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Mutual Exchange FAQ

What is a Mutual Exchange and who can exchange?

A Mutual Exchange is where two or more tenants swap homes with each other. This is a good way to find a new home when there are a lot of people on the housing register.

Tenants can exchange homes with:

  • any tenant of a UK housing association
  • any tenant of another UK council

I live in a Private rented property can I advertise for an exchange?

No, to advertise for an exchange, you would need to be living in Council or housing association property

How do I apply?

If you have already been given a reference number from North Ayrshire Housing Register (NAHR) you will need to go the 'My account' page and complete the mutual exchange advert.  After you complete this it will be passed to your landlord for approval prior to being advertised on the site.  

If you haven’t already been given a reference, all you do is complete the “household registration” which first appears on screen. Once submitted the system will then generate a unique number (please keep this safe as you will need it to log back in), you will be able to continue and complete the mutual exchange advert. After you have submitted this it will be passed to your landlord for verification before it appears with the other adverts on the website. If you are resident out with the North Ayrshire area, your mutual exchange application will be managed by Cunninghame Housing Association. Once this has been verified your advert will appear with the other adverts on the website. As a member of the scheme you can then express an interest in other advertised properties.

I’ve forgotten my reference number. What do I do?

You can use the contact form on the home page and request the information or you could contact your local office who would be able to supply this

Will this cost me anything?

No. This is a free service to all tenants

Will the scheme help me move to a different area?

Yes, your search results will show anyone who has registered directly with our site and the area where they live.  The adverts that meet your requirements will show in the ‘My Mutual Exchange’ page.  Some tenants who are interested in a mutual exchange might have registered with other providers.  If you answer the questions in the ‘Home Swap Direct’ section, you will be able to see their adverts too.  
Some exchange schemes participating in the Home Swap Direct section may charge you to use their services; you must pay the charge if you want to use their service     


Can I use this scheme without being a member?

Adverts can be viewed without being a member service, but you must be registered on the scheme before you can express any interest in an advertised home 

Who will be able to see my contact details? 

Only members you contact will see your details. When you express an interest in their home your preferred contact details (from your original advert) are automatically placed on the shortlist in “My Account –My Mutual Exchange” and they will contact you if they want to proceed with a viewing 

 Can I add photographs to my application?

Yes. You will be able to upload photographs of your home onto your advert and we would encourage you to do this. It is easy to upload photographs, after you have received your reference number.  Open “My Account and then My Mutual Exchange” follow the online link and then upload the image from your PC or camera. Please note that images will be passed to your local housing office for verification before appearing on your advert. Try to keep these images simple and avoid having any people or children in the photograph. All photographs are accepted in jpeg format 

Please note we reserve the right to reject images we consider to be unsuitable

Can I change my application at any time?

Yes- you can amend your details on the website. Log in to the site using your reference number and simply edit your details via “My Account –My Mutual exchange” Please note that any changes will be verified by your local office before they appear on the website. You can also delete your application at any time using the Withdraw Advert button which is available only after you have logged in. By clicking on this your advert will be removed from the site and from the lists of any other applicant who has expressed an interest in your home. 

 I’ve received a message that my advert is due to expire. What do I do?

Your application will be reviewed after a maximum of 6 months and will need to be renewed if you wanted to continue looking for an exchange. Shortly before it is due to expire you will be sent a message confirming the expiry date, this message will appear in your 'Account' area as soon as you have logged in.  If you would to continue to advertise your home, you will need to go to your 'My Mutual Exchange' account page and from there you will see a message ’Click here to extend your advert'. A second page will then appear informing you of the new advert expiry date. If this is acceptable you will need to confirm this, and your advert will then be extended for a further 6 months. If you do not want to continue to advertise for a suitable swap, your application will be closed on that given date and your advert will be removed from the site. Should you want to advertise again for a swap you will need to complete a new mutual exchange advert.

What happens when I find a suitable swap?

When accepted your advert will appear on the Website allowing other tenants with an active account to view and apply for your home. When you apply for another property your details are passed to the current tenant allowing them to view your property.  Your contact details are also forwarded to them. These will appear in the “Your Account Section” when the other person logs in and will only be assessable to them. If they are interested in swapping it is their responsibility to contact you. Once you have viewed each other’s home and wish to precede with the exchange you both should confirm that you want to exchange on the system and complete the downloadable paper application form. Both adverts will be removed from the website with the exchange details passed to the relevant landlord(s). The landlord(s) will make contact to discuss the application

Please note that you must not precede with any removal arrangements until you have received the full approval of your landlord and you have signed all the necessary documentation. You could be putting your home at risk if you move without this permission

If your exchange is approved both adverts will automatically be removed from the website If the exchange is refused the adverts will again be automatically uploaded onto the site.

I have found a possible exchange, but the property needs some repairs. Will the landlord carry out these repairs before I move in?

No. When you find someone to swap with you must be prepared to accept the new property as it is. The landlord will only carry out the repairs that it would normally carry out in its properties and there is normally a waiting time for these to be done.

If I apply for an exchange can I change my mind?

Yes. You can withdraw at any time before you sign your new tenancy agreement. Once you have signed the lease you are no longer the tenant of your old property.

Can my exchange be refused?

Yes. The landlord(s) will write back to you within one month of receipt of the application telling you whether permission has been given or not.  If they do not give permission, they will tell you why.

If they do not tell you their decision within one month of receiving your application, you may assume that they have given permission.


Other Important Information

It is illegal to offer any form of incentive including any form of payment when either advertising or considering an exchange. If you do you could be faced with legal action which may result in you losing your home

When considering an exchange, you must be aware that you accept the property in its present condition. The landlord may only carry out repairs that they are legally required to do.