What is Mutual Exchange?
If you have a secure or flexible tenancy, you may have the right to swap your home. This is called a mutual exchange. If you are currently living in a local authority or a housing association property you may be eligible to exchange. There are certain restrictions such as legal proceedings having started for rent arrears or other breaches of tenancy but if you are our tenant you can contact your neighbourhood officer who can provide more information. If you are a housing association tenant please speak directly with your landlord.
How can I exchange properties?
You can register free with HomeSwapper. It uses the details you supply to find other tenants who may have a home that suits your needs and who would also be interested in your home. This is called a match. When a match is found you will receive a message via SMS text or email and you can then log on and if you like what you see you can make contact to arrange a viewing.
There is nothing to stop you advertising for a swap in the local press, supermarket or on notice boards but you must not offer any financial incentive.
When you have found a match, you and the person you wish to swap with, can then complete our mutual exchange application form. When all forms are received we will begin the process. We will visit you and check the property is in good order. If any damage is identified and repairs are needed they will have to be done before you move and you will be recharged. Fair wear and tear is not rechargeable, but the property should be clean and in good decorative order. We will also exchange information with other landlords about you and how you have conducted your tenancy with us.
We have 42 days to tell you if you are eligible to swap or not. You must not exchange before you have received confirmation from us. If you do, we can end the tenancies and you will become homeless.
Why an exchange may not happen
There are a number of grounds that we can refuse to allow an exchange to happen, these are if:
- you have an introductory tenancy
- you have been served with a notice of possession or have a court order
- your property is larger than your needs or too small, making it overcrowded
- the property has been adapted for a person with a physical disability and if the exchange went ahead such a person would no longer live there
How can I transfer to bigger or smaller alternative accommodation?
You need to apply online at Devon Home Choice. This is a choice based lettings scheme and this means you get to choose the property you would like to move to. The website shows a list of available council and housing association homes and you can bid on any that interest you.