Are you mutual exchange ready?

Mutual exchange service update - July 2022

The last couple of years has had a real impact on our mutual exchange services. It meant we had to make some changes and then deal with a significant backlog, created by the pandemic.

We’ve worked hard to make up for these delays but, unfortunately, there’s extremely high demand for people now wanting to move.

  • This means that, at the moment, we’re only able to give a decision ‘in principle’ within 42 days of receiving a mutual exchange request from all parties involved. This is based on some desktop checks to make sure we’re happy that you can exchange and things look okay in terms of the home you wish to swap to. We may still have to refuse the exchange at a later date if there’s a legitimate reason to do so.
  • We are currently working with a six to eight week backlog (as of summer 2022), so please bear with us. We’ll be in touch again when we’re ready to progress your exchange to do some more in-depth checks. Only after these have been done can we confirm if your exchange can go ahead - and give you a date for moving, if this applies.
  • We know that the summer holidays are also a time when many people like to complete an exchange, for understandable family reasons. If you’ve made an application with us recently, or you're planning to apply soon, unfortunately we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to arrange your exchange date before the end of the summer holidays.

With this in mind, please don’t start to pack up or arrange a moving date until we’ve agreed this with you. When we can confirm your exchange date, we’ll give you plenty of notice.

We know this is frustrating and we’re sorry about this but are working to provide a better service. Please check back here regularly for updates. Thank you for your patience.

How does mutual exchange work?

If you have an assured, secure or fixed term tenancy with us, you may be able to swap your home with other social housing residents through HomeSwapper. HomeSwapper is an online mutual exchange service which lets you advertise your property and find someone to swap with. It’s free to use for Sovereign residents, and could be quicker than waiting for a transfer.

  • Register your details on the HomeSwapper website and wait for ‘match alerts’ to be sent to you. Think about the affordability of homes you're interested in.
  • If you find a home you like, complete our mutual exchange application form and we’ll let you know within 42 days if it’s been provisionally approved. We’ll need an application form completed by you and your proposed exchange partners.
  • In order for your swap to be approved, you will need to make sure you are ‘mutual exchange ready’. 

Are you mutual exchange ready? 

Before you can swap homes, you’ll need to speak to all of the landlords involved and ask for their approval to exchange. They then have 42 days to provisionally approve or reject the application (from when they receive applications from all residents involved).

All of the landlords need to agree they're happy for the swap to go ahead before an exchange date can be finalised.

What do I need to do?

Before applying to all of the landlords for approval to exchange, you should check the following:          

  • I have a secure, assured or fixed term tenancy.
  • My rent account is clear.
  • I don’t owe any former rent, court costs or recharges.
  • There’s no active Notice of Intention to Begin Proceedings for Possession of a Property, Notice Seeking Possession, or court order against my tenancy.
  • There are no repairs outstanding that I haven’t reported.
  • My home and garden are in a clean, tidy and good condition.
  • The people applying to move into my home are suitable for it.

Once your application has been received, your property will be inspected. You’ll need to make sure that we can easily view all rooms and walls. Please take down posters and pictures and move large furniture away from the wall. Before the inspection, it’s a good idea to have a look at whether your home is up to scratch and, if needed, spend some time putting things right. 

We won't be able to agree an exchange can go ahead if the property’s not in a good condition.