Mutual Exchange

A mutual exchange is often the quickest way to move house! You simply swap your property with another tenant through an ‘assignment of tenancy’ so you don’t need to apply to a waiting list. More information can be found by clicking the headings below.

Please remember to stay safe! Before you visit a possible exchange partner (or they visit you), read our mutual exchange safety advice.

Each party involved with the mutual exchange will need to complete an application form. It would be preferable for all the forms to be returned at the same time.  If you would like us to send you a copy please contact our Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 1567 or if you wish to print it yourself, please download a copy from the ‘Related Documents’ at the bottom of this page.

Due to a recent change in our Allocations Policy, we do not normally allow households to under-occupy our properties. Therefore, if someone is looking to mutually exchange and have identified a potential swap into a Radian property, please visit Directgov’s bedroom calculator  for guidance on how many bedrooms you will be eligible for. If in any doubt please contact Radian Direct on 0300 123 1 567 to discuss whether your household matches the correct occupancy levels for the property you have found. We look at applications on a case-by-case basis and may allow under-occupancy on a discretionary basis. Please call and speak to Radian Direct or your Neighbourhood Officer for more information.

Most Housing Association and Local Authority tenants, with the exception of assured shorthold tenants with fixed terms of less than two years and starter tenancies, have a right to exchange. We will encourage exchanges and will not unreasonably withhold permission. Unfortunately, mutual exchanges with tenants in leased or private rented accommodation are not allowed. A tenant also cannot exchange into an empty property. You cannot exchange if you have a Starter Tenancy, although you can start the mutual exchange process from the ninth month of the tenancy ready to exchange once the Starter Tenancy ends. If you are unsure what type of tenancy you have please log on to My Radian to check.

Before applying to all of the landlords for approval to exchange, you should check the following:

  • You have an Assured, Secure or Seven Year Fixed Term tenancy
  • You have a clear rent account
  • You do not owe any rent, court costs or recharges
  • There is no active Notice Seeking Possession or Court Order against your tenancy
  • You have permission for any improvement made at your home
  • Your home and garden are in a clean, tidy and good condition
  • The people applying to move into your home are suitable for it

You may be interested in Homeswapper, the UK’s largest community of social housing tenants looking to swap homes. It is free to all Radian tenants and is an easy-to-use and exciting new way to move home.

Each week thousands of people living in social housing register online and advertise their homes, looking for another tenant who would like to swap. As one of our tenants you can swap homes with another tenant using HomeSwapper and best of all, it is FREE! Better still, finding a mutual exchange through HomeSwapper means you won’t have to wait months on a housing transfer list and you will get to choose the home you want for yourself.

HomeSwapper has the UK’s largest database of people looking to swap homes across the UK. HomeSwapper uses the details you supply to automatically match you to other tenants who may have a home that you’d like and who would also be interested in your property. When it finds you a match you’ll be alerted by SMS text or email. You can then log onto HomeSwapper, look at the home you have been matched with and if you like the look of it you can arrange to visit.

In order to give you even more choice HomeSwapper is part of the HomeSwap Direct agreement meaning you will be alerted to the number of matches available to you on other sites if they exist. Please note that to see these matches you will have to register with another mutual exchange provider which may or may not incur a charge. Apart from HomeSwapper you may find a property through friends or advertised in local shops.

You are legally responsible for your property and for the prompt payment of rent. You are also required to keep to the terms of your Tenancy Agreement and must not exchange or assign your Tenancy without our consent. Therefore, we will take legal action against you if you exchange your accommodation without permission!

Before giving consent to an exchange, we must ensure that the tenants have met certain conditions:

  • Each tenant should have a clear rent account at the time of exchange
  • Each tenant should be moving to a property of the correct size for their current housing needs
  • A tenant moving to a specially-adapted property must have been assessed and given a medical recommendation for that type of accommodation

These are the main terms that must be met. However certain other conditions may apply.

Remember to make your home attractive to others. When you advertise, bring out the good features of your home. A colour photograph may help. Write about your home’s advantages, for instance the new double-glazed windows, the attractive view, or the proximity to shops and buses.

The following are standards that your home should meet in preparation for mutual exchange:

Kitchen

  • All existing kitchen units and worktops should be in a reasonable condition (clean and with no chips or scratches)
  • Cupboard doors should be fitted correctly and the handles should be secure

Bathroom and WCs

  • The bath, basin and WC should be free from cracks and stains, with plugs and chains attached
  • The taps should be clean and in good working order

Flooring and Staircases

  • Floors, staircases, banisters and handrails should be sound and free from damage

Doors and Windows

  • Front and rear external doors should be sound and secure
  • Windows should be sound and secure. Keys should be provided for windows with locks
  • Internal doors should be in good order and any missing or damaged doors should be repaired or replaced

Decoration

  • Skirting boards and door frames should be in good order
  • All wall surfaces should be in a good state of repair
  • Any graffiti should be removed

Gardens

  • All gardens should be tidy and free from hazards and personal belongings

Electrical items

  • If you have used your own light fittings, and do not have a certificate of installation from a qualified electrician, you will need to return them to our original standard

Repairs

  • If you have repairs that are our responsibility and need reporting, please report them before we visit

Improvements

  • Any alterations that you have completed in your current home will need written permission from us

Before you move

  • When it’s time to move, you will need to make sure your home and garden, including loft space and garages, are free from belongings and rubbish

Remember, you need to be sure about a property – after all it is potentially going to be your new home. Make as many appointments as you need, including weekends and evenings, before you make the decision to go ahead with a move.

Another thing to take into account is the cost of moving – not just for removals but for furniture, soft furnishings, repairs etc.

Please bear in mind that it is your responsibility to check the condition of the home you are moving to and to have the current tenant arrange for their landlord to undertake outstanding repairs before you move.

Before you visit a property, make a checklist of all your priorities. These could include:

  • Number of bedrooms
  • What are the local schools like?
  • Is there allocated parking? If not, is it easy to park?
  • Are transport links good?
  • How far is it to the nearest station/bus stop?
  • Location, location, location – in fact, have a good walk around the neighbourhood you’re thinking of settling in. Those well-spent ten minutes can be very enlightening.
  • What are the neighbours like?
  • Consider garden size (private or shared), paths, fences etc.
  • What’s going on in the local community?
  • Amenities – where are the nearest shops?
  • Does the type of heating suit you?
  • Amount of decoration you’re prepared to put up with
  • When would the current residents want to move?
  • What do the current residents plan to take with them?
  • What will your new landlord be like?

Be sure about what is involved. If there are fittings that have been provided by the outgoing tenant, and not by Radian, then we will not maintain or replace them in the future. If you accept them you will have to sign a form to say you will take responsibility to repair the items yourself. Typical examples are mixer taps or non-electrical shower units, carpets and curtains.

Gas fires provided by the tenant rather than Radian cannot under any circumstances be left in a property on mutual exchange. This is because we cannot allow you to be put at risk. This measure is to protect the safety of you and your family.

Firstly, make contact with the resident of the property you wish to move to. If all parties are happy to swap, you should then fill out the application form.

Each party involved with the mutual exchange will need to complete an application form. It would be preferable for all the forms to be returned at the same time.  If you would like us to send you a copy please contact our Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 1567 or download a copy: Mutual Exchange form.

The next step is for us to visit to both parties. If you are moving out of a Radian property, we will want to discuss the move generally with you and check the condition of your home.

If you are moving into a Radian home we will:

  • Give you information about Radian and your new tenancy conditions
  • Talk to you if we have concerns, for example, whether our property will be affordable to you

All being well, the next step is for landlords to exchange reports on the proposed moves, and for all parties to agree the date of the move. Please note that we require at least two weeks notice to arrange gas and electric safety checks.

If for any reason the move is refused, you will be notified in writing. You may need to speak to the other party involved to find out why an exchange was refused. This is due to data protection regulations.

Almost the last stage is the paperwork.  You and the other parties to the exchange will need to arrange to meet with us to sign the legal paperwork.  In most circumstances you will take on the original tenancy agreement taking on the tenancy conditions of the person you have swapped with. You will need to bring some proof of identity when you come to sign the paperwork.

We must give consent to an exchange unless one of a series of legal grounds for refusal apply:

  • If either tenant has a suspended or outright possession order
  • If possession proceedings or other legal action have begun because of rent arrears or anti-social behaviour
  • If the accommodation is larger than is required
  • If the accommodation is not large enough to house the family concerned
  • If the accommodation is adapted for a person with a disability and there would be no disabled person living in the dwelling
  • Where the property provides accommodation for a person with special needs and no one within such a group would be occupying the dwelling
  • Where the landlord is a registered charity and occupation would conflict with its charitable objectives

Remember:

  • You can only carry out an exchange with your landlord’s permission
  • When you accept the property you accept it in the condition it is in regardless
  • Once you have moved you cannot move back unless both parties agree and you start the process again

You must not offer to pay for someone to exchange with you. This is illegal and could cause both of you to lose your homes.

No, looking for an exchange will not affect your application for a transfer. It will, however, increase your chances of obtaining a move.

Yes, the advantage of mutual exchange is that the moves are not based on priority need, therefore giving all tenants the chance of an exchange.

We want to make the process for moving home as smooth as possible for you. From receipt of your application we must make a decision within 42 days about whether the exchange can proceed. This may appear to be a long time but in this time all parties will have needed to complete mutual exchange application and return to their landlord. The landlords will then all need to obtain references for the incoming tenants.

Step 1: Application
When all fully completed mutual exchange forms are received this is classed as day 1 of the 42-day mutual exchange process.

Step 2: Review of application
Days 1– 5 of the 42 days
Your Neighbourhood Officer will review your application and if you meet the mutual exchange criteria your property will be passed for inspection (for Radian customers).

Step 3: Radian property inspection
Days 1 – 15 of the 42 days
We will contact you to conduct a property inspection.

Step 4: Mutual exchange decision
Days 15 – 20 of the 42 days
Your Neighbourhood Officer will look at your case again to make sure your property is in good condition and you have met the terms of your tenancy.

Step 5: Swapping tenancies
Once all the checks have been done and the exchange has been agreed by all parties your Neighbourhood Officer will invite you and your exchange partner to an appointment to sign the legal paperwork. You will need to pay some rent up front. If your rent is charged weekly you will need to pay a week’s rent, if it is monthly you will need to pay a month’s rent. This includes everyone currently receiving Housing Benefit or anyone who will be applying for Housing Benefit after they have moved. This payment must be made so that your rent account is in credit, as specified in your new tenancy.

Step 6: Day of move
A Gas Safety Check will be carried out on the Monday you move in to a Radian property. The Electric Check will be carried out on the same day or within the first few days depending on availability.

Related documents

You can download documents related to Mutual Exchanges below: