Downsizing, mutual exchanges and swaps
If you are living in a Milton Keynes Council property which is too big for you, we may be able to help you find a smaller property more suited to your needs. We may also be able to help make a move easier with financial and practical help, so please the Housing Service to see how we can help you.
What is a Mutual Exchange and who is it for?
A Mutual Exchange is when two or more tenants agree to swap properties with each other. It relies on each party moving into their exchange partner's property, a tenant cannot exchange into an empty property. Moves are not based on priority need, giving all tenants the chance of an exchange.
All Council and Housing Association/Trust tenants with Secure Tenancies and most Housing Association/Trust tenants with Assured Tenancies can apply to exchange their accommodation. Mutual Exchanges with tenants in leased or private rented accommodation are not allowed. Introductory tenants and non-secure tenants do not have an automatic right to exchange, however, exceptional circumstances can be considered.
How to find a suitable exchange partner
The Council has signed up to HomeSwapper which is a free mutual exchange matching website, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Tenants can register on the Homeswapper website for information about tenants who want to exchange properties. Alternatively:
- Many tenants find their exchange through friends and relatives or by placing postcards in shop windows.
- There are also independent self-help exchange schemes on the internet.
Landlord permission for a Mutual Exchange
All tenants must apply for, and obtain permission from their respective landlord(s) before going ahead with an exchange.
Milton Keynes Council tenants can apply using our Online form. When you apply, we will review your request to exchange and then formally notify you of our decision within 42 days. The Council will consider exceptional circumstances to assist tenants to exchange but it will usually depend on if the tenants involved:
- have a clear rent account
- are moving to a property of the correct size for their current housing need (the Council will consider requests to exchange to a property that is slightly smaller than needed)
- if moving to a specially adapted property, they have been assessed and given a medical recommendation for that type of accommodation.
If permission is granted you can arrange with the Moving Home team, a convenient date and time to sign the relevant paper work before you move.
- You should not arrange to move before you have been given written or verbal permission to do so.
- The Council will take legal action against you if you exchange your accommodation without permission.
Last Updated: 1 April 2020