A guide to mutual exchanges

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Find a home.

Is your home too big or too small for your needs? Then why not mutually exchange it with another council tenant?

Before you start

  • Have you been a tenant for at least twelve months?
  • Do you have rent arrears? If so, contact your housing office for advice on how to proceed.

Step one – Applying

What do you need to do?

You need to register on the Tyne and Wear Homes system before you can apply for a mutual exchange.


Go to www.tyneandwearhomes.org.uk.

What else?

Don’t forget to provide your contact details when creating your advert so people can contact you.

You should also provide useful information about your home. Uploading photographs of the inside and outside of your home will help to advertise it.

Step two – Finding a home to swap with


Everyone who is registered will receive our monthly mutual exchange newsletter. There are also mutual exchange Facebook groups and adverts on websites like Gumtree so it’s worth having a look around online.

Talk to family and friends – you could find the new home you’re looking for just by talking to your neighbours and people in your community.

What else?

Once you have found a home that you are interested in, you need to:

  • Click on the property and select Apply Now
  • Confirm your contact details and select Continue then I wish to be considered for this property
  • Properties you select will go into Your Shortlist. If you wish to continue, select Request Exchange
  • Select Contact to make contact with the advertiser of the property you like.

Using Tyne and Wear Homes to find a swap

  1. Log into Tyne and Wear Homes with your reference number
  2. Go to My Mutual Exchange
  3. Go to View the mutual exchange properties that meet your requirements.

Good matches will show properties that meet both yours and the advertiser’s requirements. Partial matches will show properties where some of the requirements are met.

Step three – Arranging your move

What do you need to do?

You and the other party need to visit each other’s home to make sure you like the properties and definitely want to go ahead.

If you do want to go ahead following your viewing go back to ‘Your Shortlist’ on Tyne and Wear Homes and approve the nomination for each other on your mutual exchange application.

If The Gateshead Housing Company is the landlord for both parties we will complete our landlord approvals steps for each party. If we are the landlord for only one party the other person’s landlord will complete their landlord approvals and we must wait for them to do this.

What else?

We will check your home for any repairs which may need to be carried out and talk to you about the legalities of moving and taking up a new tenancy.

If you are not able to move at this point we will tell you in writing why you can’t and what you can do to change this so that you can move in future.

If you are able to move we will write to you and tell you that you can go ahead with your swap.

Step four – The swap

What do you need to do?

Once it has been agreed that both parties can move, you must arrange this between yourselves for a time and date that suits you both. Contact your local housing office who will arrange a date to sign the deed of variation. You cannot move until this is carried out.

What else?

It is very important that you sign the Deed of Assignment, otherwise you technically aren’t the new tenant of the home you have moved to.