Home Swap

Exchanging Home with another tenant

Can I exchange homes with another tenant?

A mutual exchange is when two or more tenants exchange homes. You can exchange with:

  • Another Hackney Homes (council) tenant
  • A tenant of a housing association
  • A tenant of another Council

You must write to Your TMO Housing office to get permission to exchange. We will not refuse without good reason.

It is very important that you arrange to look over the other property before you make a decision to move. When you exchange, you must accept the other property as it is left. You take responsibility for any alterations or improvements made by your exchange partner.

If you owe the Council rent you will not be allowed to move until it is paid.

It is illegal to pay anyone to persuade them to exchange tenancies with you. If this happens all the people involved could be made to leave their homes. If you exchange without asking for permission you can be forced to move back.

Please note, exchanging homes with another tenant is very different to transferring to another tenancy.

How do I find someone to exchange with?

You are responsible for finding someone to exchange with, or speak to your TMO housing staff who might know other tenants interested in exchanging. Exchanges can also be found by word of mouth, from notices in shop windows, or advertisements in newspapers.

Hackney also have a Mutual Exchange Scheme with several East London Housing authorities and housing associations. (See useful links section)

If I exchange will I keep the Right to Buy?

If you exchange with another Hackney Council tenant or a tenant of another Council, you will usually keep the right to buy. If you exchange with a tenant of a housing association you may not keep this right.

Can I move outside the Hackney Area to another part of the country?

Yes. There are several special schemes you can apply for. You can also apply to the nationwide HOMESWAP exchange scheme. You can get a form from your Housing Office.

Many local Councils and housing associations also have exchange lists. We can help you find out who to contact.

If you have any queries you can phone your local housing office.

Hackney have a mutual exchange matching website for use by its secure tenants FREE of charge

If you register at homeswapper (see useful links section) once your entry on the website has been approved by your housing Office, you will be able to access information about tenants within Hackney Homes who wish to exchange properties, as well as details of those wishing to move from outside the Borough.

HomeSwapper will email you at regular intervals and if you provide a mobile telephone number, will contact you once every two weeks by SMS advising you of the numbers of potential swaps available.

If you do not have access to the internet yourself there are other ways for you to register and access the Homeswapper website:

  • Family or friends
  • Local libraries have internet access available to the public, as well as internet cafes
  • Internet access to the site is also available in our offices

Tips for successful exchanges

  • Add photographs of the internal and external areas of your home. You are able to add up to 9 photos as part of your registration online.
  • Details of local amenities such as buses, trains, local shops.
  • Check your HomeSwapper registration regularly and answer any enquiries you may be have received.
  • You must not exchange homes without the permission of your Local Housing Office.

Hackney TMO’s are currently discussing exchanges between TMO estates and will keep you updated on the progress