Mutual Exchange is often the quickest way of moving home
The scheme works by locating another social housing tenant to swap with and is ideal if you are looking to move into a new area or you are a low priority on the housing register.
As a Thrive Homes tenant, you can get free access to the UK's largest mutual exchange website at www.houseexchange.org.uk. All you'll need to do is fill out an application form, making sure you add "Thrive Homes" into the landlord box. Once we have verified you as our tenant you will be able to search free of charge.
You can also search for mutual exchange opportunities using social media, word of mouth and local advertisement boards.
If you're registered with HomeSwapper, your free access will end on 31st March 2022.
If you've made a start and found someone to swap with, click here to complete our Mutual Exchange application form. Alternatively, scroll down to learn more!
Who can I exchange with?
If you have an assured or fixed-term tenancy, you can exchange your home with another tenant. The person you swap with must also have a secure or fixed-term tenancy either with Thrive or another social landlord.
We will be happy when you find a suitable match, to proceed if:
- the new property is a suitable size for you
Note: we also allow exchanges into Thrive properties that are one size bigger than your housing need.
- your property has no adaptations specifically suited for you and the new tenant has a need for them
- there is no legal action being taken against you.
We will refuse a mutual exchange if either exchange partner or property:
- does not hold an assured, secure or fixed-term tenancy
- is in rent arrears they are unable to clear
- has breached any of their tenancy conditions, including ASB, and has had any form of legal action taken regarding this
- has been served a notice of seeking possession, which is still in force or has had a court order or injunction made against either them or the property
- is more than one bedroom larger than required, or is smaller than required by those exchanging
- would result in a property specially designed or adapted for a disabled or elderly person being occupied by someone without similar needs.
- the new property is a suitable size for you
What do I need to do once I've found someone to swap with?
You and the tenant(s) will need to complete an application form - you can download a copy here.
We will make a decision on all mutual exchange requests within six weeks. However, we will defer the exchange if:
- you have rent arrears on your account
- you have former tenant arrears, from a previous tenancy
- our inspection shows outstanding repairs or unauthorised tenant improvements
- there are any outstanding tenancy issues, such as an interest in another property (through tenancy or ownership) to joint tenancy status.
Once these have been put right, the exchange may go ahead. If we agree to your exchange and you confirm you still wish to proceed, we will conduct an electrical test before that exchange takes place. We will undertake a gas safety check once you have moved into your new home.
It is important to remember that you are responsible for and accept the exchanged property as you see it. Your tenancy and rent may also alter after a mutual exchange. Please check this before you agree to a swap.
If you have any other questions, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to help you through the process of mutual exchange.
What happens if I swap with somebody that has a different tenancy type to me?
If you have a different tenancy type to the person you are swapping with, your tenancy type, tenancy terms and rent amount will all change.
For example, you may be responsible for certain repairs or be required to pay your rent by direct debit under the new tenancy terms. If you’re moving into a Thrive home, we’ll talk you through the key terms of your new tenancy.
What happens if I swap with somebody that has the same tenancy type to me?
If you have the same tenancy type as the person you are swapping with, your tenancy type and tenancy terms will stay the same.
The only thing that will change is your rent amount, this means you will inherit the rent charges of the person you are swapping with.
Can a request for mutual exchange be refused?
Yes, a request for mutual exchange can be refused if:
- you are on licence or do not hold an Assured, Assured Shorthold of Secure tenancy
- either exchange partners are in rent arrears
- either exchange partner has breached their tenancy conditions and/or if action has been taken to seek possession of property
- either exchange partner does not pass a pre-void inspection
- you or a member of your family have a history of anti-social behaviour.
Permission will also be refused if:
- the move results in substantial overcrowding or under-occupation
- an exchange would result in a property specially designed or adapted for a disabled or elderly person being occupied by someone without similar needs.
Can I apply again for an exchange at a later date?
Yes, there is no limit on the number of times you can move via mutual exchange providing prior permission is always given by the landlords.
Are there any incentives to move available?
If you are a Thrive Homes tenant and you move by way of Mutual Exchange to a smaller Thrive Homes property within the district, you may be eligible for an Incentive to Move payment.
This is only available for tenants of pension credit age who move to another Thrive Homes property. Please contact us to learn more about this scheme.
If my application is approved, are any conditions made?
Yes. There are several main conditions and we've summarised these below.
- The move is made entirely at the tenants' expense and each accepts the property, garden, shed and garage in its present condition without requesting any changes or upgrades. Any outstanding repairs and planned maintenance will be done within routine timescales.
- All residents at the address from which an application is made will move with the tenant should a mutual exchange be arranged.
- Tenants should make their own arrangements with the outgoing tenant as to who is responsible for any damage or chargeable items under the Conditions of Tenancy.
- No fixtures or fittings may be removed without permission from Thrive or the incoming tenant.
- The outgoing tenant is responsible for notifying the incoming tenant of any known defects with the property, any ongoing problems such as subsidence which is being monitored, or any works which they have been told are due to take place. Alternatively, the incoming tenant can make a written request for any such details to be passed to them prior to the exchange taking place.
- Tenancies will be made by way of assignment or surrender and regrant dependent on tenancies of all parties. This means your tenancy may effectively be ended and restarted upon moving to a new property, providing all parties in the exchange meet the terms and conditions.