Council Home Exchange Tips

Helpful viewing advice

1. Try to view the property in the day ~ and try to take someone with you.

2. Try to go with another family member with you each time, for a second opinion and approval.

3. If you are disabled, ensure you have safe access to the property.

4. List any questions you have, in order to get the most out of looking around the property.

5. Make note of any major areas that need improvement so you can address these before you swap or exchange.

6. Ask the occupier what guarantees are in place for work undertaken previously.

7. Take in the surroundings; are the roads busy at certain times, are there any pubs or clubs in the local area that may be a noise nuisance in the evenings and at weekends.

8. Try to create a constructive rapport with the persons who are swapping.
You are more likely to find out more about the property and area by doing so.

9. Try and imagine yourself living there; will your current furniture and vehicles fit.

10. Consider your security and the layout of the local surroundings for your family's use.

11. Think about staircases, street lighting, access and parking arrangements.

12. Get an idea of what fixtures and fittings and carpets are being left at the property.

13. Ask the current tenants why they are moving.

14. Try and find out about the neighbours character and how well the current tenants get on.

15. Take the time to have a second visit. This will affirm if your initial feelings were correct.

16. Remember that empty rooms look very spacious.
Always try to picture the home with your possessions inside and placed.

17. Think about any pets you may have or want in the future. Would the new home be suitable?

Helpful Landlord advice

1. Your Landlord may allow you to exchange into a property that is one bedroom larger than you technically need. If they are allocating you a property for the first time or re-housing you due to say overcrowding, then your Landlord would only give you the number of bedrooms that you actually require. Ask your Landlord for details on their under/overcrowding policy, as this differs between Landlords.

2. All Registered Social Landlords operate a mutual exchange policy. Ask your Landlord what their general policy terms are.
Standard terms to expect;
a) Resident for 12 months minimum
b) No rent arrears
c) Similar category of property
d) No legal action to repossess your home or the home you want to swap with
e) Exchange would mean that a home adapted for elderly or disabled people would have nobody living in it who needs the adaptation

3. By law, Landlords must make a decision within one month of receiving your filled-in application to move.

4. Grounds for refusing mutual exchange include;
4.1 - There is a Possession Order on the property.
4.2 - A Notice of Seeking Possession has been served.
4.3 - The tenant or any member of his household has behaved in an anti-social way and action including Possession proceedings, injunctions or a demotion order is against them, is in place or is been sought.
4.4 - The property is bigger than is needed by the family wishing to move into it.
4.5 - The property is not big enough for the family wishing to move into it.
4.6 - The property is tied accommodation.
4.7 - The landlord is a charity and the proposed new tenants moving into the property would conflict with the objects of the charity.
4.8 - The property has special features that make it suitable for occupation by a physically disabled person who needs it and if the exchange took place there would no longer be such a person living in the property.
4.9 - The landlord is a Housing Association or Housing Trust that lets properties to particularly vulnerable people and if the exchange took place there would no longer be such a person living in the property.
4.10 - The property is supported housing for people with special needs and if the exchange took place there would no longer be such a person living in the property.
4.11 - The property is the subject of a management agreement where the manager is a Housing Association and there are specific arrangements in place that the proposed new tenant is not willing to participate in.

5. It is illegal to pay anyone to persuade them to exchange tenancies with you. If you exchange without asking for permission, your Landlord may force you to exchange back.