Cheswick Bristol

Swap your home

A home swap (also known as a mutual exchange) happens when tenants of Registered Social Landlords, such as Brighter Places, swap properties. This can only happen if both tenants have their landlord’s consent.

HomeSwapper can help you to swap your council or housing association home with other social tenants. It works like an estate agency website and includes a map showing the property location and photos where these are available.

Swap your home

If you want to move or need to move home and you wish to stay within social housing, there are local and national services to help. You need to register with both services before you can start to search. If you need help to register, call us on 0117 942 4600.

Local HomeChoice services are run by your council. National swapping is arranged through the HomeSwapper service.

To find out more about swapping your home and what you need to do, read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.

  • Go to HomeSwapper

    National moves are possible via HomeSwapper. This online service has hundreds of thousands of members throughout the UK. Every type of property is represented.

    To apply to swap your home you must have been our tenant for at least a year and not have any rent arrears or debt recharges.

    You need to sign up with HomeSwapper to use the service. This gives you the best possible chance of finding the home you want.

    You advertise your current home – it must be social housing, not private rented. Then other social housing tenants can view your home and see if they would like to live there.

    You can search for properties in your favourite areas and apply for any you like. Typically it takes up to three months to find a swap – sometimes longer.

    Tell us if you are swapping

    If you do find your perfect home on HomeSwapper please let us know, as we will need to send you some paperwork before you swap.

    Call us on 0117 942 4600.


Home Swap FAQs

If you have any queries or you cannot find the answer to your question here, please contact our customer services team on 0117 942 4600

  • What is a home swap (mutual exchange)?

    An exchange of homes between two households living in social housing. In the UK, council and housing association secure and assured tenants have the right to exchange their homes to homes suitable for them and their families. You will need written permission from your landlords before you can exchange.


  • How long does it take for a decision to be made?

    It takes 42 days for a decision to be made.

    After a decision has been made, you will need to arrange a move date.  This can take around three to four weeks.

  • Can a home swap be refused?

    You will not be able to swap your home if:

    • there is a possession order in force against you, possession proceedings have started against you or a notice seeking possession has been served
    • the property you want to exchange to is too big for your requirements. For example, if you currently qualify for a one bedroom property and want to swap to a two bedroom property, but your circumstances have not changed
    • the property is not used mainly for housing services.  For example, it is part of a commercial letting or comes as part of a job
    • the property has been specifically designed or adapted for you because of a physical disability and the person you want to swap with does not have the same needs
    • the property is one of a group let to people with special needs and the person who you want to swap with does not have those needs
  • If I have rent arrears, can I still swap my home?

    You must pay all of your rent including any arrears before a home swap can be permitted.

  • Does it cost any money to swap my home?

    Your housing association will not charge you for processing your home swap application forms. However, you will need to pay your own removal costs.

  • Can I encourage a swap by paying or by giving a gift or goods?

    We strongly urge you not to offer any cash incentives or gifts/goods in return for a a home swap. This is illegal and you and your family could be evicted from your home by the council or housing association.

  • Will my landlord pay any removal expenses?

    You will need to pay all costs incurred by you and your family to move to your new home. This includes any your removal costs.

  • I don't drive, will transport to my new home be provided?

    You will need to arrange transport for you and your family to your new location.

  • Will the landlord decorate or repair the home before I move in?

    As part of the home swap process, you must accept the property in its present condition.  The landlord will not usually decorate between one person or family leaving a home and another moving in.

    If you would like to redecorate you will have to arrange and pay for this work to be carried out.

    We would advise you to discuss any repairs with the landlord before you agree to exchange.  Do not rely on advice from the person or family moving out that any repairs will be done before you move in.

    At Brighter Places we will only carry out repairs that are considered a health and safety risk within the first 12 months.

  • Can I swap back if I don't like living in my new home?

    You can only do this if the person or family that you have swapped with agrees to swap back homes.  

    If you are both in agreement, you will both need to start the exchange process again.  You will then need to wait for a decision on whether you can swap homes from both of your landlords. 

  • What do I do once I've found a home on HomeSwapper?

    Follow the guidance on HomeSwapper on how to make contact with the person you would like to exchange homes with.

    If you don’t have internet access at home or on your phone we have a computer in our office reception that you can use to get on to the HomeSwapper website.

    If you can’t do this via HomeSwapper please contact our customer services team on 0117 942 4600.

    We can take paper copies of the swap information if you do not have IT skills.