clicking this will start your “SwapTracker” online application.

SwapTracker will allow you to:

  • Submit your application for an exchange
  • Track the progress of your application
  • Receive notifications
  • View any tasks that need to be completed
  • Upload documents
  • Confirm inspection dates

** Please be aware that registration of a HomeSwapper account where not supported by your landlord will result in a fee being charged to use the service**

2.If you are tenant who’s landlord isn’t registered for Homeswapper, please ensure the applicant you’re swapping with enters your details along with your contact email address and you current landlord details on their side of the application form and then we will email you a link to a direct application form for you to complete.

For more information about SwapTracker, watch the video below.

How long does the process take?

We have 42 calendar days (6 weeks) to either approve or refuse your application. In this time we will carry out initial checks, conduct a property inspection and submit, receive and review references. If approval is given we will arrange the necessary gas and electric safety checks. Checks can take up to two weeks to book in. The exchange cannot take place until these are completed. As soon as we have confirmation that the safety checks and any follow-up works have been completed, we will contact you to arrange a tenancy sign-up appointment(s). It is essential that all parties involved in the swap attend the appointment(s). See our process to see what happens at each stage: Mutual exchange process

Can authorisation for the exchange be delayed?

Yes. For example, if there are arrears or outstanding repairs, authorisation may be conditional on these issues being sorted out.

Can the exchange be refused?

Permission can be refused for a number of reasons, including if you or the other tenant:

  • Have arrears
  • Have a possession order
  • Have current action taken against you to deal with anti-social behaviour or any other serious tenancy issues
  • Will over-occupy the property
  • Will under-occupy the property by more than one room
  • Do not fit the needs of the property – i.e. if the property is designed or adapted for someone with a physical disability

What are my repairs and responsibilities?

Your Housing Manager will conduct a property inspection. They will check the condition of the property and any outstanding repairs. You will receive a copy of the visit report. Outstanding repair works that are the tenant’s responsibility must be completed before sign-up.

The incoming tenant will sign a disclaimer, which will list any non-standard “gifted” items left at the property (e.g. curtain poles, sheds etc.). These will become their responsibility to maintain. TCHG will not repair or replace these items at any point in the tenancy.

Remember to check the cost of utilities and services

Please check that the new Council Tax, electric, gas and water bills are affordable before you decide to exchange properties, as some areas are more expensive than others.

What if the property is not in a good condition?

It is your responsibility to inspect the property before you agree to move and again before the tenancy sign-up appointment. Use our handy checklist when you view the property: mutual exchange checklist

What is an illegal mutual exchange?

You should never accept offers of a payment or a bribe to carry out an exchange. This is illegal and could lead to you losing your home. In addition, any exchange that is carried out without your landlord’s consent could also result in you losing your home.

What happens if you have the Right to Buy?

This depends on your current Right to Buy status and the type of property you apply to move to. We will advise you about any changes to your RTB status during the application process.

Can I mutual exchange if I live in a sheltered scheme?

If you live in a sheltered scheme, the incoming resident must be within the correct age range, which will be 55 plus or 60 plus depending on the scheme.