Swapping your home

What is a mutual exchange?

A mutual exchange is when two or more tenants exchange (swap) their homes. Each tenant must move into their exchange partner’s property and take on responsibility for that tenancy. There is a full process for this that we can help with. Once the tenant has found an eligible swap partner, it takes around three months to complete, but is dependent on certain criteria. Some people may not be eligible.

You may wish to exchange to a larger or smaller property or to move to a different location. You can exchange with another tenant living in any part of the country.

Mutual exchanges are often found to be a quicker method of moving house than a transfer although they take 3 months on average. However, before you get started, please read all the information below.


  • Am I eligible for an exchange?

    Most people with a secure, assured lifetime or 5-year fixed-term social housing tenancy in their name are eligible. If either tenant has a history of anti-social behaviour, rent arrears, or other tenancy breaches, the exchange may be denied.

    You won’t be eligible if any of the following apply:

    • You have a starter, or an assured shorthold tenancy
    • You have rent arrears
    • You have been given a property as part of your employment with its landlord
    • You have been housed by a charity and the new tenant would conflict with the charity’s aims
    • You are living in a hostel or supported accommodation
    • You have a current Notice of Seeking Possession, tenancy breach or court order.
  • What to consider when thinking about swapping homes

    When you exchange your home with another tenant, you’re taking on all the responsibilities of that new home. This will mean that you’re taking on a different tenancy agreement with possibly different clauses. You should also consider:

    • Bills and expenses. Rent, service charges, council tax, and any other outgoings, will likely be different. Travel costs to work, local amenities, and even the heating system in your new home could be different, and more expensive.
    • Your responsibilities could change. For example, some tenants are expected to attend tenancy reviews, and some aren’t.
    • There may be differences in the succession arrangements of the new home, meaning that you may not be able to pass on the tenancy to family members, where you can in your current home.
    • Property condition. We’ll inspect our property, but you should ensure yourself that the property is suitable for your needs. If there are repairs needed, they may be your responsibility.
  • Is your house the right size?

    Because of demand for social housing, we ensure our properties are fully occupied but not overcrowded.

    One bedroom is allowed for each of the following:

    • An adult couple
    • Any other adult over 16
    • Two children of different sexes under the age of 10
    • Two children of the same sex aged under 16

    Before you start the process, you must make sure that all your household information is correct.


  • What is the process of mutual exchange?
    1. Find yourself someone to swap homes with. There are many ways to find someone who wants to swap with you, but we recommend registering for one of two free websites that we’re members of:

    The more information about your property, and photographs, that you provide, the more interest you’ll receive from other tenants who want to exchange.

    1. Make the initial request by filling out our online form. We’ll respond to you within five working days to discuss further.
    2. You’ll then fill out a more thorough application form that covers everything we need to know. The person you’ve agreed to swap with will be doing something similar for their landlord (which could still be Hyde). Please note that if it’s another landlord and not Hyde, this could affect the timings of the process.
    3. Once the full application is approved, there are lots of checks and assessments that need to happen before consent to exchange is given. This is to make sure that each home is suitable and safe. We have 42 days to complete these checks. An Officer at Hyde will make the arrangements and oversee all steps.
    4. Once you have full permission, we need to arrange a move in date. There’s still some final checks and paperwork and we need to work around different schedules, so this is usually about 35 days from the final approval, but could be more.
    5. Move into your new home.

    Our online flyer explains the process in more detail:

    Exchanging homes with another tenant (PDF, 84KB)

    You shouldn’t make any arrangements to move in until you have received written approval from us. You must not exchange your home without permission. If you do, you may have to move back.

  • Could my application be refused?

    Your application will not be refused without good reason. It could be due to eligibility as outlined above. But there are other reasons too. The website we’ve advised to find a swap partner, HomeSwapper, outlines some other reasons why a mutual exchange may be refused.