Applying for housing and finding a home

Housing Swap (Mutual Exchange)

What is a Mutual Exchange?

Mutual Exchange enables households living in housing association or council properties to swap with other people living in housing association or council properties.

This means housing association or council tenants are able to move house without needing to go through the usual housing register and lettings procedures.

Mutual Exchanges can only go ahead with the permission of the landlords involved.

Braintree District Council does not have housing stock.  Greenfields Community Housing is the largest housing association in the district and there is detailed information about their Mutual Exchange service on their website.

How can I apply for a housing swap?

Search the house exchange website for available housing swaps.

What happens in a Mutual Exchange?

The exact process by which Mutual Exchange is undertaken may differ slightly between landlords but its likely to follow the stages set out below:

  1. Finding a swap
  2. Submitting your application
  3. Application accepted
  4. Landlord visits to property
  5. Landlord reviews information
  6. Moving dates agreed 

Registering your application and finding people to swap with.

Before you can find someone to swap with, you need to make an application to your landlord and register your application with the HouseExchange website.  The House Exchange website covers exchanges nationwide and works in partnership with the Gateway to Homechoice choice based lettings scheme.

 Who can apply for a Mutual Exchange?

Only households who hold Secure or Assured tenancies are able to apply for a Mutual Exchange.  Households with Starter Tenancies will usually need to complete their probationary period before applying for a Mutual Exchange.

Can people be declined for a Mutual Exchange?

There are some circumstances where landlords may not allow one of their existing tenants to complete a Mutual Exchange, or may refuse to accept a new tenant as a result of a Mutual Exchange going ahead.

Reasons for refusal are often around breaches to the tenancy agreement, for example rent arrears.