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Mutual exchange

As a council or housing association tenant you may be able to swap properties with another tenant under the mutual exchange scheme. This is especially useful for tenants who:

  • are interested in moving to a new area
  • want to find a more suitable home
  • need a smaller or larger home

A mutual exchange happens when two tenants decide to swap tenancies (or when three or more tenants decide to move round in a 'chain') and means that you take over the other party's tenancy with any rights or limitations that go with it. This must be with the agreement of everyone's landlords. 

How to find a mutual exchange 

If you are a council tenant and want to swap homes you will need to register with Swapandmove.
  
Swapandmove is a mutual exchange service for council and housing association tenants looking to swap homes. Swapandmove can be used to help you find an exchange locally or right across the UK, and is free to all West Lancashire Borough Council Tenants. For more information or to register now, visit swapandmove.co.uk (external link)

What to do when you have found an exchange

It's important that you have your landlord's written permission before moving. If you are a council tenant, you need to complete an application form and send it back to us.

Before agreeing to a mutual exchange your council or housing association landlord will consider a number of criteria including whether:

  • The property size suits your needs
  • The property has been adapted or is part of a sheltered scheme and the new tenant has no need for this type of accommodation
  • Your home is subject to a court order for possession
  • Your rent account is in arrears
  • You have carried out improvements/alterations without consent
  • There are repairs outstanding which you are responsible for

Take the time to view the property very carefully as you will take on responsibility for any alterations and non-standard fixtures and fittings.
  
Whether viewing someone else's home or showing your own, we recommend that you take some basic precautions to ensure your safety.

You shouldn't make any arrangements to move until you've received notification from the landlord - in writing - that the exchange has been agreed. If two landlords are involved, you will need letters from both.
  
Once the exchange has been approved, you and the other tenant will have to sign a 'deed of assignment' which means that you are accepting the property in its current condition. Once that's completed, then you can move!

Contact us

Queries about proceeding with an exchange once you've chosen a property should be made to your Housing Officer in the Estate Management Team. Our contact details are in the contact panel on this page.