A mutual exchange is a home swap with another tenant and could involve any property type. You can swap homes with any Council tenant or Housing Association tenant in the UK providing they have the right to mutual exchange and want to swap homes with you.

If you are an existing social housing tenant, you may be able to advertise your home for a mutual exchange.

You can move home by swapping your home with that of another tenant in your area or elsewhere in the country. Due to the demand for social housing, existing tenants often find this is the easiest way to move.

You advertise your home to other tenants who are looking for a move. If you find someone with whom you want to swap homes, your landlord will carry out some checks to make sure the properties are suitable for swapping and that there have been no problems with the tenancies. If everyone is ok, you arrange a date for a move and off you go.

Exchange Locata is a national on-line housing exchange service for tenants and landlords. Unlike many other schemes, as a tenant you can sign up to Exchange Locata free of charge, whoever your landlord is.

Exchange Locata allows tenants who are looking to exchange their homes to register their current property on the system and create their own property advert with photographs and details of their current home. 

The tenant can also register their preferences for the type of property and the area they are hoping to live in. The system alerts them by e-mail when someone else expresses interest in their property or a new property matching their requirements is registered.

Once a potential exchange is identified, the “Exchangers” are able to chat via the Exchange Locata messaging system in order to gather more information and arrange visits.

Once agreement is reached between the “Exchangers”, the Landlords are notified in order to carry out the necessary checks to either approve or decline the exchange.

Mutual exchange enables mobility without challenging any local lettings policies as the landlords on both sides of the exchange are merely changing the occupants of the household rather than the status of the property.

Exchange Locata links into the national mutual exchange system called HomeSwapDirect

The other providers of Mutual Exchange systems that form the national HomeSwap Direct service with LHS are House Exchange, Abritas, and Homeswapper. By signing up to one, tenants can see potential housing swaps available across the country.

Since its launch in October 2011, over a million searches for properties have been made through HomeSwap Direct and searches are currently running at more than 5,500 a day.

More information on Transfers and Exchanges can be found at the GOV.UK web-site.

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