Mutual Exchange is an option you may want to consider if you are a tenant and you are looking to move home. It's where two or more tenants exchange tenancies and move permanently into each other's homes with their landlord's permission.
Are you eligible to exchange?
If you hold a secure, assured or fixed-term tenancy and have completed any probationary period, then you'll be eligible to exchange your property with one of the following:
- Another L&Q tenant
- A tenant from another housing association
- A local authority tenant
Permission must be given by both landlords before an exchange date can be agreed. Even after you have permission to exchange, if your rent account is in arrears the exchange on the agreed can not take place.
L&Q will not unreasonably withhold permission to exchange. Reasons why L&Q might refuse are set out in law and policy. The most common reasons for refusal include:
- The property would have too many or too few bedrooms
- Legal action is in progress
- The property has been designed or substantially adapted for a specific purpose (eg for a person with a physical disability, or as sheltered accommodation for older people)
How to find someone to swap homes with?
L&Q recommends that you register with HomeSwapper. This is the largest national mutual exchange service and is available to L&Q residents for free. You can also register for free with ELLC Choice Homes.
Once your details have been verified, registered users will be able to view your home's details. You'll be able to search all the advertised properties to find a suitable new home.
You could also try other internet services, adverts in local shops, newspapers or libraries or speak to family, friends and/or neighbours.
What to know before swapping
Make sure you're satisfied with the condition and decoration of the home - properties are taken as seen. Some things to look out for include
- Check to see if there is any damage or outstanding repairs that will become your responsibility
- Agree on any items that will be taken or left behind
- Find out if the landlord is planning any work to the property and/or area in the near future
It's illegal to offer any incentive to make an exchange happen. If you have concerns regarding any potential illegal or fraudulent activity you should contact L&Q straight away.
Once you have found someone to swap with you will need to complete and return our mutual exchange request form (128 kb PDF).
L&Q will get a reference from the other resident's landlord and give a reference about your tenancy to them. An inspection of your home will then be needed. Any work that needs doing will be agreed with you before the exchange goes ahead.
L&Q will grant or refuse permission within 42 days of receiving your completed request form.
Please be aware that if you swap homes without permission, or after permission has been refused, you'll be expected to move back into your original home.