This is known as a mutual exchange. Both partners in the exchange will need to obtain permission from their respective landlords for the exchange to go ahead.
With a mutual exchange like this, both partners need to get permission from their respective landlords for the exchange to go ahead.
Benefits of a mutual exchange
- It provides a broader range of choice regarding the size, type and location of your home.
- It gives you the opportunity to find a home that is suitable for the needs of you and your family.
- If you consider swapping with someone outside of London, you may benefit from a cheaper cost of living.
Who qualifies for this service?
Anyone living in council or housing association accommodation can exchange their home, subject to approval from both landlords.
Tenants of private landlords, homeowners and people living in shared ownership properties do not qualify for the scheme.
Mutual exchange websites
You can find people to exchange with using websites such as:
Arrange a mutual exchange
A mutual exchange can be arranged independently.
There is no formal application process if you do it this way, but both applicants' landlords will need to give their approval.
Tips for a successful mutual exchange
The exchange is more likely to be successful if:
- you try to be as flexible as possible about the area and type of property you consider, increasing your chances of finding a suitable swap partner
- both parties are interested in an exchange - viewings should be made for a mutually convenient time
- you make sure you know what kind of tenancy you will be taking on, as there are differences between local authority and housing association tenancies (your landlord will be able to advise you on this)
- you are interested in eventually buying the property - check you can, as many housing association homes cannot be bought by tenants
- you make sure you can afford the removal expenses - if you are claiming income support, you could qualify for a budgeting loan.
If you give or receive money or goods to secure an exchange, or exchange without your landlord's permission, you could be evicted and even fined.