If you are a tenant in social housing – either Council or Housing Association - and wish to move to another flat you may be able to swap your home with another tenant. Swaps can be arranged to anywhere in the UK and can involve more than two households.
Once an applicant is no longer on their Introductory Tenancy they can apply for a mutual exchange – the Landlords of all parties involved in the swap will need to undertake some checks on the tenancy and the property before they can give their approval for the exchange to proceed. Before an exchange can proceed, all applicants should have no rent arrears and not be subject to any enforcement action.
If you are interested in moving via a mutual exchange you can register on: www.homeswapper.co.uk. If you are a City of London tenant, once you have registered, the Housing Needs Team will normally authorise your account within 5 working days and there is no cost to City of London tenants.
Following their introductory tenancy if all is satisfactory, City of London tenants become secure tenants. The City does not offer fixed term tenancies. However some landlords only offer fixed term tenancies which do not necessarily guarantee continuation beyond a particular time. Tenants seeking an exchange should consider this possibility before agreeing to swap as they may have no guarantee of their home being available after this time. All parties to the exchange get the terms and conditions of their swap partner – this includes rent levels and service charges.
The City of London allows exchange partners to transfer into a property which has one more bedroom than their assessed needs, however not all landlords will allow this. If you are in this situation you should check with your exchange partner’s landlord – or if they are a tenant of a Housing Association, their local authority.
To find out what homes are available to find a swap partner, you will need to register with Homeswapper. This is the largest database in the UK for tenants actively seeking to swap their homes.
It is useful to have plenty of good photos of your home, plus a good description and also to list local amenities in order to attract potential swap partners. You can be as specific or general about where you wish to move but the more flexible you are about areas and types of properties the easier it will be to find a potential exchange partner.
Once you have found a suitable swap partner both parties should contact their landlord to start the process for the swap. For more details contact the Housing Needs Team.
Homeswapper has introduced a new Tenant Help Centre.
The dedicated website is packed full of useful content to make sure that you’re getting the most out of HomeSwapper. From SwapperCentral articles containing helpful tips and advice, to ‘How to’ guides and step-by-step videos, you will find answers to all of your questions in one place.
The new Help Centre is designed to help the full spectrum of users, from those just beginning their swapper journey, to those who have been looking for some time, so that you can feel supported as you search for that all-important swap.
Take a look around at www.homeswapper.me.