Mutual Exchange

A mutual exchange, also known as a ‘swap’ is available to existing social housing tenants. You are a social housing tenant if your landlord is a council or housing association.
You can move home by swapping your home with that of another tenant in the UK. Due to the demand for social housing, existing tenants often find this is the easiest way to move.

The website below is the place to go to help you search and find an exchange:

What to do when you find a swap
When you do find someone you'd like to swap with, the next step is to contact your landlord. Remember you cannot undertake a mutual exchange without your landlord's permission.

Exchanging without permission
If you exchange without permission, you will have no security of tenure.  You may be evicted or forced to return to your original home. If you give or receive money or goods to persuade someone to exchange with you, you could be liable to eviction and/or receive a fine.

Safety tips when viewing a property:
When arranging to view an exchange or to show your home, it is always sensible to take some basic precautions.

If you are viewing a property:

  • Take someone with you. if you can’t take a someone, leave the following details with a friend or in an obvious place in your own home:
  1. the address and telephone number of the property you are visiting
  2. the name of the person you are meeting
  3. the time of the viewing.
  • Plan your journey in advance and check bus or train times. If possible, order a taxi to come to the property you are viewing at a set time, or arrange for someone to collect you at a pre-arranged time
  • Arrange your visit during daylight 
  • Ask the person you are meeting if there will be anyone else there when you view the property. Don’t be ashamed to say that you are aware of your own personal safety and need to know as many details as possible so that you can tell someone of your whereabouts
  • Don’t accept a lift before or after viewing a property - no matter how tempting the offer
  • Carry a personal alarm on you
  • Take your mobile phone. Keep it switched on and in a safe place, out of view. If you don’t own one, see if you can borrow one
  • Use your mobile phone to let someone know you have arrived. Phone a friend or relative to say "Hi, just to let you know I’ve arrived at .. and Mr (or Mrs).. is showing me around. I’ll meet you in 20 minutes, but give me a ring if I’m running late."
  • Trust your instincts. If you have a funny feeling about something, leave straight away. Be prepared with an excuse to leave before attending the viewing.

If someone is viewing your property

  • Find out who will be viewing your property.  Make sure you have a name, an idea of what they look like and contact number.
  • Ensure that the viewing is during daylight hours
  • If possible host the viewing with someone else present; a friend or a family member.  If you have to host  alone, make sure that you have let a contact know what your plans are anhd how long you think the viewing will take so they can check in with you. 
  • Remove any valuables from view that could easily go missing and ensure that any sensitive paperwork is out of sight.
  • Give someone space to view, but keep them within eyesight.


Contact you landlord if you find another tenant to swap with to obtiain further advic and details of what wil happen next. Visit your landlord's website to obtain further information.