Mutual exchanges/swaps

Everything you need to know about mutual exchanges: what they are, how to find one and what to do next.

What is a Mutual Exchange 

How do I apply for a Mutual Exchange?

Why do I need to apply for permission before exchanging my accommodation?

What if I do not have any priority for a transfer? Can I still apply for a Mutual Exchange?

How will I find a suitable exchange partner?

How can I register for these schemes?

Does Homeswapper only cover Milton Keynes?
 

Use our Online form to apply for a mutual exchange.

 

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 into their exchange partner's property. A tenant cannot exchange into an empty property.

A mutual exchange is where two or more tenants agree to swap properties with each other.

When you apply, this does not entitle you to make arrangements to exchange properties. 

Milton Keynes Council will review your request to exchange and then formally notify you of its decision within 42 days.

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.

If you wish to make enquiries relating to mutual exchange application you can discuss it with an Housing Officer from the Moving Home team.

Introductory tenants and non-secure tenants do not have an automatic right to exchange, however, exceptional circumstances can be considered.

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How do I apply for a Mutual 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.  All tenants must apply for, and obtain permission from their respective landlord(s) before going ahead with an exchange. You can apply using our Online form  or Milton Keynes Council tenants can register for free on the Homeswapper website  

Unfortunately, Mutual Exchanges with tenants in leased or private rented accommodation are not allowed.

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Why do I need to apply for permission before exchanging my accommodation?

You are legally responsible for your property and for the prompt payment of the rent, weekly in advance. You are required to keep to the terms of your Tenancy Agreement and must not exchange or assign your tenancy without the Council's consent. The Council will take legal action against you if you exchange your accommodation without permission.

Before giving consent to an exchange, the Council must ensure that the tenants have met certain conditions:

  • Each tenant should have a clear rent account
  • Each tenant should be moving to a property of the correct size for their current housing need, the Council will normally give consideration to an application from a tenant requesting an exchange to a property that is slightly smaller than they need
  • A tenant moving to a specially adapted property must have been assessed and given a medical recommendation to the Council, for that type of accommodation. These are the main terms that must be met. However, certain other conditions may apply
  • The Council will consider exceptional circumstances to assist tenants to exchange.

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What if I do not have any priority for a transfer? Can I still apply for a Mutual Exchange?

Yes. The advantage of Mutual Exchange is that the moves are not based on priority need, giving all tenants the chance of an exchange.

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How will I find a suitable exchange partner?

Many tenants have found their exchange through friends and relatives or by placing postcards in shop windows. However, a very high number of tenants have found suitable exchanges through an independent exchange service that they have found on the internet.  These services are self-help schemes set up by private organisations to put tenants in touch with others who are looking for a mutual exchange.

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How can I register for these schemes?

The Council has signed up to HomeSwapper which is a mutual exchange matching website for use by secure and assured tenants and is free of charge.  Please register on the HomeSwapper website for more information about tenants who want to exchange properties.

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Does Homeswapper only cover Milton Keynes?

No, they cover all areas within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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Last Updated: 16 November 2017