HOMESWAPPER - Applying for a mutual exchange
This is Gloucester City Homes’ easy way to move home in Gloucester or anywhere else in the UK.
For further information please visit www.homeswapper.co.uk
Who provides Homeswapper?
We provide Homeswapper in partnership with Scout Solutions Limited. It is the largest community of social housing tenants wishing to swap their homes in the UK. The service is FREE.
What is Homeswapper?
Homeswapper is a scheme to help you swap your home with another tenant. It’s often a quicker way of moving than waiting to transfer to an empty home. It is a database of people who want to move home which you can search online. We can do this on your behalf if you register through us.
You can search (or we can search on your behalf) for someone in Gloucester or elsewhere who lives in the type of home you want, in the area you want to move to and who wants to move to your type of home in the area that you live in.
Who will have access to my information?
We will put the information you give us onto a public register of people wanting to swap. This is also available on the internet.
Please confirm that you are happy for us to do this when you apply.
Data Protection form.
How do I register?
To join the scheme, you will need to complete an application form.
HOMESWAPPER Application Form
Please state the city, town or village you wish to move to. You can list up to 9 areas.
We can’t register your application if you state entire counties such as Gloucestershire.
If you need help to complete the form please contact us.
Please return your completed form to our Southgate House office. We will input your information onto the HOMESWAPPER database.
Finding a swap
You can search for a swap via our website or directly on the HOMESWAPPER website www.homeswapper.co.uk
Or you can contact us and we will search for you and send you the results.
You can search for matches locally or anywhere in the UK.
HOMESWAPPER will do automatic matching and send you details of suitable matches. They do this by weekly email, fortnightly text or monthly letter.
HOMESWAPPER also sends printed lists to us and any other landlord in the areas you wish to move to.
If you prefer you can visit our offices to check the lists for any homes you may wish to swap to.
Is this a guaranteed way to find a move?
There is no guarantee that you will find a tenant to swap with through this scheme. If you are flexible about the area(s) and type of home you want, you will have more chance of moving.
Do I have the right to swap my home?
Most secure tenants have a legal right to exchange (swap) their home with another tenant.
If you want to swap homes with a housing association tenant, they may be an assured tenant and their right to exchange is usually written into their tenancy agreement.
Do I need permission to swap homes?
Both tenants in any swap must have the permission of both landlords before they can move.
What would happen if I moved without permission?
If you move without permission you could be evicted.
Can I get any help with the move?
Not usually from your landlord. If you are claiming Income Support, you may get help from the Department for Work and Pensions.
Can I get any help with moving expenses?
No. Try to keep your expenses to an absolute minimum before moving – there is no legal right to compensation if the person you are swapping with withdraws from the swap.
Will I still have the right to buy my home?
This depends on who your new landlord is and what type of tenancy you have.
If you still have a secure tenancy you will almost certainly have the right to buy. If your landlord is to be a housing association it will depend on the type of tenancy. You may lose the right to buy but you could have the right to acquire. Please check with your new landlord.
If you want to swap with someone in Scotland you are likely to be given an new tenancy. We recommend that you get advice from the Scottish landlord as the law in Scotland is different.
Will my tenancy change?
It might. Make sure you know what type of tenancy you are taking on as there are differences between landlords.
Local authority tenants usually have a secure tenancy with rights set out in Acts of Parliament.
Housing association tenants can either be secure or assured tenants with similar rights to secure tenants set out in the tenancy agreement.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, tenancies are usually swapped by way of a “deed of assignment.” This means you effectively take over the existing agreement of the person you are swapping with.
Different landlords may also have slightly different tenancy conditions.
If you want to swap with someone from another landlord always contact the landlord for a copy of their tenancy agreement so that you can compare them.
Will I pay the same rent?
The Government requires all local authorities and housing associations to change their rents so that you pay a similar rent for a similar home in the same area irrespective of who the landlord is. This should be complete by around 2012.
In the meantime you may have to pay slightly different rents and / or service charges. Please check with the new landlord.
Can my landlord refuse a swap?
Your landlord can refuse for a limited number of reasons:
- either tenant is under a Notice of Seeking Possession or Notice of Proceedings for Possession, or legal proceedings have begun
- either home is adapted or designed to help a disabled tenant, and the new tenant doesn’t need this support
- either home is too large or too small for either tenant.
If your swap is refused you can appeal against the decision. We will give you information on Gloucester who can give you help and advice.
Can my landlord make my move conditional on me doing something first?
If you have broken your tenancy conditions we may only agree to the swap if you comply with them first.
This can include:
- making sure your rent is fully paid up to date; and
complying with other tenancy conditions if you have broken any of them.
Can I pay someone or receive money from someone in exchange for swapping
No. If you give or receive money or goods to get a swap, you may be evicted / or in some cases fined.
Will any repairs or redecoration be done before swapping homes?
We don’t do repairs just because you are moving or you have moved into a new home. We will do any repairs in line with our normal policy.
Redecoration is usually the tenant’s responsibility. We don’t redecorate just because you want to move. In some circumstances we may give special help to elderly or disabled people.
For further information on your Right to Exchange and other Tenant Rights follow this link to Information on Tenants Rights from the Department for Communities and Local Government