In addition to bidding on our properties, another way you may be able to find a new home is by exchanging your current home with someone else.
If you’re already a secure, assured or fixed term tenant for either a local authority or housing association, mutual exchange means you may be able to “swap your home”.
This would usually mean that two tenants swap their homes, but it is possible to have several tenants involved in a “chain” of swaps.
Please note: you must get your landlord’s permission before you exchange homes.
If you would like more information about mutual exchanges, you can browse the drop down information below.
How to find a swap
Homes Direct is a free website where you can not only bid on our properties, you can also advertise your home, search for a swap by and apply when you've found a swap.
Advice and tips: Make sure you upload lots of photos to show off your home to possible swappers. This will save you time when showing your property to potential exchange partners.
Once you have found a swap, are you eligible to exchange?
You can apply for exchange properties if you:
- have lived in your council home for at least 12 months, and
- are a secure tenant or an assured tenant of a Registered Social Landlord or local authority
- are on a fixed term tenancy
- be clear of any rent arrears
Your tenancy agreement will confirm what type of tenant you are. If you are on a starter tenancy, you can not exchange properties until you have passed your probationary period.
What to check before you exchange
You should think carefully before going ahead with a mutual exchange.
When you exchange, you take on the tenancy of the person you are exchanging with. Make sure that you are happy with their tenancy and the condition of the property, including its fixtures and fittings.
Before you exchange, make sure that the tenant you swap with has not damaged the property or removed any fixtures and fittings. If they have, you will be responsible for putting things right.
You will have to accept the property you wish to move into in the condition it is in. For example, if it’s not well decorated or the garden is untidy, you will need to put these things right yourself.
As a landlord we only have to carry out the repairs we are responsible for.
How to apply for a mutual exchange
Stage 1 - Self assessment and application
When you've found someone to swap with, the Midland Heart tenant will need to complete our online assessment to determine if they meet the criteria to apply for an exchange.
Once we’ve received the results, we’ll send the Midland Heart tenant an acknowledgement with 24 hours. An email will also be sent to your exchange partner to also determine if they meet the criteria to apply.
Stage 2 - Exchanging references and assessment
Once both applicants have passed the initial assessment, fill in the exchange application form to give us your details and the details of the tenant you want to swap with.
Once we've received your form, we'll send you an acknowledgement within five days. We'll need to carry out some additional checks before you can move - checks about you, your exchange partner and your homes - and discuss the application with your exchange partner’s landlord (if applicable).
Please note: it can take up to 42 days to complete these checks but we aim to complete them earlier.
Stage 3 - The exchange
When everything has been agreed, we'll ask you to come into the office to sign the paperwork and we'll give you a date when you'll be able to move.
We have developed some frequently asked questions and a short step by step guide. If you have any further questions please submit them here