Mutual exchange

Swapping homes

A mutual exchange involves two or more social housing tenants swapping homes with each other. 

This scheme offers tenants the opportunity to move within Harrow or to another part of the country. It is separate to our transfer scheme, so if you're not eligible for a transfer, you may be eligible mutual exchange. Whatever method you use to find your mutual exchange partner, you must not swap your home until all landlords have given their written permission. 

Secure and assured tenants have the right to exchange homes. However if you rent your property from a private landlord you are not eligible for a mutual exchange.

Mutual exchange schemes

We are a member of a number of national mutual exchange schemes. They all operate online databases of social housing tenants who wish to exchange their homes.  You can advertise your home on as many of these schemes as you want. 

It’s free for council tenants to register on any of the websites listed below.  After you register, Resident Services will be asked to approve your registration so that you can look at the properties advertised.

Exchanging with someone

When you have found someone to swap your home with you, all the parties in the exchange must complete a separate application form. 

Apply for a mutual exchange

When you have completed your application please return it to Resident Services. Their contact details are at the end of this page.

After you have completed your mutual exchange application

  1. When your application has been submitted and assessed, your housing officer will send a reference to the landlord of the person you want to swap with.
  2. The housing officer will inspect your home to make sure that you have been keeping to the tenancy conditions, and that you have not made any unauthorised improvements or alterations to the property.
  3. You should ask your exchange partner's landlord what type of tenancy you will get. Not all landlords offer secure lifetime tenancies.
  4. Once all landlords agree to the swap you will be contacted to sign the deeds to exchange your homes.
  5. If either landlord does not agree to the exchange going ahead they have 42 days from the date of receiving your application forms to tell you why they do not agree to it. 
  6. You must not exchange your home until you have written permission from all landlords.
  7. After you have exchanged the council is not responsible for clearing the property.