Coronavirus update

Our mutual exchange service started again on 13 July 2020, but to begin with we focused on processing the backlog of applications we had since before lockdown began.

We’re now working through all mutual exchange requests we had prior to 12 July 2020.

Any applications we’ve received from 13 July 2020 will then be processed in date order.

So if this applies to you, we’ll be in touch soon about next steps including details of the exchange process and the deadline date for approving your application.

What is a mutual exchange?

A mutual exchange is where two or more tenants exchange tenancies and move permanently into each other's homes. It's an option you may want to consider if you're assesed as low priority on the housing register.

Am I eligible to exchange?

If you're the holder of a secure, assured or fixed-term tenancy and have passed your probationary period, you'll be eligible to request permission to carry out a mutual exchange with:

  • another L&Q tenant
  • a tenant from another housing association
  • a local council tenant

You must get permission from both landlords before an exchange date can be agreed. Even after you have permission to exchange, if your rent account is in arrears the exchange on the agreed can't take place.

We will not unreasonably withhold permission to exchange. Reasons why we might refuse are set out by law.

The most common reasons for refusal include:

  • the property would have too many or too few bedrooms
  • legal action is in progress
  • the property has been designed or substantially adapted for a specific purpose – for a person with a physical disability or as sheltered accommodation for older people

How to find someone to swap homes with

To help you find an exchange, we recommend that you register for free with HomeSwapper – the UK's largest online mutual exchange service. 

Through this service, you'll be able to search for suitable properties and let others view your home. 

Another free online mutal exchange service is ELLC Choice Homes. To sign up with this service, please visit the ELLC Choice Homes website.

You may also be able to find an exchange by advertising in local shops and papers or speaking to family and friends.

What to know before swapping

Make sure you look carefully at the properties condition and decoration and that you're satisfied – properties are taken as seen.

Here's some things you need to look out for:

  • damage or outstanding repairs that will become your responsibility
  • any items that will be taken or left behind
  • if the landlord is planning any work to the property in the near future

It's illegal to offer or accept an incentive to make an exchange happen. If you have concerns regarding any potential illegal or fraudulent activity, please contact us on 0300 456 9996 straight away.

Getting permission

If you have found someone to swap with, you'll need to complete and return our mutual exchange request form (128 kb PDF) as soon as possible.

If you wish to exchange with a tenant who doesn't rent their property with us, they'll need to contact their own landlord to complete an application form.

Once an application form has been recieved by all parties we'll check if you're eligble.

Then we'll arrange an appointment to inspect your home. This is necessary to asses the condition of the property and make sure there is no damage or alterations.

After the inspection we'll let you know of any work that needs doing before the exchange can go ahead.

If the person you want to swap with is not an L&Q tenant, we'll write to their landlord to request a reference. We'll also forward them a reference for you.

A decision will be made within 42 days of receiving your completed request form and you'll recieve a letter either granting or refusing permission.

Please note that if you swap homes without permission or after permission has been refused, you'll be expected to move back into your original home.