An update on mutual exchanges
We’d like to thank everybody for your continued patience as we work hard to bring back mutual exchanges safely.
We’re pleased that we are now in a position to start to bring them back in a staged way.
We’ll be prioritising applicants and contacting them directly, who have had an application awaiting a decision before going into lockdown.
New applications will only be accepted from midday on Friday 21 August. All new applications from this date will need to be made using a new, shorter, online application form that will be available on the Mutual Exchanges page of the HomeLink website. This will be the only way to apply for a mutual exchange from this date onwards.
We will let you know at each stage what precautions you will need to take for your safety, the safety of your family, the safety of who you’re exchanging with and the safety of our staff. Please follow the guidance given by our officers when they contact you.
A mutual exchange is when you swap houses with another tenant. This can be an easier and quicker way to find a new home.
You can exchange with any Nottingham City Homes tenant, or any council or housing association anywhere in the United Kingdom. You’ll need permission from all landlords before the move can take place.
You need to know what type of tenancy you have before you apply for an exchange. All parties in the exchange must be secure tenants or assured tenants (if their landlord is a housing association). Introductory tenants cannot exchange.
To find someone to swap with all Nottingham City Homes tenants can register free with Homeswapper. This is an online service which allows you to search for people who might want to swap properties from all over the country, not just in Nottingham.
Once you have found someone to exchange with, you will both need to get written permission from your landlords by filling in a mutual exchange application form and send it directly to the mutual exchange team or hand in, at your local area office.
A Mutual Exchange Officer will then contact you to arrange a surveyor to visit your home. They’ll inspect your home, garden, outbuildings and garages. After the visit the Mutual Exchange Officer will tell you if we’ve approved the exchange or not.
If we’ve approved the exchange, you should check that you’re happy with the condition of the property you want to move to. Nottingham City Homes will not redecorate properties as part of the mutual exchange process – we only carry out normal repairs that we as your landlord are responsible for. If repairs need doing at your property that you are responsible for, you would normally have to complete those repairs prior to the exchange going ahead.
You also need to check the amount of rent you’ll be paying, the type of tenancy it is (remember that assured tenants may not be able to buy their homes but secure tenants can), the tenancy conditions, and why the other person wants to move.
If we haven’t approved the exchange, it will be for one of the following legal reasons:
- you or the person you’re exchanging with have had a Notice Seeking Possession served on you, or legal possession proceedings have begun
- you or the person you’re exchanging with have been served with a Possession Order or a Postponed Possession Order
- you or the person you’re exchanging with is moving to a home that isn't appropriate to your needs - for example, if it’s too large or too small
- if the accommodation isn't suitable to your needs or those of the person you’re exchanging with – for example, if your property is specifically adapted for you, and the person you’re exchanging with doesn't need the adaptations
- the property is a service tenancy
- the landlord is a charity where occupation conditions may apply
- the accommodation is provided by a housing association or trust to meet special needs, and the incoming person doesn't have those needs
- the property is one of a group with special facilities such as sheltered housing.
We may put a condition on the exchange being approved if any arrears need to be cleared before you move, or if a repair needs doing.
We have to tell you whether your application has been approved within 42 days of it being submitted. You’ll get a letter telling you what the decision is.
If your application is refused and you are not satisfied with the decision then you should contact us in writing asking for a review of the decision. The review will be carried out by a senior officer who will make an impartial decision based on the previous officers decision to refuse the mutual exchange. We'll write to you to confirm the outcome of the review.
If the exchange is approved, we’ll make an appointment for you and the person you’re exchanging with to come in and sign a Deed of Assignment. This will transfer your tenancy to the new person, and theirs to you, and you can then make arrangements to move home.