Swap or exchange your council property

Mutual Exchange

What is a mutual exchange

The Housing Act 1985 gives secure tenants a right to exchange. They have to have prior written permission from the landlord. A mutual exchange is when two Tenants in Council, or Housing Association, homes apply to exchange their home. It can be a great way to find a property nearer family, work, schools, or generally more suitable for your needs. You can apply to exchange to a property within Rotherham council or any other Housing association or Council in the country. As long as the property is suitable for your needs.

Type/size of property that you can Exchange

You can only swap for a property that is suitable for your needs. Within Rotherham council, you can not exchange to a property that you would not be eligible for under Rotherham Borough Council allocations policy. Other Housing associations and Councils have differing policies on the homes you can exchange with, but generally you cannot swap for Homes which would lead to overcrowding or underoccupancy. For example, two adults living in a two-bed home, would not be able to swap for a four bed home, as this would lead to under occupation of the home.

Finding a swap

Rotherham has registered with Homeswapper, which is a Mutual Exchange platform that is free to use for Rotherham Borough Council Tenants. If you sign up via the Homeswapper website, put in details of your property, and the criteria of the property you want to swap with, Homeswapper will find possible matches for you.


How to apply

After signing up to Homeswapper, and finding a match you must fill in the Mutual Exchange Application for located at the bottom of this page.

Once we have received your application you have 10 days for the application from your proposed swap to arrive. If this is not completed within this timeframe, permission for the mutual exchange will be refused.

Once we’ve received yours and the other tenants application, we will conduct a series of checks to ensure that you are eligible for a mutual exchange. If you are applying for a home in another Council, or Housing Association, they will conduct checks of the property, and tenancy, of the Home you wish to swap with.

Things to consider

Have you viewed the property you intend to swap with? Here are some tips on how to keep safe when visiting a property.

Stay safe during home viewings - HomeSwapper

Can you afford the rent at the new property, as rent can vary between social housing providers.

Can you afford the moving costs, as these will be covered by your Landlord.

Will you have the right to buy in the new property? For example, many Housing Associations are not included in the Right to Buy Scheme.

What checks we will do

  • You qualify for the size and type of property that you wish to move to
  • You are in a secure Tenancy, have no rent arrears or a possession order on your home, for either rent arears, or anti-social behaviour.
  • Whether you have any other breaches of Tenancy
  • That your home is in satisfactory condition
  • Gas and electrical checks
  • Similar checks will be done by the relevant council or Housing association at the property you are applying to move in to

To check that your home is in satisfactory condition a member of Rotherham Borough Council will need to visit your property, therefore it is essential you allow access to your property for this.

Depending on the outcome of these checks we will either give Approval, Conditional Approval, or a Refusal.

Timeframe for getting back to you

We will inform you of the outcome of these checks within 42 days of receipt of both housing applications

Request a mutual exchange