What is a mutual exchange?

A mutual exchange is where you exchange your home with another council, Stockport Homes or housing association tenant. You take over the other person’s tenancy, under the same terms and conditions, and they take over yours. Any council or housing association tenant with a secure or assured tenancy can apply for a mutual exchange. 

It’s really important you understand any differences between your current tenancy and the one you are applying to take over. For example, you may be a secure tenant and the tenancy you are looking to mutual exchange in to may be an Assured tenancy. Your Housing Officer can explain any differences and what these mean. Being clear on the rent payable and any other charges is also something tenants must be clear on when considering a mutual exchange.

How long does the exchange process take?

Housing Law allows housing providers 42 days from the date that the swap request has been accepted by both/all parties and confirmed via the Homechoice housing portal: https://www.homechoicestockport.org/

Please note: You are not authorised to exchange until you are given full permission in writing.

How can I find a mutual exchange?

You can find a mutual exchange through: 

Can I encourage an exchange by paying someone?

No, do not offer any cash incentives in return for an exchange. It is illegal and you and your family could be evicted from your property by your council or housing association. 

Arranging a mutual exchange viewing

Remember, you need to be sure about a property – after all it is potentially going to be your new home. Try and view the property more than once (maybe including weekend and evenings), before you make the decision to go ahead with applying for a move.  

Safety when viewing a property 

  • Always tell someone else where you have gone and what time you expect to be back (especially if you are viewing on your own) 
  • Take a mobile phone with you 
  • Try and go with a friend or family member for a second opinion - you should let the person you are visiting know that you will be accompanied 
  • Confirm with the other party who will be at the property when you view 
  • Plan you journey in advance 
  • Never accepts lifts from anyone you don’t know 
What should I do once I have found an exchange?
  • When you have found someone to swap with, and you are both happy with each other’s properties, visit the Homechoice website and the Mutual Exchange section to complete the application. 
  • Once accepted your neighbourhood housing officer with then make a decision as to whether your mutual exchange can go ahead 
  • Please note: you are not authorised to carry out a mutual exchange until full written permission is given 
How we decide if an exchange can go ahead

Property Inspection – We will arrange to carry out a 'visual inspection' of your home and garden to check for any outstanding repairs or unauthorised alterations which need to be fixed before you move. You will be informed in writing if there are any repairs which are your responsibility 

This will include things like: 

  • Neglect full damage to fixtures and fittings that are not the result of wear and tear 
  • DIY or improvements you have made without your landlords permission 

Once these have been completed, we will arrange to re-visit to check that the work has been carried out satisfactorily. 

You will not be permitted to move until the repairs have been completed to an acceptable standard. 

Any repairs which are Stockport Homes’ responsibility will be reported to the repairs Contact Centre to be completed before the exchange goes ahead. 

A Tenancy Reference will be requested for each tenant, the reference should confirm that there are no outstanding rent arrears, no legal action is being taken for anti-social behaviour and that the tenancy has been conducted satisfactorily. 

Can an exchange be refused?

Exchanges can only be refused for specific reasons. The main reasons we can refuse an exchange are: 

  • you have rent / rehousing arrears, these must be cleared as a condition before you can exchange homes 
  • you have been served a Notice Seeking Possession 
  • you have not kept to the terms of your Tenancy Agreement 
  • the home you are wanting to move to means it will be overcrowded or under occupied 
  • you or a member of your family has had an anti-social behaviour court order against you / them 
  • the property was built for, or been adapted for a disabled person and you do not meet the criteria 
  • the property has been designed for the elderly only and you do not meet the age related criteria (Sheltered Scheme) 
Moving day

Once the exchange has been approved you can agree a moving date with the other tenant that is a working day (Monday to Friday) and we will arrange a date for you to complete the sign up paperwork. 

Gas / electric checks: Please note that a full gas and electrical safety check must be carried out at your current property on the actual date of moving and that any mutual exchange is conditional upon those tests being arranged and carried out. We will require you to notify us at least 10 working days in advance of any proposed actual move date. 

You need to ensure the property is left in a clean and tidy condition for the incoming tenant and you have removed all unwanted items and rubbish from the property; this includes the garden and loft. 

Looking for a move outside Stockport?

Stockport Homes tenants can register for FREE with the National Housing Exchange website This is especially good if you are looking to move outside of Stockport. 

Exchanging Homes Leaflet

Read for more information on Mutual Exchange Scheme

PDF 4564Kb

View online