What is a Mutual Exchange?
A mutual exchange enables you to swap your home with another tenant living in a housing association or council owned property and is a great way of finding a more suitable home either locally or in another part of the country.
What is Homeswapper?
Homeswapper is a national mutual exchange service which links together tenants who are looking to swap their home. This is a free service and holds details of tenants from all over the country who want to swap their property. You can register your details on the website www.homeswapper.co.uk and begin your search for other properties.
Local councils also run a scheme called Kent Homechoice which offers a local mutual exchange service. Go to www.kenthomechoice.org.uk for more information.
How do I know if I am eligible to swap my home?
You are eligible to register on Homeswapper if you are living in permanent, self-contained accommodation and renting your property from a council or housing association.
What do I need to think about before I decide on a mutual exchange?
- Make sure your rent account is up to date and you do not have outstanding debts to your landlord. If you are having problems paying your rent or clearing your rent arrears, then please contact us.
- Your property must be maintained to a good standard
- You can afford the moving costs
I have decided to go ahead with a mutual exchange, what do I do next?
Once you have decided you want to go ahead with a mutual exchange and you have seen a property you are interested in:
- Contact the tenant directly and arrange a viewing of each other’s property
- Make sure you look carefully at the property and think about whether you would be happy living there
- Remember if you choose to move, then it will be your responsibility to carry out any cleaning or decorating
- Make sure you check the type of tenancy you will be taking on
- You can afford the new rent amount at the property you are moving into and the moving costs
Do I need to get permission from Golding Homes to exchange my home?
Yes, you will need to apply to us for permission by completing an application form. You can request the application by emailing MutualExchange@goldinghomes.org.uk or call us to send the forms out to you.
All tenants wishing to exchange must complete the application form even if they are not a Golding Homes tenant. If you are joint tenants, both tenants must sign the application form.
Do make sure that if you are exchanging with someone who is not a Golding Homes tenant, that they contact their landlord and give them full details of the exchange.
What does Golding Homes do once they receive my application?
We will confirm receipt of your mutual exchange application in writing as soon as we receive all relevant applications. Your application is then assessed and standard checks will be made, including affordability checks. if there are no reasons to refuse your application, then a Maintenance Surveyor will call to make an appointment to view your property. During this visit you will be advised of any issues you might be responsible for or repairs you will need to do to your home before the exchange can proceed. Any repairs or issues identified will be checked to ensure you have dealt with these before you exchange.
If your exchange partner is not a Golding Homes tenant, we will contact the other landlord to request a reference. We will also send the other landlord a reference about your tenancy.
We will inform you and your exchange partner of our decision as quickly as possible. The maximum time we are allowed to take is 42 days from receipt of all applications
What reasons are there for refusing a mutual exchange?
- If legal action has started, for example if a Court Order has been issued or a Notice Seeking Possession has been served
- If the property is unsuitable for the household wanting to move in
- If the property has been adapted for the current tenant who has disabilities
- If the property is within our sheltered accommodation and the exchange partner does not meet the housing for older people criteria
- If the tenancy type prohibits a mutual exchange
- If the property has been built under Section 106 scheme, where it can only be let to people with a local connection to the area
If we receive an application where there is outstanding debt with Golding Homes, whether that be former or current tenancies we will contact you to clear the debt. Once all outstanding costs have been cleared, then authorisation to proceed will be given. If you are unable to clear the debt when contacted it may be necessary for the mutual exchange to be cancelled and all involved parties to reapply.
We will write to you with our decision, either giving permission or letting you know our reason for refusal.
Once I have approval to exchange my property, what happens next?
You will be asked to sign a consent form confirming you wish to proceed. Once this is received, Golding Homes will arrange for statutory checks to be carried out to your property. Following receipt of electricity and gas certificates and an Energy Performance certificate, we will contact you to advise Deeds of Assignment are ready for signing. We will contact all parties to arrange an appointment to sign the necessary paperwork so that the mutual exchange can proceed.
If you withdraw from the mutual exchange after the above safety checks are carried out, you will be charged for all statutory checks carried out.
Can I appeal if my application is refused?
There is no appeal process if your application is refused.