Last updated: 5 June 2024

Next review: 5 June 2025

A mutual exchange is the swapping of homes between two or more council tenants. It’s a permanent exchange, and you can’t move into an empty property.

Who can apply for a mutual exchange?

To apply, you must 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 housing is not allowed.

You must get our permission before going ahead with an exchange.

Getting permission for an exchange

To get our permission, you need to make sure:

  • everyone has a clear rent account
  • each tenant is moving to a property that suits their current housing needs. You can only move into a home with one bedroom more than you require. 
  • if you have special needs, you tell us what these are and the home you want to move into is suitable.  You’ll be assessed for suitability by the council. 

What are the benefits of mutual exchange?

  • 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. 

How to find people to swap with

  • You can find your own exchange partners through friends and relatives.
  • There are lots of websites you can use to swap home with people across the UK. We recommend HomeSwapper