Can I Exchange My Council House?

Straight forward answer, yes. You can swap your council or housing association home with another tenant if you follow certain rules and get permission from your landlord.

If you’re looking to swap your home, whether you want a change of location or simply want to downsize or upgrade, exchanging your council house could be the perfect and feasible option.

Swapping or exchanging your council or housing association property is often referred to as ‘mutual exchange’

If you are a housing association tenant or council tenant and wish to move home, you may be able to do this via a mutual exchange, whereby you exchange your home. Whether you live in a flat, a house or a bungalow and wish to move from one council house to another, from a council house to a housing association, or vice versa, you will find all the information you need here.

What Size Property Am I Eligible For?

Please be aware, as a council or housing association resident, you cannot exchange for a house that is bigger than you need. Some councils may allow you one extra bedroom than you need but this is depending on availability, and you may be subject to the bedroom tax.

Based on the size of your family the biggest property you can move to is:

  • 1 person - 1 bedroom property
  • 2 people (couple) - 1 bedroom property
  • 2 people (single / parents and child) - 2 bedroom property
  • 3 people - 2-3 bedroom property
  • 4/5 people - 2-3 bedroom property

How Is The Number Of Bedrooms Calculated?

Parents and couples are entitled to 1 room, and where they have just one child, they will be entitled to nothing bigger than a 2 bedroom property. In addition to the parents' room entitlement, siblings are expected to share a room as per below, therefore entitlement differs;

  • Sisters under the age of 16 (entitled to 1 room)
  • Brothers under the age of 16 (entitled to 1 room)
  • Brother and Sister, both under the age of 10 (entitled to 1 room)
  • Brother (11) and Sister (7) (entitled to 2 rooms)

If you are in a housing association/council property with more bedrooms than you are entitled to, you will be subject to pay the bedroom tax or have it deducted from your housing benefit which is 14% of your rent. New court rulings mean that disabled tenants will be exempt from this charge, allowing an extra room for their carers.

How Long Does It Take To Home Swap?

It depends on your exchange; how many parties are involved and whether you are moving long-distance or moving within the local area. It can take up to 42 days from the day all parties involved hand in their mutual exchange forms, to their landlords agreeing on the exchange and giving them permission to move.

Just to note, you can be refused a house exchange. There are, by law, 11 grounds on which the Local Authority or Housing Association can withhold or refuse consent to a mutual exchange.

How Do I Sign Up For A Mutual House Exchange?

House Exchange is an online tool that can help you find someone to swap homes with by the process of mutual exchange.

The House Exchange website matches people up with other households looking to move to home too. You will be able to search for homes locally or further afield, right across the UK. So whether you need to downsize, upsize or change location, House Exchange could be an option for you.

Registration is quick, easy, and free of charge for Accent Housing residents. Simply visit the House Exchange website and submit your registration online. We receive a notification of your registration direct from House Exchange.

Get In Touch

At Accent Housing, we have been providing safe, quality, and affordable homes since 1966. Our homes span over the country and are home to 41,000 residents including, couples, families and over 55’s.

If you would like to find out more about exchanging your council house, get in touch with our friendly team. You can call us on 0345 678 0555 or send us an email via customerservices@accentgroup.org.

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