Mutual exchange

Housing

A mutual exchange is the swapping of accommodation between two or more council tenants. 

It’s a permanent exchange, and you can’t move into an empty property.

To apply, you need to be

  • a council and housing association/trust tenant with a secure tenancy
  • a housing association/trust tenant with an assured tenancy

Exchanges between tenants in leased or private rented accommodation is not allowed.

And you’ll need to get permission from your landlord before going ahead with an exchange.

You can’t exchange without the council’s permission.

To get permission you need to make sure

  • everyone has a clear rent account
  • each tenant should be moving to a property of the correct size for their current housing needs. You’ll only be allowed to move into a property with a maximum of one bedroom more than you need.
  • if you have special needs, that you inform us of what these are and the home you’re moving to is suitable for you. You’ll need to be assessed for suitability by the council. 
  • It’s not based on your housing priority level.
  • You can still apply for a transfer at the same time as looking into mutual exchange. You can do both.
  • Properties aren’t just in Waltham Forest. You can look anywhere across the UK. 

You can find your own exchange partners through friends and relatives.

But there are now many websites you can use, which are quicker and give you a wider range of properties.

Waltham Forest Council recommends HomeSwapper.

Visit the HomeSwapper website here

You can find people to swap homes with across the UK.