Looking to move? Have you considered a mutual exchange?

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If you’re thinking of moving, you may want to consider swapping your home with someone else. A mutual exchange can be the fastest and easiest way to find your next home.

We spoke to our Mutual Exchange Officer, Caroline, to find out a bit more about the process.

Put simply, a mutual exchange is where a resident agrees to switch homes with another social housing resident. This can be for another Town & Country Housing (TCH) home or a different housing association or council.

We use the UK’s leading mutual exchange service called HomeSwapper to manage all our swaps. It’s a great website which helps streamline the process and has over 500,000 people looking to switch homes.

From a resident’s perspective, it makes looking for a new property a lot easier and allows them to advertise their own property too. If you need any help with registering or using the website, please let us know.

Mutual exchanges are very popular, and usually I’ll be managing between 20-30 swaps at a time, all at different stages of the process.

On average, the process takes around eight weeks from start to finish, but this can vary.

Most mutual exchanges are between two properties, but I have managed lots of three-way swaps, some four-way multi swaps and even a couple of five-way multi swaps.

Once we receive the application forms, in line with government legislation we have 42 days to approve or refuse a mutual exchange. During this period, I will complete different checks to make sure that the exchange is allowed.

I will also speak to any relevant councils/housing associations to exchange tenancy references with them. If this is all satisfactory then we will approve the exchange.

We’ll then complete any necessary gas and electrical safety checks, and after the other council/housing association is also ready, I’ll arrange a tenancy start date with the residents doing the swap.

Moving home can be stressful, so I try to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible, and that the resident is kept informed at every stage of the process.

If a resident doesn’t have internet access, or if they’re having issues applying online, then I can complete the form for them whilst being on the phone to them.

I like to think that by helping people move to a more suitable home, I have helped make their lives better and happier.

You can start looking for a new home by registering for HomeSwapper.

You can also contact us by emailing info@tch.org.uk or by calling 01892 501480.

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