Whatever your reason for wanting to move home, if your property no longer suits your needs you should consider the possibility of 'swapping' your home.
A mutual exchange is when two or more council or housing association tenants swap their homes. With their landlord's permission, each tenant moves in to the property of the person they are exchanging with. You can exchange with:
You'll need to complete and sign the appropriate legal paperwork before you move and you will usually take over the existing tenancy agreement of the person you're exchanging with.
It is not possible to exchange in to an empty property.
It is important to remember that you will be agreeing to take over your new home as it is. If the property needs decorating or repairing, you must be willing to carry out this work yourself.
Any council or housing association tenant with a secure, assured or flexible tenancy can apply for a mutual exchange.
In particular circumstances, your application may be turned down. Reasons why an application would be turned down are if you:
The application may also be turned down if the property you would like to move to is:
Join HomeSwapper, a scheme which has been designed to simplify the exchange process.
HomeSwapper is an online database of people who want to move home. It's free to use and allows you to find people who want to live in the type of property you want to move to. It's a nationwide service, so you can move within Welwyn Hatfield or anywhere else in the country.
To register, go to www.homeswapper.co.uk and complete and online application form. You'll need to supply:
Once you have searched online and found a property you are interested in, you'll need to contact the tenant by phone or email to arrange to view each other's homes.
You can show an interest in as many homes as you like until you find a home that suits you. Improve your chances by advertising in local newspapers and shop windows, or consider a swap with a family member or friend.
You and the person you're exchanging with will need to complete a mutual exchange application form. You may also need to complete a form for your partner's landlord if it isn't us.
Once the forms are received, we will consider your request and either approve or refuse permission for the move.
If we aren't willing to give you permission to exchange, we will write to you and let you know why. If it's because of something about your tenancy, we will tell you why. If the decision is connected with your mutual exchange partner's tenancy we may not be able to tell you the reason for the refusal.
If that happens, it's best to talk to your exchange partner to see if the problems can be sorted out. If they can't, you'll need to find someone else to swap with.
If your exchange is approved, we will arrange to inspect your property to check it's in good condition. We will also carry out a gas and electrical safety check. Once the inspections are done, we'll contact you to arrange a date for the move.
Please don't move until you have signed all the legal paperwork. If you move before you sign, you could lose your security of tenure or even be evicted.