If you want to move home, you may be able to swap homes with another tenant. This is known as a mutual exchange.
What is a mutual exchange?
A mutual exchange is where two or more tenants agree to ‘swap’ their homes with the approval of their landlords.
Assured tenants can swap homes with:
- An existing assured tenant of NCH
- An assured tenant of another housing association or
- A secure tenant of a council
Assured shorthold tenants can’t exchange homes.
Are you eligible to exchange your home?
It’s important that you find out if you are eligible to swap homes before you submit an application.
Our application form contains guidance notes at the top, so please read carefully through these. It explains what type and size of home you can swap with based on your household size and the most common reasons why exchanges are rejected.
How to find someone to exchange with:
If you believe you are eligible to swap your home, unless you already know someone who wants to swap homes, the HomeSwapper website is the best way to find a new home. It’s free for NCH tenants and has homes available to swap across the UK from different housing associations, not just Newport City Homes’ (NCH) properties. It’s designed for people to advertise their properties when looking to exchange.
Many customers also tell us that they found their exchange partner on social media websites like Facebook.
You will need to create your own account to advertise your property and browse suitable swaps.
Once you have found someone to exchange properties with, you need to make arrangements to visit the property to see it in person and make sure that you want to live there.
Once you have decided you want to move, everyone involved in the swap must complete a mutual exchange application form. We can only begin to process your application once we’ve received forms from all those involved in the swap. We would advise you to keep in touch with the other person you are hoping to exchange with to ensure that their application is being processed.
All NCH customers have to submit a property condition self-assessment form as part of their application. This form will help you identify any damage and the repairs you need to make before you can move. It should help us speed up processing your application.
What happens after you submit your application:
We’ll send you a written acknowledgement to confirm we’ve received your application form and supporting documents.
We’ll double check that you’re eligible to move into the property you have identified in your application. If you’re not eligible, we’ll get in touch to let you know why your application was rejected before we cancel your exchange.
If there are outstanding debts on your tenancy account, you’ll have 28 days to clear them. If they’re not cleared within this time, we’ll close your application.
Once we confirm you’re eligible, we’ll contact you to arrange a property inspection. A surveyor will visit your home and check for any health and safety issues, any alterations or aesthetic changes or damage in the property.
If our surveyor notices any problems, they’ll explain what you need to do to fix them. You’ll have 28 days to do this before we return for a second inspection. We won’t be able to progress your application if you don’t make the changes we’ve identified.
Once your home has passed its inspection and we’ve confirmed both you and your exchange partner can swap homes, we’ll arrange the legal signings (known as assignment forms) and agree a mutually convenient moving date for you and your exchange partner.
You cannot move into the new property until the mutually agreed date on your assignment form.
We’ll arrange for gas and electrical safety checks to be carried out on the day your exchange takes place.
How long does the process usually take?
We aim to reach a decision on an exchange application within 42 days but this depends on a lot of different factors. For example, if there is a delay in one customer submitting all their information or clearing their rent debt, this will hold up the exchange chain or may even prevent it happening. We will keep you regularly updated during each stage of the process.
- Check you’re eligible to swap your home.
- Register with Homeswapper.
- Once you’ve found someone to exchange with, visit their property to make sure that you are happy with it.
- Submit your application form and property condition self-assessment form and return them to us.
- Keep in touch with the person you are hoping to swap homes with.
- We will keep in touch with you throughout the process.