You may be able to swap your home if your are a secure or assured tenant of a council
or housing association. This is called a mutual exchange. In a mutual exchange,
two or more tenants exchange their homes and take on the terms of each other's tenancy.
Click on a question to learn more.
Both secure and assured tenants have the right to exchange homes. Assured shorthold
tenants and some tenants occupying purpose-built units do NOT have the right to
a mutual exchange, although we may allow it in appropriate circumstances. There
may also be certain limitations for supported housing and Seaside & Country
Exchanges may take place between any tenant of a local authority, a housing association
or trust, the Housing Corporation or Tai Cymru. To find an exchange partner, you
can advertise in a newspaper or register with us and search or website. If you do
not want to stay in West London you can also register wth the National Homeswap
scheme - www.homeswapper.co.uk.
There is a good chance your rights will be affected if you exchange your property.
When you exchange, you take over the rights and terms of tenancy of the person you
exchange with. These may be very different from the rights you have now.
So it is important that you ask at your local housing office before making any decision.
If you are exchanging with a tenant of the same landlord, or same type of landlord
(e.g. housing association) and you both have the same type of tenancy, you will
normally keep similar rights. But you need to check that you have the same type
of tenancy agreement. There are two main types: assured and secure. Secure tenancy
agreements may offer more rights and lower rents than assured tenancy agreements.
You should never consider exchanging with someone who only has a licence agreement
or assured shorthold tenancy.
If you are exchanging with the tenant of a different landlord, some rights and conditions
will be different. For example you may lose (or gain) the right to buy your home.
The rules for your landlord increasing the rent may also be different.
When you have found another tenant and you are both happy with each other's property you
need to ask permission to exchange by completing an application form. If one of you is a tenant of
Harrow Council you can download a form here. If
you don’t want to do this on-line on our website, contact us and ask permission
to exchange. We will send an application form to you, which you should fill in
and send back.
A housing officer will call to see you.
Landlords have 42 days from the date we receive your application to make a decision.
We will need to check some details before the exchange is agreed:
If the above checks are satisfactory and both landlords approve the exchange, we
will write to you to say so. We may refuse the exchange if either tenant is in rent
arrears or under notice to leave, but you have a right to appeal if this happens.
Both you and the other tenant will need to sign documents. These are agreements
to pass your tenancies to each other and to accept the terms and conditions of the
tenancy. They are important documents and must be signed before you arrange to move.
You should arrange to view the property on more than one occasion and in daylight.
You should be aware that we will not carry out any internal redecoration to the
property if you move to one of our properties. You will be asked to accept the property
in the condition in which your mutual exchange partner leaves it.
You should find out whether the other tenant intends taking with them fittings they
have put in the property, such as kitchen units, fireplaces or heaters. If they
do, we may not accept responsibility for replacing these items nor will we do any
redecoration that may be needed following their removal. We will not rectify any
damage caused by the tenant, or reverse any non-standard alterations that have been
Our conditions of exchange will also apply to the proposed incoming tenant, and
we may also visit their property. It is both tenants' responsibility to ensure that
their properties are left in a safe condition
You will not be entitled to compensation for improvements you have made to your