What is a mutual exchange?

Mutual exchanges are when you find another social housing resident to swap homes with.

This option gives you the flexibility to decide which area you’d like to move to, anywhere across the UK. 

More information can be found below, or in our Mutual exchange policy and Housing options and lettings policy documents.

Mutual exchange is normally the quickest option if you’re looking to move home.

You’re in control of the process and it’s not linked to a local priority housing list.

You can choose the home that suits you.

Your tenancy agreement will outline your rights on mutual exchange. There may be reasons why you’re unable to mutual exchange, some of which are explained further down on this web page.

We ask that your rent is paid in full and up to date before we approve your mutual exchange.

If you owe rent because of benefit changes as part of Welfare Reform we can discuss your repayment options as part of your exchange.

As a Southern Housing resident, you can register totally free with the HomeSwapper scheme.

Go to the HomeSwapper website

Is there any reason you may not be able to progress my request?

We outline some of the reasons why we may not be able to progress your request below. 

We’re only able to accept a mutual exchange where the exchange party will not under-occupy or over-occupy your home.

We aim to ensure our homes meet the needs of our residents.

It’s important adapted homes are allocated to those who need it.

If we’re currently taking action against your tenancy, please get in touch to discuss your options.

Get in touch

Some tenancies don't permit mutual exchanges within the terms and conditions.

Please check your Tenancy Agreement.

What happens when I’ve found someone to swap with?

Once you've found your mutual exchange partner it's then a matter of getting permission from us to swap.

As we're a new housing association that has formed following the merger of Optivo and Southern Housing Group (SHG) in December 2022 the steps you need to progress your mutual exchange will depend on who used to manage your home; either Optivo or SHG.

Once you have found a suitable exchange partner you will need to complete our Mutual exchange form (link below) to gain permission to move home.

All residents applying to move into a Southern Housing home will need to submit supporting ID documentation (more information is listed at the back of our Mutual exchange form).

Once your mutual exchange form has been received by the team who process mutual exchanges we aim to make a decision within 42 days.

Download form

Once you have found a suitable exchange partner you will need to contact us in the first instance. 

We will then carry out an initial assessment and tell you if you should now complete a mutual exchange form.

Once your mutual exchange form has been received by the team who process mutual exchanges we aim to make a decision within 42 days.

Contact us

You can use the handy postcode checker to find out who used to manage your home.

Check now using the link below and then come back to this page to find out what steps you then need to follow.

Check your postcode
Couple On Laptop At Home

What advice is available for those preparing for a mutual exchange?

We have some handy tips when preparing for a mutual exchange:

  1. When advertising your home, be sure to include as much detail as possible and recent pictures. This will increase your chances of finding a suitable match.

  2. Allow plenty of time for your move and try to avoid busy times such as holiday periods or start of school term.

  3. Be ready to answer any questions about your home and resident responsibilities including gardens, parking and repairs. Also have some questions ready when you’re viewing.

  4. Be sure to thoroughly check the property condition on viewings as you may be responsible for taking over any resident repairs as part of the move.

  5. We’ll give you a decision on whether we approve your mutual exchange within 42 days. This doesn’t mean you’ll move within this timeframe.
Woman On Laptop At Home

 To avoid any delays, make sure your rent account is up to date. If you have any concerns, please get in touch.

7    Report all repairs you identify in your home to maintain your home in good condition.

8    Try to avoid applying pressure on your exchange partner and equally, do not feel pressured to move. It’s an important decision and shouldn’t be rushed.

9    Moving can be an expensive process and it’s important to consider all costs such as utilities, removals, lock changes and decoration. Don’t book any removals until your move date is confirmed.


Want to speak to someone?

Please get in touch if you’ve any further questions about the mutual exchange process.

Contact us