Swap your home with HomeSwapper
What is a mutual exchange?
Mutual exchange enables tenants with our permission to swap their home with another North Hertfordshire Homes (NHH) tenant or a tenant of any other social landlord (e.g. a Council or a Housing Association). This can be a great way of finding a more suitable home locally or outside of the area.
Who can ask to exchange?
Most tenants of Council, housing associations or other registered social landlords who have an assured or secure tenancy can request permission to exchange. Please contact your local Neighbourhood Office if you are unsure about the type of tenancy you have, or if you would like to ask about an exchange.
Our mutual exchanges are arranged through HomeSwapper (www.homeswapper.co.uk). Supported by the government, HomeSwapper maintains the UK's largest online database of people looking to exchange properties.
How do I register?
NHH has pre-paid the registration fee for all of its tenants who may wish to register. You must ensure you meet the conditions of exchange (see below) to be eligible.
To register, simply complete the application form online. HomeSwapper will then ask us, as your landlord, to confirm if you qualify to register for the scheme. Access to the website is also available at all our local Neighbourhood Offices and if you need assistance a member of staff will be happy to help.
What is the exchange procedure?
If you find someone to exchange properties with, you must both complete and return the application forms to your respective landlords. You are not allowed to exchange without the consent of your landlord.
You are advised to carefully check what type of tenancy you are applying to exchange with and what rights you may be entitled to or in some cases lose. Please note: the preserved Right to Buy at North Hertfordshire Homes, does not transfer to another tenant upon exchange
You are advised to thoroughly inspect the property you wish to move into, before you complete the forms. You will be liable for decoration and any current outstanding repairs. NHH will only be responsible for landlord repairs that occur to the property after you have moved in.
Your Neighbourhood Officer will contact you to arrange an inspection of your property, and may be accompanied by a technical maintenance inspector. If everything is satisfactory you will receive written consent to exchange. In some cases however, before consent is given you may be required to carry out work in your current home before the exchange can take place.
You will also be required to sign a letter to say that you will accept the property in its current condition.
Once consent has been given, all parties will need to sign a legal document known as a Deed of Assignment at a Neighbourhood Office in order for the exchange to be valid.
Conditions of exchange
- There must not be a Notice of Seeking Possession or Court Order outstanding on any of the tenancies.
- The tenancy must be in the name(s) of the people wishing to move in. If it is not, this must be resolved before the application can be processed. If you have a tenancy query, please contact your local office for further advice.
- An exchange cannot take place if there are any rent arrears on your account. If arrears exist conditional permission can be given, but the arrears must be cleared before the exchange is finalised.
- The property must not be too large for the incoming tenants (by not more than one spare bedroom)
- The property must not be too small for the incoming tenants.
You cannot exchange if your property has been specially designated or adapted for the elderly or disabled, if it is not to be occupied by someone needing this type of property.
If you move without having written permission from your landlord, the exchange will not be considered as complete and you will lose your home.
Previous North Hertfordshire District Council tenants, who transferred to North Hertfordshire Homes (NHH) and then exchange into another NHH property, will keep all of their protected rights. However this right is linked to the tenant and not the property. If you exchange to another landlord, you will lose those rights.
Once both parties have submitted formal applications to exchange NHH will make a decision within 42 calendar days.
It is possible to undertake three or four way exchanges in addition to the mutual exchange involving two parties. For more information speak to your Neighbourhood Office.
What would happen if I moved before we had written permission?
If you move without our written permission you risk making you and your family homeless. Both you and the person who moved into your home, would become illegal occupants. You would also have no right to move back to your current home as you would have breached your conditions of tenancy for that property by giving up possession. NHH would commence legal proceedings.
What can I do if the property is not in the condition I expected?
It is your responsibility to inspect the property thoroughly before you agree to move, and again before you hand over any keys. You should agree with your exchange partner exactly how they will be leaving the property and who will be responsible for any outstanding repairs. You must not assume that NHH will take responsibility for carrying out any works unless you have written confirmation that we will do so.
If you are moving into a NHH property, NHH will be responsible for normal repairs.If any damage has been caused to the property or fixed items have been removed, the outgoing tenant will have to pay for the cost of the repair or replacement.
Our Repairs service can be contacted on FREEPHONE 0800 597 0045 or 01462 474700