Mutual home exchange
What is a mutual exchange?
A mutual exchange is when two or more tenants who want to move
from their current home swap homes, once they have the permission
of all landlords involved. Given the shortage of available homes in
Tower Hamlets, for many tenants this is their best prospect for
How does it work?
- To find a mutual exchange you can register on the website
This is a national website and free to Tower Hamlets Council
- If you are put in touch with a partner, neither of you are
under an obligation to agree, nor will it affect your housing
application if you refuse to swap.
- If you do find a partner to exchange with you must apply for
- If you are a council tenant who swaps homes with another
council tenant in the borough whose home is too small for their
family, we will pay you expenses for each room you give up provided
that your partner needs your size of home.
Can your landlord say no to a mutual exchange?
Legally, your landlord can only say no to your request to
exchange for a limited number of reasons:
- That either tenant is moving to a home that is inadequate for
their needs, e.g. on health grounds, or that it would be too
- That either tenant is moving to a home that is substantially
too large for their requirements. Your landlord will usually agree
to your moving to a home that has one bedroom more than you need,
but no bigger.
- That there is a current order for possession made by the court
in respect of any of the tenancies involved.
- That any of the properties are adapted, sheltered,
warden-controlled or is some type of special needs unit, and the
tenant moving in to the property is not eligible for or does not
- That the accommodation is tied.
- That the landlord is a charity and the proposed occupation
would conflict with their aims.
- That any of the tenants has been issued with a notice of
- One party has paid money to the other party to induce the
Your landlord may say that you cannot swap
tenancies straightaway if, for example, you owe rent, or there are
repairs needed to the property that you have to carry out. However,
once these matters have been sorted out, they should say yes.
Your landlord is obliged to tell you in
writing the reasons why they are saying no to your request.
Whatever the decision, you should be told within 42 days of
requesting to exchange. You have a right to refer the decision to
the county court if you disagree with it.
When you have found a partner to swap
homes with please complete our M1
form (pdf, 272k). Please send the completed form to
your Housing Officer.
For further information contact:
Lettings customer services team
Tel: 020 7364 0255 / 2826 / 3558