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Mutual exchanges

A mutual exchange is when one tenant swaps properties with another.

You can exchange with other council tenants and with some housing association tenants but you must have the consent of the landlord of each property.

Two or possibly multi tenants will exchange their homes anywhere in the country, you are not restricted to properties in Hillingdon. Probationary tenants are not permitted to do a mutual exchange during the lifetime of their probation.

Mutual exchange can be a faster way of finding a new home rather than applying for a transfer especially if your transfer application is assessed as a low priority. It is important to make sure you understand all the implications, set out below, before going ahead with a mutual exchange.

Register with Exchange Locata to find a mutual exchange property.

We actively encourage tenants to consider finding a mutual exchange if they want to move. The following gives an outline of what happens when you find someone to exchange with.

You must not arrange to move without written consent from all the landlords involved.

Further information:

General information

  • If you have viewed each others property and wish to apply to exchange contact your local housing office for a mutual exchange application form.
  • If all the tenants are council tenants you all need to complete a form.
  • If there is a tenant of another landlord in the proposed exchange you will probably need to fill in forms for that landlord as well.

Note: Never make or accept any payment for an exchange with another tenant.

What happens next

Once the exchange is agreed it will take place by assignment. You will not have a new tenancy and will take on the tenancy of the person you are exchanging with.

If you are exchanging with a tenant of another landlord you must satisfy yourself that you:

  • understand and are happy with that tenancy and the conditions within it
  • discuss them with the landlord or take independent advice from a solicitor, Housing Advice Centre or Citizens Advice

Housing association tenants have similar rights and responsibilities as HHS tenants but there are some differences particularly regarding the Right to Buy.

If you are a successor to a tenancy in your current property you will take that status with you.

You are expected to accept the property as seen. If decorations are poor or the garden is untidy this will be your responsibility. The landlord is only obliged to carry out the repairs it is responsible for.

We use the:

  • housing allocation policy [478kb] as a guide to whether a tenant will become too overcrowded or will have too much space which may lead to an application being refused
  • to check if council tenants are eligible for compensation, for improvements, or a grant under the Tenants Grant to Move policy

What happens when we receive your application?

  • We will write to you within 42 days of receipt of the application with a decision.
  • The acknowledgement letter will give that date. 
  • We will need to carry out both a tenancy and maintenance inspection to Hillingdon tenants, but will try and minimise inconvenience.

Grounds for application refusal

  • We can only refuse consent under certain grounds and impose conditions as stated in the Housing Act 1985.


  • Any of the tenants have a court possession order against them.
  • Any of the tenants have a valid Notice of Seeking Possession served on them.
  • The property size is substantially larger than is required for one or more tenants.
  • The property size is not reasonably suitable for the needs of one or more tenants.
  • One or more of the properties is let because of reasons of employment related to non housing purposes.
  • There is a conflict with a tenants occupation and the objects of a charitable landlord (some Housing Associations).
  • There are adaptations for a disabled person in one or more of the properties and no person with disabilities would be living in the property.
  • The landlord is a housing association which provides specialist accommodation and no person requiring specialist property would be living in the property.
  • The property is one of a group of properties let to people with particular needs,example; sheltered housing and no person with those needs would be living in the property.
  • A refusal by a tenant to become a member of an association where the terms of the management require it.

The conditions, which can be attached to any consent given, are:

  • your rent account must be clear at the date of assignment
  • you will be obliged to remedy a specified breach of tenancy
  • we will have to exchange tenancy information with the other landlord/s where this is relevant
  • the tenancy management team has the authority to make the decision about the exchange application
  • we will write to you if consent is refused giving the reason
  • once consent is given we will notify, in writing and arrange, with you, a mutual date to come to the office to complete the assignment paperwork before you move
  • if you exchange with a tenant of another landlord you will probably need to visit that office to complete the assignment paperwork, before you move

Note: You must not make arrangements to move until we say you can.

There will be at least a week between agreeing your move and the day you actually move, this is to allow for the assignment paperwork can be completed.

We arrange for a health and safety check on the gas and electricity installation within two working days for Hillingdon tenants of an exchange taking place.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 12 Mar 2018 at 11:19