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Mutual Exchange

If you have an Assured or Secure Tenancy with Wirral Methodist Housing Association, then you have the right to exchange with another tenant from any other housing association or the local authority. Homeswapper is for social tenants who want a house swap or Mutual Exchange. The scheme is internet based and if you have internet access you can register and look for exchanges yourself on www.homeswapper.co.uk
There is a small charge for registering to use this service.You and your exchange partner will both need permission from your landlord and although anybody can apply it will be up to the landlord to decide whether you are eligible. Contact a Housing Officer if you would like to discuss this before proceeding as the type of tenancy you have may effect your eligibility.


On what grounds would we refuse permission?

All exchanges must have the written permission of both landlords. Permission can only be refused on certain grounds. The following refers to England and Wales and if you are exchanging with someone in Scotland you must get advice from your housing officer.

The grounds apply to both the property you want to move to and your own property.
If either landlord refuses permission on the grounds detailed below the swap can not go ahead.

Ground 1 You or the person you want to swap with have been served with a possession order or a suspended possession order.

Ground 2 A notice seeking possession has been served on you or the person you want to swap with or possession proceedings have begun.

Ground 3 The property you want to move into is substantially larger than you reasonably need or your property is substantially larger than the person you want to swap with needs.

Ground 4 the property you want to move to is not reasonably suitable for your needs, or your property is not reasonably suitable for the needs of the person you want to swap with.

Ground 5 The property is part of or close to a building that is held for non housing purposes. Or is situated in a cemetery and was let to you or your predecessor in connection with your employment with the landlord, or with a local authority, a new town corporation, housing action trust, development board for rural Wales, or the governors of a grant aided school.

Ground 6 the landlord is a charity and if the exchange went ahead the occupation would conflict with the objects of the charity.

Ground 7 the property is designed for a physically disabled person and if the exchange went ahead a disabled person would not be living there.

Ground 8 the landlord provides accommodation only for people in particularly difficult circumstances and if the exchange went ahead the criteria would not be met.

Ground 9 the property is let to people with special needs and there is a social service or special facility close by to help the tenants and if the exchange went ahead no person with special needs would be living there.

What checks should I make before I agree to swap?

Check out the type of tenancy you will be given- there are differences that affect the rent you pay and other things like the Right to Buy. Your landlord should be able to advise you on this. Before you agree to exchange, check what the new rent and any other costs (such as service charges) will be and what the tenancy conditions are.Your house will usually be swapped `as seen` so make sure that you carry out a complete inspection of the condition of the house, you want to move to, because you may be expected to pay for any damage in your new house. If you are interested in eventually buying the property check that you will be able to do so. Most housing association homes cannot be bought by tenants.Make sure you can afford the moving expense. If you are claiming Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance or Pension Credit; you might qualify for a loan from the social security office. Try to keep your expenses to an absolute minimum before moving & remember there is no legal comeback if your swap partner withdraws from an exchange at any time.