Newham

Home exchange

Our mutual exchange scheme allows you to swap your home with other council or housing association tenants.

You may also want to think about exchanging your home if you live in, but do not need, a home that is accessible for a wheelchair user.

One person handing over keys to another person

Exchanging your home

You can exchange your home if you and the person you want to exchange with are council or housing association tenants in Newham or elsewhere in the UK.
 
The landlord must agree to the exchange and you must have the right to do so under Section 92 of the Housing Act 1985.
 
As mutual exchange is a self-help scheme, you are expected to find your own exchange partner.
 
 

Finding an exchange partner

If you are a Newham Council tenant you can register for a mutual exchange with Choice Based Lettings.
 
Exchanges using Choice Based Lettings' website usually take place in Newham or with partner boroughs. This service is free of charge.
 
Tenants also advertise for mutual exchanges in shop windows or by word of mouth. If you would like to look for an exchange either in Newham or another borough you can sign up at HomeSwapper.
There is a charge for this service through HomeSwapper which you must pay yourself.
Once you have been approved for exchange, your details will be included on the mutual exchange register and you may be contacted by interested parties or you may contact suitable exchange partners.
 

Does the exchange have to be only between two tenants?

You can swap a tenancy in a chain with more than one partner, such as a three-way exchange.
 

Housing association tenants

If you are a housing association tenant you will need to contact your landlord if you want to exchange. If your landlord is a member of the East London Lettings Company you can register on their website.
 
If your housing association is not a member of the East London Lettings Company, you should ask if they have links to any other exchange schemes.
 

Once you have found an exchange partner

Once you find a tenant who is interested in exchanging homes with you, you will need to call us on 020 8430 2000 and ask for application forms for you and your exchange partner to fill in. 

You must then return the completed forms to:

London Borough of Newham
Lettings Agency
PO Box 68612
London
E15 9DN.

If the tenant is not one of our tenants, you will have to find out what the process is for the other landlord.

 
 

Home visit 

Once both forms are received and processed a technical officer and your housing compliance officer will visit your home.
 
We have 42 days from receiving your fully completed mutual exchange forms to give you a decision. 
 

Inspecting your home 

Your home will be checked for:
  • health and safety issues such as missing fire doors and balustrade - which are rechargeable repair works. Gas and electric tests are carried out
  • unauthorised changes that create partitions or structures and may compromise health and safety, such as:
    • extensions
    • loft conversion.
    • turning closed kitchens into open-plan ones
    • construction of extra rooms
  • non-standard fittings that have been installed by the out-going tenant, to make sure the incoming tenant is aware that these will become their responsibility
  • any repairs to the property that the landlord is responsible for, to avoid future disrepair claims.
We will photograph your home to record evidence to avoid future disputes between us and the new tenant.
 
 

If we turn down your exchange application

Reasons why we may turn down your application to exchange

You may not be able to exchange if you:
  • are trying to move to a property that is much too small or much too large for your household
  • owe rent, Council Tax or money for a former tenancy (you will not be allowed to move until this account is clear)
  • have a history of anti-social behaviour
  • have breached your tenancy.
There may also be other legal reasons why your exchange may be refused.
 

Re-applying if your exchange is turned down

If you have been turned down there is no set time that you have to wait before you can reapply.
 
But if you have been turned down because of a breach of your tenancy, we will have to be satisfied that the breach has been corrected before we can consider another exchange.
 
 

Changing your mind after agreeing to exchange

You can change your mind at any time before you formally exchange the tenancy. But you should consider if you want to exchange before you make your final decision to avoid disappointing your exchange partner.
 
You should be honest with the other person and tell them if you are having second thoughts.
If there is anything that you are not sure about, think about getting legal advice.
 
 

Paying to exchange your home

It is against the law for money to offer money for a mutual exchange.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to exchange your home. And it may be refused if we find out that there has been money passed between you and your exchange partner.
 
You may also be evicted from your home if we find this out at a later time.
 
 

Homes adapted for a wheelchair user

If you need a wheelchair accessible home

Apply for a housing exchange in the usual way.

Note, you will only be able to apply for an adapted property if a member of your household needs and uses a wheelchair, and your exchange partner no longer needs the adapted property.

If you no longer need a wheelchair accessible home

If you live in, but do not need a home that is accessible for wheelchairs, you could move to a different property and help another family with a disabled person. If we can use your home, we will help you to move quickly and also help you financially.
 
To qualify, your home must be fully adapted for a wheelchair and approved by an occupational therapist.
 
If you would like us to consider your home, you must apply to join the housing register. Make sure you tell us on the form that you would like to move out of property that is accessible for wheelchairs.
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Contact us

  • London Borough of Newham, Lettings Agency
    PO Box 68612
    London
    E15 9DN

    020 8430 2000

    Email us