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Swapping your Home

What is a Swap?

This is where two or more tenants want to 'swap' their homes with each other, also known as a Mutual Exchange.  For a swap to be allowed, the landlord of both tenants must both agree.

Why swap?

Landlords encourage tenants to consider finding a swap if they want to move, especially in areas where demand is high or they have no priority on the housing register.  Finding a swap can be the quickest way to move to another area or property that meets the needs of you and your family.  Sometimes, the person you are swapping with may agree to leave carpets, curtains or other items in the home for you.

How do I find someone to swap with?

If you are a tenant of Darlington Borough Council, Thirteen, North Star or Coast & Country, you can register with our exchange service at www.swapandmove.co.uk.  This new service was introduced in September 2017 and allows you to see matches both locally and across the country to help you find a swap and is free to use.

 

Benefits of Swap & Move

  • See possible swaps immediately from all over the country!
  • Access to view property details on swapandmove.co.uk 24/7
  • Receive a weekly email detailing potential property matches (if you select this option when registering)
  • Access to update your preferences by visiting the My Account page
  • Downloadable app from the app store

 

What if i'm a tenant of Home Group, North Star or Housing Hartlepool?

If you are a tenant of one of the other Compass partner landlords (Home Group or Hartlepool Borough Council), you can register on the Compass website by completing a simple form from the 'My Account' page.  User Guides for keeping track of your swap requests on this site and placing bids are available in the Customer Documents area of the website.  Click here to view theses guides.

You can also arrange to complete an application with your landlord, place an advert in your local community centre, shop or newspaper, or ask your friends and family if they know anyone who would like to swap with you.

Can anyone apply for a swap?

Yes, if you hold an assured or secure tenancy with a Registered Provider or Council.  Tenants with Shorthold or starter/introductory tenancies should speak to their landlord first.  However, only tenants of one of the Compass partner Landlord can register with us online.

Can more than two tenants swap homes?

Yes, it is not unusual for more than two tenants to swap homes.

What do I do when I find someone I would like to swap with?

Once you have found someone you think you would like to swap with, you should contact them to arrange to have a look at their home.  If you are using the online system, you will be able to see their contact information in your swap requests.

Here are some things to consider asking the other tenant when you view their property;

  • Find out about the local area before you agree to a swap.
  • What are the schools like?
  • How good are the public transport links?
  • Is there a supermarket close by?
  • Does the property meets your needs?
  • Does it have enough bedrooms for you?
  • Is there any damage such as missing doors, holes in walls, or loose fittings?
  • How much would it cost you to decorate it?
  • Can you manage to look after the garden?

If a swap goes ahead, you would be agreeing to accept the property in the condition it is in!

  • Make sure you can afford to run the property.
  • Ask the current tenant how much they are paying for things like gas, electricity, water rates and council tax
  • Take someone with you when you view the property
  • Consider viewing the property more than once, maybe at different times of the day

What happens next?

Once you have agreed that you would like to swap, you will need to contact your landlord who will go through any necessary paperwork to be signed by you and the other tenant.

Your landlord will then need to carry out a check on your rent account to make sure you are not in arrears or have any legal action on your account.  They may also need to check on the number of people in your household to make sure that the swap will not put you in a position of overcrowding or under occupation.

If your landlord is satisfied with these checks, they will arrange for a property inspection to be completed at your current home and tell you if anything needs to be done before you can move such as minor repairs or decoration.

An affordability check may also be completed with you to make sure that you can afford the new property, especially if you will be under occupying.

REMEMBER – Swapping is a voluntary process and you can end it at any time if you have changed your mind.

Once the landlord for both tenants has completed their checks and visits, you will be informed of the decision, you must be given a decision within 42 days from the date that you requested the swap,  which will be one of the following

  • Refusal – If your request for a swap is refused, you will be told by your landlord why it cannot go ahead
  • Conditional acceptance – Your landlord may allow you to swap provided that certain conditions are met by you, such as clearing your arrears for example,  or;
  • Acceptance – Your landlord(s) have agreed to allow you to swap

Once agreed, your landlord will discuss with you when you want to move.  An appointment will then be arranged to complete any paperwork for the swap to take place.

You must not swap your home without the written permission of your landlord.  You risk losing the security of your tenancy agreement and could be evicted from your home.

If you have any further questions about swapping your home, please contact us