A mutual exchange is a swap of accommodation between two, three,
four, or more tenants and relies on each party moving permanently
into their exchange partner's property. A tenant cannot exchange
into an empty property.
Who can apply for a mutual
All Council and housing association/trust
tenants with secure tenancies and most housing association/trust
tenants with assured tenancies can apply to exchange their
accommodation. Unfortunately, mutual exchanges with tenants in
leased or private rented accommodation are not allowed. All tenants
must apply for, and obtain permission from their respective
landlord(s) before going ahead with an exchange.
Why do I need to apply for permission before
exchanging my accommodation?
Firstly, you are legally responsible for your property and for
the prompt payment of the rent, weekly in
advance. You are required to keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement and must not exchange or assign
your tenancy without the Council's consent. The Council
will take legal action against you if you exchange your
accommodation without permission.
Secondly, before giving consent to an exchange, the Council must
ensure that the tenants have met certain conditions:
- Each tenant should have a clear rent account
- Each tenant should be moving to a property of the correct size
for their current housing needs. To allow greater flexibility, a
tenant will also be allowed to move into a property with a maximum
of one bedroom more than they need. Although it is something that
is not encouraged, the Council will normally give consideration to
an application from a tenant requesting an exchange to a property
that is slightly smaller than they need
- A tenant moving to a specially adapted property must have been
assessed and given a medical recommendation by the Council, for
that type of accommodation. These are the main terms that must be
met. However, certain other conditions may apply.
Will pursuing a mutual exchange affect my
application for a transfer?
No, pursuing an exchange will not affect your
application for a transfer. It will increase your chances of
obtaining a move.
What if I do not have any priority for a transfer?
Can I still apply for a mutual exchange?
Yes. The advantage of mutual exchange is that
the moves are not based on priority need, giving all tenants the
chance of an exchange.
How will I find a suitable exchange
Many tenants have found their exchange
partners through friends and relatives or by placing postcards in
shop windows. However, a very high number of tenants have found
suitable exchange partners through an independent exchange service
that they have found on the internet.
These services are self-help schemes set up by
private organisations to put tenants in touch with others who are
looking for exchange partners.
How successful are they?
These schemes have been very successful for
hundreds of tenants. Each month more people are finding themselves
suitable exchange partners and are able to move into the type of
property that they had previously been waiting for. The future
success of the schemes depend on the tenants. The more people that
help themselves by registering on these schemes, the better the
chance of finding a suitable exchange partner.
How can I register for these
The Council has now signed up to HomeSwapper
which is a mutual exchange matching website for use by secure and
assured tenants and is free of charge.
Please register on the HomeSwapper website for more
information about tenants who want to exchange properties.
Disclaimer: Please note that the Council has
no connection with any of the websites/services/companies supplied
via these schemes and has no responsibility for the services and
facilities that may be offered. Applicants making use of the
services and facilities must do so at their own risk with no
liability to the Council.
Do these schemes only cover Waltham
No, they are usually national schemes,
covering all areas within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern
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