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Mutual exchange or home swap

If you are looking to move but you haven’t got a high priority on Homefinder Somerset you can consider exchanging your home.

You can only apply for an exchange if you’re a secure tenant. Introductory tenants cannot exchange.

When you exchange your home, you’ll also be swapping your tenancy rights for those of the other tenant.

You can potentially exchange with other Somerset West and Taunton tenants or a tenant from another housing association or local authority.

You’ll need our permission and consent from the other landlord before you exchange. You can swap if you meet the legal conditions.

Finding a potential mutual exchange

Somerset West and Taunton Council tenants can sign up to the Homeswapper website for free to advertise their current home and search for other available homes.

Once you have found a potential house swap, you can apply online on the Homeswapper website for free, we can then invite the other households in your potential exchange to do the same. We have paper forms which we can post to you if you do not have access to the internet, please contact us on 0300 304 8000 to discuss this option.

Making sure you’re ready to exchange

Before you can swap homes, you’ll need to speak to all the landlords involved and ask for their approval to exchange. They then have 42 days to provisionally approve or reject the application (from when they receive applications from all residents involved). Please note the 42-day time period is for a decision only and does not mean you will move within the 42 days.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are happy with the property that you will be exchanging into and it is suitable for you.

All the landlords need to agree they're happy for the swap to go ahead before an exchange date can be finalised.

Before applying to all the landlords for approval to exchange, you should check the following:

  • You have a secure tenancy.
  • Your rent account is clear.
  • You don’t owe any former rent, court costs or recharges.
  • There’s no active Notice Seeking Possession, or court order against your tenancy.
  • There are no repairs outstanding that you haven’t reported.
  • Your home and garden are in a clean, tidy, and good condition.
  • The people applying to move into your home are suitable for it.

Once your application has been received, your property will be inspected. You’ll need to make sure that we can easily view all rooms and walls. Please take down posters and pictures and move large furniture away from the wall. Before the inspection, it’s a good idea to have a look at whether your home is up to scratch and, if needed, spend some time putting things right.

We won't be able to agree an exchange can go ahead if the property’s not in a good condition.

Inspection of your property

We’ll send a Surveyor to inspect your home after we’ve received your application.

They’ll check each room and look at any alterations you’ve made or damage that’s been caused whilst you’ve been living there.

You might be asked to fix anything that’s been broken before exchanging.

There may be some changes to the property that you have made which will need to be accepted by the incoming tenant and signed for.

More than two households wanting to exchange

If there are more than two households wanting to exchange properties with each other, you'll each need to fill in a mutual exchange application on the Homeswapper website.

Reasons your mutual exchange request may be denied

We will provide you with an explanation as to why permission has been refused and on what grounds.

The main reasons for refusing the mutual exchange are:

  • You are being evicted.
  • You work for your landlord and your home comes with your job.
  • Your home is adapted for a person with special needs and nobody in the new tenant's household has those needs.
  • The home you want to move to is larger than you need.
  • The home you want to move to is too small and your household would be overcrowded.

Mutual exchange appeals

If you think your mutual exchange application has been turned down unfairly, you can appeal by contacting us 0300 304 8000.