- Mutual exchange
- What is a mutual exchange?
- How do I apply for a mutual exchange?
- What happens next?
- How does Home-Link’s Mutual Exchange scheme work?
- How does HomeSwapper work?
- If I carry out a mutual exchange will I lose my Preserved Right to Buy?
- Can Chorus Homes refuse permission for me to carry out a mutual exchange?
- Assured Shorthold tenants
You may want to move home because it is too big or too small or because you have a medical or social reason. However, because demand for accommodation far outweighs supply, we are unable to help everyone.
If you should decide to move from one of our homes, you must leave it in a good condition ready for the next tenant to move in. Please see our leaving your property advice centre article to find out what you must do.
A transfer is when you move from your current home to another home owned by us or another registered social landlord.
How do I apply for a transfer?
We are a member of Home-Link, a sub-regional choice based lettings scheme. Home-Link gives choice about where you would like to live and operates in the local council areas of:
- Cambridge City
- Huntingdonshire District
- East Cambridgeshire District
- South Cambridgeshire District
- Fenland District
- St Edmundsbury District
- Forest Heath District.
Councils and housing associations who have properties available to let advertise fortnightly on the Home-Link website, at council and housing association offices, and other access points.
To apply for a transfer you will need to register with Home-Link. You can do this by completing their application form and returning it to Huntingdonshire District Council or by completing the form online at the Home-Link website. Once registered you will receive a welcome pack and user guide explaining:
- How the scheme works
- How your housing needs have been assessed using a banding system
- How to express an interest, called “bidding”, in properties advertised.
- Please note that in order to transfer you must:
- Have a clear rent account
- Ensure your home is in good condition
- Make good any alterations you have done.
For information about the Home-Link scheme and expressing interest in/bidding for properties being advertised, see www.home-link.org.uk.
For enquires about an existing or making a new application contact Huntingdonshire District Council. Call 01480 388222 or 01480 388223, email email@example.com or visit www.huntsdc.gov.uk.
For further details about available Chorus Homes properties advertised in the latest Home-Link magazine, please call 0345 266 9760.
What is a mutual exchange?
This is when you “swap” your home with another tenant who may be one of our tenants or a tenant of another landlord. A mutual exchange is often a quicker way for you to move than a transfer.
How do I apply for a mutual exchange?
You must first find a tenant who wishes to carry out a mutual exchange with you. You can do this by:
- Registering with the Home-Link scheme at www.home-link.org.uk by clicking on the ‘Mutual Exchange’ link. If you are unable to access the internet, please call at our offices or contact us on 0345 266 9760 for a paper copy of the mutual exchange registration form.
- Apply through HomeSwapper (www.homeswapper.co.uk), a mutual exchange website for social tenants. Applicants registering on HomeSwapper may be required to pay an administration fee (details of these charges can be found on the HomeSwapper website).
- Advertising in a local newspaper, shops, etc.
What happens next?
When you have found a mutual exchange partner, please complete a Request for Mutual Exchange form at www.home-link.org.uk. If you are unable to access the internet or are applying under the HomeSwapper scheme (see 8.4), please contact our offices for a paper copy.
We have 42 days in which to let you know whether we agree to your request (from the day we receive all the information we need from you and the other person).
We will visit you at home to complete a tenancy report. After we have considered the report we will then make our decision and inform you of the outcome, in writing.
Both you and the other tenant involved will need to sign a deed of assignment prepared by us. This passes on your tenancies to each other, so you accept the terms and conditions of the other tenancy. It is always worth checking that you are prepared to accept these terms, as the rights may be different to your existing rights. If you have any queries we will be happy to advise you of the differences in the tenancy and what this may mean to you.
How does Home-Link’s Mutual Exchange scheme work?
Home-Link runs a computerised mutual exchange register. The Home-Link Mutual Exchange website helps tenants exchange homes for the Cambridgeshire sub-region and elsewhere in the country. This service is free and offers clear information about:
- What is a mutual exchange
- Who can apply
- Any tenancy rights that may be affected by mutually exchanging your home
- What happens when you find an exchange partner
- Landlords’ rights to refuse a mutual exchange
- Hints and tips when viewing a home advertised for exchange
It has a simple registration process that can be done online and allows you to:
- ‘Find a home’ including maps of property locations
- Change application details
- Remove application details.
How does HomeSwapper work?
HomeSwapper also runs a computerised mutual exchange register. If you do not have internet access please call at our offices, where we will be pleased to help you.
HomeSwapper helps tenants exchange homes and covers the whole of the UK. It could help you move within your local area or move to a different part of the country. It offers the following features:
- New homes automatically matched to you
- Email and text match alerts
- 'My Favourites' function
- Maps of property locations
- Quick registration process
- Instant access to swappers’ contact details.
It also produces written details of applicants registered. You can also view the register at our offices.
If I carry out a mutual exchange will I lose my Preserved Right to Buy?
If you currently have the Preserved Right to Buy as part of your tenancy rights, you will only keep this right if you carry out a mutual exchange to another Chorus Homes home.
Can Chorus Homes refuse permission for me to carry out a mutual exchange?
Yes. Here are a few examples of why we might refuse a mutual exchange:
- A property would be overcrowded or substantially under-occupied
- One of the properties is unsuitable because it is sheltered accommodation, designed for elderly people, or alternatively it has been adapted specifically for use by a person with disabilities and no such person is in the new household
- A tenant is subject to a Notice of Seeking Possession or a court order.
We can also give permission for the exchange subject to certain conditions being met.
Examples of conditions would be:
- Payment of rent arrears
- Make good any repairs or improvements to our satisfaction.
It is against the law for you to offer anyone a financial incentive to swap homes with you, and could therefore put your tenancy at risk.
When moving homes via the mutual exchange route you are taking responsibility for the property in its current condition, including repairs, decorations and garden upkeep.
However, your landlord is still responsible for ensuring that your home meets certain standards, including those detailed under “Chorus Homes’ responsibilities”.
Assured Shorthold tenants
If you have an Assured Shorthold tenancy you do not have the right to exchange.