A mutual exchange is when two or more tenants want to move from their current home, they swap homes with each other if they have the permission of all landlords involved. Given the shortage of available homes in the district, for many tenants this may be their best prospect for moving.

How does it work?

Applicants within the St Albans district can register for free on the national home exchange web site www.homeswapper.co.uk. If you find someone you want to exchange with you need to contact your landlord and arrange for a property inspection prior to approval.

Can your landlord say no to a mutual exchange?

Legally, we can only say no to your request to exchange for a limited number of reasons:

  • that either tenant is moving to a home that is inadequate for their needs
    (for health reasons, or that it would be too small)
  • that either tenant is moving to a home that is substantially too large for their requirements. Your landlord will usually agree to your moving to a home that has one bedroom more than you need, but no bigger
  • that there is a current order for possession made by the court in respect of any of the tenancies involved
  • that any of the properties are adapted, sheltered, warden-controlled or is some type of special needs unit, and the tenant moving in to the property is not eligible for, or does not need it
  • that the accommodation is tied
  • that the landlord is a charity and the proposed occupation would conflict with their aims
  • that any of the tenants has been issued with a notice of seeking possession.

We may say that you cannot swap tenancies straightaway if you owe rent, or there are repairs needed to the property that you have to carry out. However, once these matters have been sorted out, we usually say yes.

We are obliged to tell you in writing the reasons why we are saying no to your request. You have a right to refer the decision to the County Court if you disagree with it.


In this section

Mutual Transfers

As it becomes more difficult for the Council to arrange transfers, more and more tenants are discovering that mutual exchange can provide the different house or flat to meet their needs. This process involves two or more tenants swapping their homes.


Transfer options for Council and Housing Association Tenants