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Cost of living support

Financial advice and emotional support on how you can ease the cost of living squeeze.

Mutual exchange

As our tenant you have the right to exchange homes with another tenant, whether it is another Uttlesford tenant, another council tenant, or the tenant of a housing association.

HomeSwpper icon
This is often called 'mutual exchange'.


You can only apply for an exchange if you're a secure tenant. Introductory tenants cannot exchange.

When you exchange your home you'll also be swapping your tenancy rights for those of the other tenant.

Find someone to exchange with

You can find someone to exchange with using the Homeswapper website.

It's free, quick and easy to use. All you have to do is sign up to the service.

We'll need to approve your account. HomeSwapper will then advertise your property to other tenants across the country, and it'll search for possible matches for you after you set your preferences.

Apply for a mutual exchange

When you've found someone to exchange with you need to get permission from us to exchange. 

View the property

Once you have found someone you might like to exchange with, we strongly advise that you view the property that you want to move into very carefully as you'll be responsible for any repairs and for the redecoration.

You might want to ask the person you are exchanging with for:

  • the terms and conditions of their tenancy
  • their security of tenure, you may swap your secure tenancy for a fixed term tenancy
  • the cost of their rent, you may be paying more than you currently do and you need to be able to pay for the difference in rent

Repairs inspection

We'll send a repairs officer to inspect your home after we've received your application.

They'll check each room and look at any alterations you've made or damage that's been caused whilst you've been living there. 

You might be asked to fix anything that's been broken or remove any modifications that you have made to the property before exchanging.

We will also arrange for safety checks to be undertaken, including:

  • electric checks
  • gas safe check (where applicable)

How long it takes

We'll let you know our decision within 42 days of receiving your application.

The decision will be one of the following outcomes:

  • consent is given without conditions,  so you can exchange your home
  • conditional consent is given, so you may exchange if you've met the conditions that we set out
  • withhold consent, you cannot exchange your home

You cannot exchange before we've given you permission and you have signed the relevant paperwork.

Reasons we may withhold consent to exchange

If we withhold consent we'll write to you to explain why. It could be because:

  • you have outstanding rent arrears, and you've not made regular payments to reduce them
  • the properties are too big or too small for the family intending to occupy them
  • one of the properties is designated for elderly or disabled persons and you do not require supported housing, or are under the age restriction

Completing the exchange

Once we've given you permission to exchange we'll agree a convenient date to sign any necessary paperwork and go through the repairs survey.

You'll have to pay all the moving expenses yourself and your property must be left in a clean and tidy condition with all rubbish removed from gardens and outbuildings.

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