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Mutual exchange

The mutual exchange process includes a home visit to both properties to carry out an inspection. As we cannot currently carry out home visits we will not be processing applications.

All applications will be retained and dealt with in date order once our service is fully running

We would also strongly advise our tenants who are considering an exchange not to visit any other properties as this is a breach of the recent government guidelines on movement of people

A Mutual Exchange is a way for two or more tenants to exchange (swap) homes.  Due to the high demand for social housing this will often be a quicker way for you to move to a different property which meets your needs.  This could be within the district or anywhere in the country.

Please note that introductory tenants are not eligible to apply for an exchange.

You can register for an exchange for free and view available properties, with HomeSwapper. You can also advertise locally to find an exchange partner and there are social media sites set up to help.  

I have found a possible mutual exchange partner how do I apply? Toggle accordion

First we would recommend that you visit the property you want to move to and make sure it is what you want. Your exchange partner should do the same. If you are both in agreement you can download the application form and accompanying leaflet below.

Or you can email housingmanagement@stalbans.gov.uk to request one.

You can return the forms to us via the above email address or post them back to us at:

St Albans City & District Council
Housing Management
Civic Centre
St Peters Street
St Albans Herts
AL1 3JE

Your exchange partner will also need to complete and return a form.

What happens next? Toggle accordion

Once we have received all the completed forms and documents requested, we have 42 days to either approve or refuse your application.

We will contact you to arrange a visit with a surveyor to carry out an inspection of your home. Following this you will be advised of any problems with the property and what we expect you to do to rectify them. You will be sent a report on the condition of property you wish to move to and asked to sign a declaration to confirm you are happy to accept the property in its current condition.

Then subject to satisfactory landlord references and clear rent accounts for all parties, your application can be approved.

The Legal Requirements Toggle accordion

Legally we can only say no to your request for a limited number of reasons

In some circumstances we can approve your application on condition that a breach of your tenancy is rectified, such as clearing rent arrears or making good any damage to the property. 

Arranging a moving date Toggle accordion

Once we have written to you to approve the exchange, you and your exchange partner can agree your moving day. Prior to this date your housing officer will arrange an appointment for you and your exchange partner to come into the Council offices to sign the paperwork which will legally transfer your tenancy. This will either be via a Deed of Assignment or by surrender and regrant of a new tenancy, depending on the type of tenancy you hold.

Please make sure that you leave the property clean and clear, with any rubbish or belongings being removed including the loft and any outbuildings. 

It is a condition of the mutual exchange that you provide access to our gas and electric contractors to carry out safety checks as soon as possible after the exchange has taken place.

The housing officer will contact you about 3 months after you have moved in to arrange a Welcome visit.