Coronavirus/COVID-19 Notice: Following the recent changes in government guidance, mutual exchanges are now able to go ahead. If you have recently submitted an application form for an exchange this cannot be processed and you should therefore submit a fresh form.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides only general information. It is important that you check your own landlord’s rules if you are thinking of an exchange. You should find these in your tenants handbook or on their website.

If you are an Ayrshire Housing tenant, go to Ayrshire Housing Mutual Exchange.

If you are a South Ayrshire Council tenant, go to South Ayrshire Council Homeswaps.

How can I find an exchange?

You can advertise your property on this website. You will need to have an active email address to sign up to an account with Housing Online. Once registered, you can create an advertisement, including uploading pictures of your property, and search for an exchange.

Once you have finished creating your advertisement, it will be sent to Housing Online for moderation. This process will usually take one or two working days after submission. Please note all changes of details or uploading of new photos will need to be approved before they go live.

Who can use the information that you enter on the site?

All the information and images that you put on the site can be viewed by other users and the site's administrators. So only enter details and photographs that you are happy for others to see as part of your listing. You are free to amend or delete your account or entry at any point. If you do so, Ayrshire Housing will not retain your information. You can see Ayrshire Housing's Privacy Note here.

Do I need to tell you if I move house?

If you move to another property, you will need to cancel your advertisement in your account. If you fail to do this, your advertisement will automatically be deleted 12 months from the date it was placed.

Is there an annual review of advertisements to make sure they are still current?

Yes, all advertisements are reviewed on an annual basis. An email will be sent to you on the 11th month after it was placed asking you to confirm that you still wish to advertise your property for an exchange. If you fail to reply to this email, your advertisement will be automatically withdrawn from display on the website.

When I have found an exchange do both parties need to agree to the exchange before applying?

Yes, tenants who wish to apply for a mutual exchange must be in full agreement with the tenant who they wish to exchange with before approaching their landlord for permission. This will include addressing all outstanding maintenance that is deemed to be a tenant’s responsibility.

How do I apply to complete an exchange?

Application forms for Ayrshire Housing and South Ayrshire Council tenants are available for download from their websites, from their offices or by post if you phone or email them. If you are a tenant of another landlord you will need to contact them for an application form for yourself and the person you wish to exchange with. Please note you will need to complete forms for both landlords.

What will my Landlord do once I apply for an exchange?

All mutual exchanges are carried out at no expense to the landlord; a house inspection will be carried out in both houses. Any repairs which are identified or changes to the fixtures and fittings will have to be completed by the tenants, prior to any move. If there is a second landlord involved in the mutual exchange, e.g. another housing association or local authority, then they have their own policy and procedures which must be met before permission is granted. The second landlord has the right to refuse any exchanges. Permission for a mutual exchange cannot be granted without the agreement of both landlords.

Landlords will only permit a mutual exchange if it is completely satisfied that any such move would not contravene its housing management policies.

For what reasons can my Landlord refuse my application to exchange?

Reasonable grounds for refusing permission to exchange include the following:

  • You have been served a notice or warning that the landlord may seek eviction on certain grounds because of your conduct.
  • You have rent arrears or any other debt outstanding to the landlord, or the person you wish to exchange with has a debt outstanding to their landlord.
  • The person with whom you wish to exchange has a poor tenancy reference from their landlord.
  • Your landlord has obtained an order for your eviction.
  • Your house was designed or adapted for persons with special needs and if the exchange is allowed, there would be no person living in the house who required those features.
  • The other house is substantially larger than you and your family need or it is not suitable for the needs of you and your family.
  • The proposed exchange would lead to overcrowding.

These examples do not in any way alter your landlord’s general right to refuse permission on reasonable grounds.

The person I want to exchange with has offered me money to exchange/wants me to pay their moving costs, is this okay?

No. Any exchange must take place with no financial gain to either party.

Does anyone else need to provide consent for an exchange?

If you are married, in a civil partnership, or live in the house with a co-habitee, we may need their consent to any proposed changes in the tenancy. This may apply to the tenant you wish to exchange with as well.

Who covers the cost of my move?

You will need to make your own arrangements for your move and cover any costs of the removal including the hiring of a removal van, the disconnection and reconnection of your telephone, mail redirection etc. If there are any repairs required to the house you are leaving as a result of damage caused by a member of your household or a visitor to your house, you may also need to carry out the repair at your own expense. If you want to do any decorating or alteration works to your new house, you will need to pay for these yourself. The person moving into your house will also be responsible for their own removal costs as well as for any decoration or alterations they wish to carry out in the house once they are the tenant.