We want you to live in a home that is comfortable and right for you. It may be that you would like to move to a different area, or to a different-sized home, and you can do this by swapping with someone else.
What is a mutual exchange?
A mutual exchange is when you swap your home with another social housing resident.
You can move anywhere in the country without the need to go through the usual housing waiting list or letting system.
A mutual exchange is a good way for you to complete a move, as it doesn’t require you to apply for housing or depend on your priority need to move.
Please read the information below, and, if you meet the criteria, apply for mutual exchange using the form below when you are ready.
You will not be able to do a mutual exchange if:
- The home you wish to move to is too big or too small for you, according to our guidelines
- There are court orders against you or other residents of your home
- Your home has been designed or adapted for someone with a disability, and the person you are exchanging with doesn't need these facilities
- Your home has been built for a specific age group and the person you are exchanging with doesn't fulfil this criteria
- You are in rent arrears
- There is a history of antisocial behaviour at your home
- You are in the first year of your tenancy with Eastlight (you hold a starter tenancy)
To apply for a mutual exchange, you must hold a Secure or Assured Tenancy.
You must find another social housing tenant who wants to swap their home for yours.
This can be another Eastlight resident or a resident of a different council or housing association.
To help you find someone to exchange with, you can register on the free to use mutual exchange site House Exchange, a website where you are able to view homes available from other organisations nationwide.
Please remember that if you wish to carry out a mutual exchange, both landlords must first give permission.
1. Filling out the form
When you have found someone to exchange with, all parties in the exchange must complete the Eastlight Mutual Exchange application form below.
2. The decision-making process
After all parties complete the form, a 42-day time frame will begin to reach a decision on the exchange, which is calculated from the date the last application is received.
Our teams will also carry out checks amongst ourselves (no need to visit your home) which will be completed within seven working days.
3. What happens next
Following this, we'll look to provide a reference, and initial approval will be subject to the results of property checks and a Home MOT being carried out. See more about Home MOTs here.
We will contact you to discuss the findings, sign a property inspection document and send everything to our Housing Management team to be signed off.
In this time, please do not make any arrangements to move before the final sign-off has been granted.
Any outstanding rent for your current Eastlight home will need to be paid in full. If you are moving into an Eastlight home, you will also be required to pay the first weeks' rent in advance.
4. Completing the exchange
We will schedule an in-person sign up appointment at our Braintree office to complete the exchange. Once the sign-up is completed it will be down to yourself to arrange a suitable time to swap keys for the properties and arrange your move.
Once you have signed all the required paperwork for your exchange it is legally binding, and you are expected to move on the date agreed with your landlord.
If you are interested in moving to a smaller home, you can apply for our Downsizing Assistance Scheme, which may give you a cash reward and the support you need to go through the process. The scheme applies to all residents who would like to downsize; whether the home you are moving to is an Eastlight home or not.
You can apply for the scheme by registering with your local authority to downsize through their housing register.
How you go about this will depend on where you live. Details can be found here.
The payment you receive for downsizing will differ depending on the size of the home you are giving up.
Payment will be made shortly after your move, and any charges or outstanding rent will be deducted from the amount you receive.
You are not entitled to a downsizing payment if you are doing so following a succession of a tenancy.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. We are here for you.