Swap your home
Most tenants of Suffolk Housing have the right to exchange the tenancy of their home with another council or housing association tenant, by a process called ‘mutual exchange’.
Step one: find a suitable exchange partner
Suffolk Housing Tenants are able to register their property for free, and view other tenants’ homes on House Exchange, follow the link to get started:
You can also join a mutual exchange group on Facebook, or put up an advert in the local shops.
Mutual exchange can be straight swaps between two tenants, or chain-swaps between 3 or more tenants.
We strongly recommend that you closely inspect the property you are looking to exchange into as the property (including any damaged items) will become your responsibility if the exchange goes ahead.
Step two: request permission to exchange
The exchange must be approved by both landlords before it can go ahead.
You will need to contact Suffolk Housing on 01284 767224 (option 3) to request application forms, and your exchange partner(s) should do the same of their landlord. Once the forms have been received, Suffolk Housing have 42 days to consider your request.
Step three: the Landlords consider the request and make a decision
Some types of housing that aren’t eligible for a swap, and some of our schemes have a local connection requirement which must be fulfilled for the exchange to go ahead (a list of these is available here Local Connection Restrictions). Suffolk Housing will not unreasonably deny your request but will give your application careful consideration to your proposed swap. Grounds for refusing a tenancy exchange include:
- your landlord has started eviction proceedings
- you work for your landlord and your home was provided in connection with your job
- your home is adapted for a person with special needs and nobody in the new tenant’s household has special needs
- the home you want to move to is much larger than your household needs
- the home you want to move to is too small for your household, and you would be overcrowded
- If any member of your household has behaved in an anti-social way, and action including Possession proceedings, injunctions, anti-social behaviour orders or a demotion order against them are in place or are been sought.
- The landlord is a charity and the proposed new tenants moving into the property would conflict with the objects of the charity.
- The property:
(a) has been adapted or has features that make it suitable for disabled person
(b) is a property owned by a landlord which lets properties to particularly vulnerable people or
(c) the property is for people with special needs (supported housing) and if the mutual exchange took place there would no longer be such a person living in the property.
A property inspection will be carried out and we will advise you of any works you are required to do before we will agree to the exchange.
Step four: safety checks and paperwork is prepared
If the exchange is approved by all Landlords, then a gas and electric safety check will be carried out free of charge. The paper work will be prepared and you will be provided with a date to sign the deed of assignment, a legal document which will pass your tenancy to your exchange partner and vice-versa.
Step five: assignment
Mutual exchange is carried out by way of ‘assignment’, effectively your name on the tenancy is replaced with the name of your exchange partner, and the same is done with their tenancy. You will ‘step into’ the tenancy agreement and take responsibility for it. Please be aware that any damage caused by the previous tenant will become your responsibility, along with the requirement to return any improvements to standard prior to leaving. Also, it is for the tenants to negotiate the leaving of any carpets or fittings.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with us on 01284 767224 (Option 3)