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There are two ways you can swap your home – by transfer or by mutual exchange.

Transferring to a new home

Occasionally our customers may transfer from one of our properties to another, the process for this would be either an Internal Transfer or Direct Letting. 

Internal Transfers 

Our policy on internal transfers has recently changed.  Whilst we will continue to consider existing customers for transfers, we have altered the eligibility criteria.  We have had to make this decision due to a decrease in available stock and to ensure that our process remains fair, transparent, and properties are always allocated to those customers most in need.   

Under the revised process we will still consider applications from existing customers, but only for properties advertised on Council Lettings Systems or Rightmove.  Properties will not be allocated directly as they have been previously.  Applications will be assessed and offers will be made to those in highest need, and in line with our Allocations Policy and Procedure.  In all cases housing need will be the deciding factor.  As result of these changes, we will not retain any internal waiting lists for transfers.  

In all cases we urge customers to register with their relevant local authority, consider mutual exchange as an option and regularly check Rightmove and other online property portals.  You can also register for Rightmove notifications – follow our step-by-step guide for registering on Rightmove to do so.

Please note that we would not generally consider a transfer request if any of the following apply to either you or another household member: 

  • You have rent arrears. 
  • You have been a Connect tenant for less than 12 months. 
  • You have a record of anti-social behaviour. 
  • You have any ongoing legal action against you. 
  • Your home and garden have not been maintained to an acceptable level. 

In all cases we will complete a full property inspection before authorising any transfer to continue. 

Direct Letting 

If you are in urgent need and have to move immediately these will be processed as Direct Lets.  A Direct Let is where a property is not advertised and is offered to someone directly.  These types of lettings happen quite rarely and would normally be requested by a member of staff who may be working with that customer, such as a Housing Officer.  Applications for Direct Lets are reviewed once a month by a panel (or sooner if required). Unfortunately even if a customer is accepted it does not guarantee an offer, as suitable properties may not be immediately available. 

There are different reasons why a direct letting may be needed but there will always be an urgent need to move, such as: 

  • Domestic violence. 
  • An active, ongoing threat. 
  • Witness protection. 
  • Major works.  

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at 0300 5000 600 or on our contact page. 

Mutual exchange of homes

This is where you and another tenant agree to swap homes. You can apply to swap your home with tenants of any other housing association or local authority in any part of England.

How do I get started?

The first step in the process is to work out what type of person you want to advertise your home to. For example, if you have a family home focus on space, local schools, parks, etc. This will help you market your home.

Try to include anything that makes your home stand out from the rest attracts attractive the kind of tenant you are marketing to. It could be anything from a private garden or parking space to its proximity to local amenities such as shops. Make sure you highlight it in the description fields!

When it comes to writing a description for your property, try to strike the right balance between engaging and informative.  Provide as much detail as you can about the property, including key features and the local area.

It’s best to start with a shorter paragraph describing the property as a whole, focusing on the properties best bits. Then follow this up with more detail on features, rooms and outside areas.  Try to include any other important details such as if services (gardening, cleaning, etc) or bills are included.

Should I use photographs?

Photographs are probably the most important factor when it comes to advertising your property. Be sure to include photos of each room, the exterior and any outdoor areas, paying attention to special features.

Try to take the photos on a sunny day or during natural light to show your property at its best and ensure everything is clean, tidy and uncluttered.

First impressions count, and the images you provide will be make or break for many.

Respond quickly!

Once you get an enquiry from a potential swap reply as quickly as you can. A swift reply will give a good impression and hopefully secure a swap as quickly as possible.

We recommend you get registered with your local authority if you want to swap your home. You can find more information about their mutual exchange schemes here:

Register with House Exchange, a national scheme which matches tenants on the suitability of their homes and their individual needs.

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Connect Housing Association Limited is a charitable association registered in England and Wales under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (Company No. IP17445R) and with the Regulator of Social Housing (No. L2285).

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