Mutual Exchange

A mutual exchange is available to existing social housing tenants. You are a social housing tenant if your landlord is a council or housing association.
You can move home by swapping your home with that of another tenant in the UK. Due to the demand for social housing, existing tenants often find this is the easiest way to move.

There are several websites to help you search and find an exchange such as:

What to do when you find a swap

When you do find someone you'd like to swap with, the next step is to contact your landlord. Remember you cannot do a mutual exchange without your landlord's permission. If you exchange without permission, you will have no security of tenure and you may be evicted or forced to return to your original home. If you give or receive money or goods to persuade someone to exchange with you, you could be liable to eviction and/or receive a fine.

Safety tips

When arranging to view an exchange or to show your home, it is always sensible to take some basic precautions.
If you are viewing a property:

  • Plan your journey in advance and check bus or train times. If possible, order a taxi to come to the property you are viewing at a set time, or arrange for someone to collect you at a pre-arranged time
  • Arrange your visit during daylight
  • Take someone with you. if you can’t take a someone, leave the following details with a friend or in an obvious place in your own home:
  1. the address and telephone number of the property you are visiting
  2. the name of the person you are meeting
  3. the time of the viewing.
  • Ask the person you are meeting if there will be anyone else there when you view the property. Don’t be ashamed to say that you are aware of your own personal safety and need to know as many details as possible so that you can tell someone of your whereabouts
  • Don’t accept a lift before or after viewing a property - no matter how tempting the offer
  • carry a personal alarm on you
  • Take your mobile phone. Keep it switched on and in a safe place, out of view. If you don’t own one, see if you can borrow one
  • Use your mobile phone to let someone know you have arrived. Phone a friend or relative to say "Hi, just to let you know I’ve arrived at .. and Mr (or Mrs).. is showing me around. I’ll meet you in 20 minutes, but give me a ring if I’m running late."
  • Trust your instincts. If you have a funny feeling about something, leave straight away. Be prepared with an excuse to leave before attending the viewing.