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Mutual exchange

You can swap your rented home for a different one through a scheme known as mutual exchange.

A mutual exchange can be a useful way of finding a property better suited to your needs, for example downsizing if you are affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy (bedroom tax) or if you are looking for a home closer to friends and family.

To arrange a mutual exchange:

  1. Check if you are eligible for a mutual exchange.
  2. Advertise your home to potential swappers.
  3. Once you've found a match, contact us so we can review your request and give a final decision about the proposed mutual exchange.

1. Eligibility

You can swap your home if:

  • you aren’t moving to a property where you will be overcrowded or have more space than you need;
  • you aren’t in debt with your rent;
  • the other person’s landlord is happy for the exchange to happen;
  • the swap does not breach any planning regulations;
  • you get our permission in writing; and
  • there is no ongoing legal action relating to your tenancy

There may be other conditions, depending on your type of tenancy. Please contact us to see if you are able to exchange.

The person you swap with must meet one of the following requirements.

  • They are an Orbit customer; or
  • they are a customer of another registered social landlord (usually a housing association); or
  • they are living in a council-owned and managed home.

Further information and advice is available on the Shelter website about other requirements that you may need to meet.

2. Advertise your home

You will have to find the other person to swap homes with. You can do this in a number of ways, including:

  • putting an advert in the local newspaper or shop windows
  • registering with your local council
  • signing up to the HomeSwapper website.

HomeSwapper

Orbit offers a mutual exchange scheme through the HomeSwapper website. This website lets you swap your home with other housing associations and council customers in any other part of the UK. This service is free if you are an Orbit customer.

To start using HomeSwapper, all you need to do is create an account on the HomeSwapper website.

You can also find lots of great tips and advice on the HomeSwapper Swapper Central blog to help improve the impact of your advert on the website.

3. Contact us to review your mutual exchange

When you find someone to swap with, you need to complete a mutual exchange request form. Contact us and we'll send the form to you which will need to be signed and returned to us.

  • Your mutual exchange cannot go ahead without our approval as landlord. The person your wish to swap with will also need to request permission from their landlord.
  • We will write to you to let you know our decision within six weeks of receiving your request. 

 

Don’t do anything until you get our agreement in writing and an agreed move or exchange date has been set by both landlords.

When you sign up to a mutual exchange, you accept the home you move to in the condition you find it. Make sure that you know the state of repair and the decorative standard of the property before you commit to anything.

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