A house exchange is a way of moving to a new home by swapping properties with another tenant.
If you are a tenant of the council or a housing association and you have a Secure or Assured tenancy (your tenancy agreement will tell you this), you can exchange your home providing certain conditions are met:
If you cannot find a direct exchange, you may be able to find a third person for a three-way swap.
If you move to a housing association property you will probably not be able to exercise your Right to Buy.
House Exchange has been designed to bring people together who are looking to swap their home, and using the website is easy and free.
Once you have registered and your details are approved, your property will appear in the database and you will be able to search for a specific property, search for those who want your property, search for a match both ways and a three way search. You can access the website at any library in the district, as well as at our Marina Customer Services Centre. They will give you assistance if you need it.
DO NOT MOVE UNTIL YOU HAVE ALL THE NECESSARY APPROVALS IN WRITING.
When you find a likely exchange you must:
Applications are likely to be refused if:
If your request is refused, you have the right to appeal against the decision.
After the council has received all the required application forms, you will be given a decision about the exchange within 42 days. We generally do it quicker than this.
With a house exchange, participants are asked to accept the property in the condition it has been left by the last tenant. The council will carry out ongoing routine repairs in accordance with the tenancy agreement, but it will be your responsibility to repair any damage caused by the previous tenant. This is very important as the council will not carry out work over and above normal wear and tear. The tenant will be responsible for any work over and above this.
An officer will carry out a full inspection of the properties and inform each participant if they have any repairs or decorating to do before the exchange can go ahead. The council will carry out gas and electrical checks on installations.
It is therefore very important that you check your new home thoroughly before moving as no redecoration or repair work will be carried out if it can be attributed to a previous tenant. If you are not sure whether certain work will be done, ask us before you move.
It is very important that you do not move until you have received full, written permission to complete the exchange. Such action may jeopardise your secure rights of occupation and cause you unnecessary expense.
When you have full written approval to exchange tenancies, you should contact the other tenant to agree a moving date. Both tenants will be given an appointment to complete legal documents. Those involved must attend this appointment. If it is a joint tenancy then both tenants must attend. At this appointment a date for the exchange will be agreed. You must make your own arrangements to exchange keys.