Want to move house but not have to wait on the housing list?

What is a mutual exchange?

A Mutual Exchange is when 2 or more tenants agree to swap housing accommodation. Their landlords must agree to the exchange.  This exchange can be between Stirling Council tenants or Stirling Council tenant and a Housing Association tenant or another local authority. A mutual exchange can be a quick way to get another size or type of property or a move to another area without having to wait on the Council’s housing list.

Who can apply?

Anyone who has a Scottish Secure Tenancy can apply. This includes tenants of:

  • a local authority (does not need to be Stirling Council)
  • a registered social landlord, e.g., housing association
  • any local authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Before swapping homes you must get written permission from both landlords,  please call 01786 237670 to requests the relevant forms or information, alternatively you can download mutual exchange forms

How do I apply

Once you have found someone to exchange with, you need to contact our Allocation Section, Tel: 01786 237670,  to arrange an appointment if you require help to complete an mutual exchange form 

If you want to exchange with someone who is not a tenant of Stirling Council you will also have to apply to his or her landlord. There is no restriction on the length of tenancy you have before you can apply.

What happens next

Before agreeing to an exchange we will carry out the following checks:

  • that all parties have secure tenancies
  • that the houses are suitable for the needs of you and your family and will not cause overcrowding or under occupancy
  • the tenancies have been maintained to a satisfactory standard, which includes the houses being in a good state of decoration and repair, there are no outstanding debts and there is no legal action against you or any member of the household
  • if any of the properties are specially designed or adapted for persons with special needs
  • that any other landlord involved agrees to the exchange

There may be other circumstances when we will not allow an exchange to take place, but we will give you a written decision explaining why within 28 days of receiving your application.

How do I find someone to mutual exchange with?

You can find a property to exchange with using the Homeswapper website. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a Homeswapper account.
    Homeswapper will search for properties that match your criteria and send you alerts.
  2. When you find a property you are interesting in, contact the other person.
  3. Arrange to view each other's houses.

You may also find a suitable exchange by word of mouth, through friends or family.

If you want to exchange with a tenant of another landlord you must complete the Stirling Council mutual exchange application form and the other landlord’s mutual exchange application form.

What are the conditions for getting permission for a mutual exchange?

We cannot unreasonably withhold permission for a mutual exchange. However, we may refuse an application if: -
  • A court has granted a decree for repossession of your property or that of the person you want to swap with;
  • We are taking legal action to repossess your property or that of the person you want to swap with;
  • One of the households would end up being “overcrowded” (as defined in our allocations policy) or grossly under-occupying the property as a result of the swap; or
  • The exchange would mean that a property adapted for the needs of the elderly or those with a disability would have nobody living in it who needs the adaptation.
This list is not exhaustive there may be other reasons why we would withhold permission.

They are: -

  • We will inspect your property to make sure it is in good condition and carry out an electrical safety check.
  • We will check your rent account. If you have any rent arrears the swap cannot go ahead unless you have been keeping to an arrangement for 13 weeks and are continuing to make payments.

If the person you wish to exchange with is a tenant of another landlord, we will ask their landlord for a tenancy reference.

What will happen if the mutual exchange is refused? 

We will write to you and explain the reasons for refusing permission unless this would involve a breach of confidentiality, for example, we cannot tell you if a court order has been granted to repossess the other person’s property.

If either party does not agree with our decision you can appeal against this decision in writing to the relevant manager. The manager will then advise you of their decision within 10 working days.

  • If you are not satisfied with their decision you can appeal to the Service Manager. You will receive a response within 15 working days.
  • If you remain dissatisfied you can use the Council’s Complaints Procedure.
  • If you are still not satisfied with our decision you will have a further 21 days to lodge an appeal to the Sheriff Court.
When can I move
If the exchange is approved, an appointment will be arranged for all parties to sign the relevant documents .  Your new tenancy will begin on the date which is agreed. You can move any time thereafter.

 

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