Mutual exchange and home swap

If you want to move home, it's possible to swap with someone else in the same situation. This is called a mutual exchange.

However, there are a few things you need to consider before you can go ahead.

  • Am I eligible to exchange?

    • If you rent your property under a secure, assured or fixed-term tenancy you will be eligible to exchange.   

      If you are on a starter tenancy you will not be eligible until you have successfully completed the starter period of your tenancy and it has been converted to an assured or fixed-term tenancy after the first year.

      Home Group will not unreasonably withhold permission for your exchange to go ahead, but there are some reasons for refusal which are set out by law.   

      The most common reasons for refusal are:

      •    Either property has too many or too few bedrooms for the people wanting to exchange into them.
      •    Either property is specifically adapted (e.g. for someone with a physical disability) and those adaptations would not be required by the people wanting to move in
      •    Legal action is in progress against either party for breach of tenancy (including rent arrears).

      If your exchange is refused, you have the right to appeal this decision.
  • How do I find a mutual exchange?

    • Home Group customers can register for free with HomeSwapper, which is the largest national mutual exchange service.   

      Once your details are verified you will be able to advertise your property and search for a property that meets your needs. HomeSwapper will also search for suitable matches for you and will notify you of any that are found. It may also be worthwhile looking for suitable swaps by talking to friends and family or looking at local adverts in shops, newspapers or libraries. You will be responsible for arranging to view any properties you are interested in.   

      Make sure you are happy with the area you are hoping to move to and the condition of the property you are considering.  Mutual exchange properties are taken as seen and Home Group will not be responsible for any alterations, decorations or outstanding repairs if the exchange goes ahead.

      It is illegal to offer any incentive to make an exchange happen. Contact us straight away if you have any concerns about this.
  • I've found a suitable match - what happens now?

    • You and your exchange partner or partners (if you are part of a chain of mutual exchanges) will each need to complete a mutual exchange application formReturn these to your local office.  You will also need to complete application forms for any other landlords involved.

      Home Group will decide whether the exchange can go ahead within 42 days and will notify you of the outcome.  

      We will:

      •    Inspect your current home and let you know if you need to carry out any repairs or alterations before the exchange takes place.
      •    Complete a reference on your behalf for the other landlord.
      •    Visit your exchange partner and ensure we are satisfied with their reference.

      If the exchange is approved your customer service partner will agree an appointment with you to sign the Assignment documentation before your moving date.

      If you move before permission is given or after permission has been refused you will be expected to move back to your original home.
  • Top tips if you're looking for a mutual exchange

    • 1.    Make sure you are considering properties which are the right size for your household.
      2.    Can you afford the rent for properties that you are looking at?
      3.    Will you be able to get permission for any pets?
      4.    Is there parking available if you have a car?
      5.    What type of tenancy does your exchange partner have?   If the exchange goes ahead you will be assigned to their tenancy agreement which means your terms and conditions may change.   If your exchange partner has a fixed-term tenancy and yours is assured, you may lose your security of tenure depending on the circumstances.   Clarify this with our Customer Service Centre.