Mutual Exchange

What is a mutual exchange?

A mutual exchange is when you swap your home with:

  • another GreenSquare tenant;
  • a tenant of another housing association; or
  • a local authority tenant.

You can do this when you want to move to another area or just to a different property in the same area. Both landlords need to approve your exchange before this can happen.

What happens to my tenancy?

To exchange properties, you have to give up your current tenancy and take over the tenancy of the person that you are exchanging with. This means that you take on the other person’s rights and responsibilities. You should check what type of tenancy the other person has so that you can see if it is different to yours. If they have the same type of tenancy, your rights may stay the same. If they have a different one, the exchange may not be approved or your rights may change.

How do I find someone to exchange with?

Use the ‘HomeSwapper’ register on the internet at www.homeswapper.co.uk. The site provides a listing of all the homes available for exchange across the whole country.

How do I get on the mutual exchange list?

You will need to register with HomeSwapper’ – on the internet at www.homeswapper.co.uk – which covers the whole country. GreenSquare customers can sign up free of charge. There may be a short delay while HomeSwapper checks we are your landlord.

What happens when I find someone to exchange with?

You must visit the property that you want to move into (exchange with). It is important that you do this, because you take it over in the condition that you see it. However, we will carry out the standard repairs that we must do as your landlord. We will inspect the property and make sure that the current resident carries out any repairs they are responsible for.

If you are happy with it and both of you still want the exchange to go ahead, you should both fill in a mutual exchange form. You can get one of these by calling us on 01249 465465. If you are with another landlord, you will also need to contact them to request a form.

What happens next?

We must agree or refuse permission for your mutual exchange within 42 days of receiving your request to exchange. There are a number of things that we will do during this time – some of them are:

  • Make sure that you do not owe us any rent or money for anything else;
  • Make sure that the property is a suitable size for your family and that you can afford to live there;
  • Arrange a gas and electric safety check and also inspect your property and tell you if there are any faults, repairs, or decorating that you have to do before you can get approval for the move;

Why wouldn't you give permission?

Some of the legal reasons your exchange can be refused are:

  • a court has ordered that either property must be given back to the landlord;
  • there is a current notice of seeking possession (a warning that the property may be repossessed) against either property;
  • the property is too big or too small for your needs;
  • the type of property is not suitable for your family ( for example, someone in your household needs an adaptation and it is not reasonable to carry out the necessary adaptations to the property)
  • one of the properties has been adapted to help a physically disabled person and there would not be a person with a disability moving in there; or
  • one of the properties is for people with special needs (for example, sheltered housing) and there would not be anyone moving there with those needs.

When can I move?

Once you have our permission we will make an appointment to complete the assignment paperwork.

Do I have to pay for removal costs?

Yes, you have to pay all the costs of moving house (for example, hiring a removal van and buying boxes).

What if I move and find problems with the other property?

It is very important you visit the property before the exchange to make sure you are happy with the condition of it.

We will only carry out repairs that are our responsibility as your landlord (for example, repairs to heating or hot water). We would have sent you a copy of the property inspection report with a letter highlighting any items and repair works that are not our responsibility. You accept the property in the condition you see it in, and take it over on the date that your new tenancy starts. You are responsible for:

  • carrying out small repairs;
  • repairing damage to the property that was done by the previous people living there;
  • decorating the property;
  • alterations made and non-standard items added by the previous residents, including mirrors, cabinets, shelves, flooring, sheds, fencing, and patios; and
  • treating any infestations, such as fleas or mice.

If you are not sure which repairs you would have to do, please contact us for advice.