Swap your home
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 call us on 0330 343 0016 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?
We have pre-paid the registration fee for all our customers who may wish to register, so you will just need to 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.
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. We are responsible for repairs that occur after you have moved in.
We will contact you to arrange an inspection of your property, and we may bring a technical maintenance inspector along. If everything is satisfactory you'll 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.
Once both parties have submitted formal applications to exchange, we'll make a decision within 42 calendar days and let you know the outcome.
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 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, call us on 0330 343 0016 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 and then exchange into another North Hertfordshire Homes 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.
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. We would need to commence legal proceedings.
What can I do if the property is not in the condition I expected?
You should agree with your exchange partner exactly how you will both be leaving your properties and who will be responsible for any outstanding repairs. Don't assume we (or your new landlord) will take responsibility for carrying out any works unless you have written confirmation. It's your responsibility to thoroughly inspect your new property before you agree to move, and again before you hand over any keys. Once you have the new keys, the property is yours - so be sure of what you are moving into.
We are responsible for normal wear and tear repairs. The repair of damages to property or replacement of fixed items that have been removed need to be paid by the outgoing tenant - so make sure you leave or receive your home in good condition.
To report a repair, call us on 0330 343 0016.