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Can anyone apply for a Mutual Exchange?

Only secure tenants have the right to a Mutual Exchange. 

You do not have a right to a Mutual Exchange:

  • if you are a homeless applicant living in temporary accommodation;
  • if you are an introductory tenant
    • we may consider a request from you; or
  • if you have rent arrears
    • we can approve the exchange but arrears must be cleared before you are allowed to move.

How can I join the Mutual Exchange Register?

If you would like to find a Mutual Exchange within Stevenage, you can register quickly and easily on the House Exchange website.

The website gives the details of all tenants wanting to exchange, where and what type of home they live in now and where and what type of home they are looking for. You can view the website at our Customer Service Centre or at your local library.

You can also look for a suitable exchange through word of mouth, by advertising in local newspapers or through cards in newsagents windows.

How can I apply for a Mutual Exchange?

You must always get written permission from us before a move is arranged.

When you have found a possible exchange and viewed each other's properties, you should fill out a Mutual Exchange Request form.

If you are not a tenant, you must contact your own landlord.

What happens after I have applied?

When application forms have been received from all tenants wishing to exchange, we will consider your request. We will make a decision within 6 weeks of receiving a request for a Mutual Exchange. If the exchange involves a tenant of another landlord, that landlord must also give their approval before a move can take place.

If we think that it is likely your exchange will be approved, we will arrange to inspect your property. At this inspection we will note the condition of the properties and any repairs needed that are the tenant's responsibility. We will also note any alterations that have been made that are the tenant's responsibility to maintain and those that are our responsibility.

An electrical inspection will also be arranged. This will be carried out by our contractor who will contact you to arrange an appointment.

An alterations letter will then be sent to the incoming tenant listing which of these we can accept as our responsibility, which are the responsibility of the outgoing tenant, and which will be the responsibility of the new tenant. When we have received all signed copies of this letter accepting responsibility a formal decision will be made.

Approval of a Mutual Exchange

If the exchange is approved you should then liaise with your exchange partner(s) to decide when you wish to move. You must give us at least 14 days notice of the date you wish to move.

We will write and confirm the date you wish to move and tell you the appointment details to come in to complete your assignment papers.

Refusal of a Mutual Exchange

Mutual Exchanges will usually be refused:

  • if you would qualify for overcrowding priority on our Housing Register and the property is too small;
  • If the property is too big
    • we would only allow one spare bedroom above our normal allocation standard; and
  • If the property is specialised and you do not need that speciality
    • for example, to exchange into one of our independent living properties, you would need to be over 60 years of age with a support need and subject to an assessment.

In exceptional circumstances, we will consider exchanges that fall just outside the guidelines.

© 2020 Stevenage Borough Council