What is a mutual exchange?
A mutual exchange happens when tenants of Registered Social Landlords, such as Metropolitan, swap properties. This can only happen if both tenants have their landlord’s consent.
Metropolitan tenants are required to use the HomeSwapper mutual exchange scheme or another online mutual exchange scheme to secure a mutual exchange.
What is HomeSwapper?
HomeSwapper is a web based mutual exchange system that can help tenants to move to different parts of the country or another nearby local authority.
It’s the equivalent of an estate agency website and includes a map showing the property location and photos where these are available.
HomeSwapper is free for Metropolitan tenants – tenants of non-member landlords are charged £7.45 for three months, £13.95 for six months or £26.95 for 12 months.
How does HomeSwapper work?
Tenants register with HomeSwapper, entering details of their own property, and the type, size and location of the property they are looking for. Metropolitan has to approve tenants wanting to register on the system and can refuse if there are breaches of tenancy.
Every night, the HomeSwapper system searches through the database of registered tenants to find suitable swaps. Tenants receive notification of potential swaps through email and text messages.
What support is available for vulnerable applicants?
Metropolitan will complete the online registration for tenants who have difficulty accessing the internet. We will notify these residents of potential swaps for at least the first six months they are registered on the system.
What about existing Metropolitan mutual exchange lists?
Metropolitan no longer maintains a mutual exchange board in our regional offices. All tenants will be supported to use the HomeSwapper mutual exchange scheme or other online mutual exchange schemes.
How do I register with HomeSwapper?
You can register by visiting the HomeSwapper website. Alternatively, you can call your regional housing office on 020 3535 3535. The staff here will help you to register with the scheme.
What happens when I’ve found a tenant I want to swap homes with?
Once you have found a tenant you want to swap with it is vital that you seek approval from Metropolitan.
You should do this by completing a mutual exchange form and posting this to: Metropolitan, PO Box 10262, Nottingham, NG8 9LE. Alternatively, this can be emailed to email@example.com
What about residents in Derby?
If you live in the Derby City Council area and are wanting to exchange in the Derby City Council area, please register on line at www.derbyhomefinder.org.uk
If you are unable to register on line please complete the Derby Mutual Exchange Form and return to your landlord so they can register on line on your behalf.
What are the rules for mutual exchanges?
Metropolitan can refuse or give conditional consent to an exchange under Schedule 3 Section 92 Housing Act 1985. Common examples of refusal/conditional consent include:
- You have rent arrears.
- You have a Starter Tenancy.
- You are under a notice of seeking possession.
- You have a court order against you for breach of tenancy.
- You would be significantly under occupying/overcrowding the proposed property.
- You have damaged your property and need to undertake repairs.
- Your property is designed for people with special needs and or has been adapted to meet the needs of people with a disability, and the tenant you are exchanging with does not meet the criteria for the property.
- The tenant you are exchanging with does not meet the criteria for the property.
What happens once I’ve completed my mutual exchange form?
Once a mutual exchange form has been received, Metropolitan has 42 days (six weeks) to refuse, give conditional consent or full consent to a proposed exchange.
- Your Neighbourhood Services Officer will arrange to inspect your property to confirm that it is in a good condition.
- He/she will then prepare and submit a report on your tenancy to the landlord of your exchange partner.
- Your exchange partner’s landlord will also submit a report on their tenancy to Metropolitan.
- If both reports are satisfactory and there are no grounds to refuse or make conditional consent, a date for the exchange and signing of the Assignment of Tenancy with both landlords can be arranged.
- If consent is made conditional, the applicant will have to clear any rent arrears or make good the breach of tenancy upon which consent has been made conditional.
Important: A tenant cannot move until an exchange has been approved by both landlords and both exchange partners have signed an Assignment of Tenancy with both landlords.