Mutual exchange policy

Types of exchange

4.1 Mutual exchanges are carried out in one of two ways;

  • Through assignment. This is where tenancies are swapped at the same time homes are exchanged. The incoming tenant takes on the rights and responsibilities of the outgoing tenant and both will have tenancies with a similar security of tenure. No new tenancy is created. Each tenant will sign a 'Deed of Assignment'.
  • Through surrender and re-grant. This is used in circumstances where a mutual exchange application involves one social housing tenant with a tenancy that was granted before 1st April 2012 and one whose tenancy was granted on or after 1st April 2012 and the security of tenure is different. The tenancies are surrendered and re-granted to offer a similar security of tenure at the new property.

4.2 In circumstances where a tenant has inherited their tenancy by succession or it has been legally transferred to them by way of assignment from a family member, the succession rights follow the tenant and do not remain with the tenancy i.e. a tenant who is a successor under the original tenancy will remain a successor in their 'new' tenancy following mutual exchange, whichever method of exchange is used.

4.3 Existing tenants will only be able to retain their current level of security once (not necessarily for subsequent exchanges) as any further tenancy would have commenced after 1/4/2012 and would not be bound by the same requirements under the Localism Act 2011.

The table below shows whether an exchange by assignment or by surrender and re-grant will take place.
Tenant 1 Tenant 2 MX by Exceptions
Flexible/fixed term Flexible/fixed term Assignment  
Secure/assured Secure/assured Assignment  
Secure/assured pre 1st April 2012 Flexible/fixed term Surrender and re-grant If fixed term has an affordable rent (by assignment)
Secure/assured post 1st April 2012 Flexible/fixed term Assignment