If you are an existing tenant of social housing you may be able to swap your home with another social housing tenant. This may be a quicker option than joining the Council’s Housing Register.

Mutual Exchange in Sussex is available to all public sector tenants. You are a public sector tenant if your landlord is the local council or a housing association.

You may be able to swap your home if you are a secure or assured tenant of a local council or housing association. This is called a mutual exchange. In a mutual exchange, two or more tenants swap their homes and take on the terms of each other’s tenancy.

Both secure and assured tenants have the right to exchange homes. If you have an introductory tenancy you must wait until this becomes a secure or assured tenancy before you can exchange (an introductory tenancy normally lasts 12 months).

Social tenants are advised to contact their housing association landlord to check if they would be eligible for a mutual exchange, your housing associations may have their own mutual exchange lists which you could join.

When you have found someone to exchange with and you are both happy with each other’s property you need to ask permission to exchange by completing an application form available from your landlord. Your housing officer will arrange to meet you to discuss the next stage.

Landlords have 42 days from the date they receive your application to make a decision. They will need to check some things before the exchange is agreed:

  • the size and type of the property you wish to move to
  • that your rent account is clear and there is no possession order on your home
  • the condition of your home.

If the above checks are satisfactory and both landlords approve the exchange, they will write to you to say so.

Both you and the other tenant will need to sign documents. These are agreements (called ‘Deeds of Assignment’) to pass your tenancies to each other and to accept the terms and conditions of the tenancy. The actual moving date is set for the nearest mutually suitable day after the deeds of assignment have been signed.

Register for a mutual exchange

Exchange Locata is a website for social housing tenants and landlords looking to swap council houses or housing association homes or flats online. Register for free online at Exchange Locata to setup a mutual exchange advert in minutes and receive property alerts direct to your inbox.

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