The Cumbria Choice partnership encourages mutual exchanges between our customers as a means of finding the home that best suits you.
WHAT IS A MUTUAL EXCHANGE?
A mutual exchange is a swap of accommodation between two, three, four or more tenants and relies on each party moving permanently into their exchange partner’s property. A tenant cannot exchange into an empty property.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR A MUTUAL EXCHANGE?
All secure and assured Council and Housing Association tenants throughout the UK can apply to exchange their accommodation. You cannot exchange if you are in leased or private rented accommodation and you do not have the right to exchange during the first 12 months of an introductory tenancy or any extension period. You may not exchange if you have a demoted tenancy. You must apply for and obtain permission from your landlord(s) before going ahead with an exchange.
WHAT ARE THE RULES?
- The property you wish to exchange to must be suitable for your family size.
- If you live in a property which has been built or adapted for people with special needs, your exchange partner must have these needs.
You may be asked to comply with certain conditions before you are allowed to exchange, for example:
- You and any exchange partner must ensure you have clear rent accounts.
- You may be asked to carry out some work to the property before you are allowed to exchange.
Please remember that it is illegal to offer or accept money as an incentive to mutually exchange.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
You can expect a decision within 42 days of your application to make an exchange although it will normally be earlier.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I APPLY?
Your landlord will do the following:-
- Check your rent account is clear
- Check whether you owe any outstanding recharges
- Check you are not currently in breach of any term of your tenancy
- Inspect your property. You will have to repair any damage you have caused.
- Obtain a reference (if required) for your exchange partner.
WHEN CAN I MOVE?
You cannot move until you have been given written permission. Once permission is granted a date can be arranged that is convenient to both tenants and the Council or Housing Association. Once the exchange is agreed, you will need to sign a form of ASSIGNMENT. You will then have the legal right to occupy the property. The exchange cannot take place until this is completed.
THINGS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF
You should check your exchange partner’s property carefully as you will be accepting it in its current condition and will take over responsibility for any alterations they have made to the property or damage they may have caused (this includes damage caused when they move out).
The tenant you exchange with may not have the same type of tenancy as you (eg you may have a secure tenancy and they may have an assured tenancy). If you are not sure what this means you may need to take advice before you decide to proceed.
You should check if the other person has used up their one right to succession (the right to pass on the tenancy to certain members of their family). If this right has been used up there will be no further rights to succession if you exchange.
If you have any questions which have not been dealt with here please contact your local housing office for assistance.