1. What is a Mutual Exchange?
A Mutual Exchange occurs where two tenants decide they want to ‘swap’ their homes. Each tenant legally ‘assigns’ their existing tenancy to the other.
2. What happens after I complete this form?
Once we have received applications from both you and your proposed exchange partner, we will write to you to confirm they have arrived.
Your application will then be passed to the Neighbourhood Services Officer for the area, who will check your tenancy file to ensure that:
- There is no possession order against your tenancy.
- You do not hold a Starter or Demoted tenancy.
- The family size is not large or too small for the intended property.
- There are no arrears or other outstanding debts on your account (subject to permission by Head of Neighbourhood Services.)
- Section 106 criteria is met by applicants.
In cases where the proposed incoming tenant holds a tenancy with another landlord, we will contact them to obtain a reference, giving details about their rent account, anti-social behaviour and the general conduct of their tenancy.
If there are no issues, we will arrange for a property inspection to be carried out on property to ensure that there are no problems, such as poor condition, unreported repairs or unauthorised alterations. In such cases, Ocean can suspend the exchange application until any remedial works have been carried out.
If everything goes to plan, you will be contacted asking both you and your exchange partner to attend a meeting to sign the relevant paperwork. We will keep you updated throughout the process via telephone/letter.
3. Can Ocean Housing refuse an exchange?
Ocean Housing can refuse a Mutual Exchange on the following grounds. This list is not exhaustive.
- If we have started eviction proceedings or have obtained an eviction order against your tenancy.
- If one or both properties is a service tenancy, i.e. provided as part of a persons employment.
- If either property is too small or too large to accommodate the size of families involved.
- If a property has been adapted to accommodate a disabled person or is sheltered accommodation.
- If the property is subject to a Section 106 & the proposed incoming tenant does not meet the criteria.
- If the Ocean Housing tenant holds a Starter or Demoted tenancy.
If your application to exchange is refused for any of the above reasons, you do have the right to appeal in writing to the Head of Neighbourhood Services. In your letter, you should outline the reasons why you feel the decision to refuse your exchange should be reviewed.
4. Are there any other reasons for refusing consent?
No, but Ocean Housing can delay the exchange if either party is in breach of their tenancy agreement. For example, if there are rent arrears or the tenant has not properly maintained the property. In these cases, the exchange could only proceed if the arrears were cleared and/or if the property was brought up to an acceptable standard.
5. What are the formalities of an exchange?
Each party signs a Deed of Assignment at Ocean Housing’s offices, which sets the date for the exchange to take place.
6. What are the exchange partners responsible for?
An exchange is an agreement between the two exchange partners. Although Ocean Housing inspects the properties to assess standards prior to exchange, it is the exchange partners’ sole responsibility to ensure that the other partner leaves their home in an acceptable condition. Ocean Housing will not be responsible for any repairs which are the responsibility of the tenant under the tenancy agreement.
7. What if I exchange without Ocean Housing’s consent?
The exchange will be unlawful and may lead to eviction proceedings being taken against you.
8. Where should I send my completed form?
Please return the completed document to your Neighbourhood Services Officer at: