Mutual exchange

Looking to move home? A mutual exchange could help you find a more suitable home, locally or further afield. 

Maybe your current home is too large or too small for you? Maybe you want to move closer to family or friends? There can be lots of reasons why a change of scene might be right for you. 

The mutual exchange scheme is open to anyone renting social housing. It can be a great way of finding a more suitable home for you, either in your local area, or somewhere new.

What is mutual exchange?

A mutual exchange allows you to swap your home with someone else’s. You can swap with another Grand Union customer, or a customer of any other housing association or council. 

Am I eligible for mutual exchange?

You have the right to mutual exchange, provided that:

  • you’re a social housing resident in England or Wales
  • you have an assured/lifetime or fixed term tenancy agreement 

There are circumstances when a mutual exchange might not be possible for your home. See our next steps page for more information.

If you’re unsure, you can always contact our Relocations team to discuss if you’re eligible for mutual exchange. 

Where can I find a home to swap with?

There are dedicated mutual exchange websites where you can find a swap. HomeSwapper is free for Grand Union customers, where you can:

  • list your home for exchange
  • browse available homes from other Grand Union tenants
  • browse available homes from other housing associations or local authorities.

Be wary that some sites will charge you to view homes or advertise your own. 

You may also wish to seek independent advice from Citizens Advice or your local council law centre. Independent advice can help you to decide if a swap is right for you.

I’ve found a home swap, what now?

If you think you’ve found a suitable swap, click the link below for more information on your next steps. Here you’ll find out how we can support you with your swap.

You may also be entitled to a Fresh Start Payment of £1,500. This is offered to people who meet all of the following criteria:

  • you’re currently a Grand Union Customer
  • you’re swapping with another Grand Union customer
  • you’re downsizing and the home you’re moving to is the right size for your household.

Existing customers will only be eligible for the payment if they meet the above criteria, and all parties within the exchange are moving to a property which is the correct size for their household’s needs. 

The Mutual Exchange procedure takes precedence over the Fresh Start scheme and the usual conditions for a Mutual Exchange being able to proceed, such as a clear rent account, still apply.

Got a question?

If you’re not sure about something, we’ve put together some frequently asked questions.

Can I be refused a mutual exchange?
There are circumstances where either you, or your swap, may not be granted permission to move.

These can include the following: 

  • There is a Possession Order on either home.
  • A Notice of Seeking Possession has been served on either home.
  • Either home is too big or small for the household wanting to move in.
  • Antisocial behaviour has occurred in either home and action is being taken.
  • Either home is provided by an employer (tied accommodation).
  • Either home has special features that make it appropriate for someone that’s physically disabled, vulnerable or has special needs, and the swap would mean no such person needing these features was living there any more.
  • Either home has any specific management arrangements that the new tenants are not willing to participate in. 
  • The landlord of either property is a charity and the swap would conflict with the interests of the charity.
  • Either home has been built under a Section 106 scheme and the new tenants do not have a direct connection to its corresponding parish.
House keys being handed from one person to another