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What is a mutual exchange?
A mutual exchange is when two or more tenants agree to swap homes with each other on a permanent basis. For example, if your home is too large or too small for you, a mutual exchange can a great way to find a home that is the right size for you.
Are you eligible to exchange your home?
There are certain criteria that you need to meet to be eligible for a mutual exchange. To be eligible you must;
- have no rent arrears
- move to a property of the correct size for your current needs (we would not normally support a move where someone ends up with more bedrooms than they need)
- not be seeking to move into a property with aids and adaptations, for example wet rooms, without being assessed and given a medical recommendation
- not be subject to a Possession Order or Suspended Possession Order
- not be subject to a Notice of Seeking Possession for a breach of tenancy
What do you need to do to swap your home?
- First, you will need to find someone to exchange with. We are not responsible for helping you to find someone to swap with.
- You can find someone to swap with by registering on the HomeSwapper website (free for Sanctuary tenants) or other exchange websites. We have provided more advice on how to find someone to swap with in our Mutual Exchange FAQs.
- You will need to visit the other home to make sure you are happy with it.
- Once you’ve found someone to exchange with, you must each complete and return a mutual exchange application form (below)
- For all mutual exchanges, you must pay rent in advance
- The outgoing tenant must have a clear rent account at the time of the exchange, with no arrears
What will we do?
- Once we have received applications from all exchanging customers, we will acknowledge receipt of them within 5 days and start the process of reviewing your application
- We will send someone out to visit you if you live in a Sanctuary property , to ensure that everyone is happy with the exchange.
- We will also have to carry out gas and electricity checks prior to you moving into a Sanctuary property
- We will respond to you with a decision within 42 days. We will respond in writing either approving or refusing the exchange. If we do refuse, we will let you know why and you will be able to ask for a review of the decision.
- If the exchange involves more than one landlord, the exchange will need to be approved by all landlords.
Before you apply for a mutual exchange, we suggest you read all of the FAQs below
Apply for a mutual exchange
Mutual Exchange FAQs
How can I find someone to exchange with?
To find someone to exchange your home with, please register on the HomeSwapper website. This is a free online service and will help you find other residents who are also looking for a mutual exchange. After registering your details, you’ll be contacted by email or text when a suitable home has been found. You can also log on and search the site for a match.
What if one of the properties is not in a good condition?
Before an exchange takes place, you will receive written confirmation listing the condition of the property and the terms of the exchange. Read this document carefully.
You are confirming that you agree to exchange the property in the condition it is received in.
However, any problem with your new home that requires an emergency repair will be fixed as usual. It’s your responsibility to inspect the property before you agree to the move and again before you hand over the keys.
You should agree with your exchange partner exactly how they will be leaving the property and who is responsible for any outstanding repairs or rubbish. Repairs that are your responsibility and which are not completed or paid for may result in your mutual exchange not taking place.
Do I need to swap with a Sanctuary resident?
You can swap your home with another Sanctuary resident OR a tenant of another housing association or council, providing they have the right to carry out a mutual exchange.