Mutual Exchanges

What is a Mutual Exchange?

A Mutual Exchange is when two or more Council or Housing Association tenants in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have a legal right to exchange their tenancies under section 92 of the Housing Act 1985.

  • Each tenant must move into their exchange partner’s property
  • A tenant cannot exchange into an empty property
  • You must not exchange your property without our permission

You can exchange with:

  • Another Sheffield City Council tenant;
  • A tenant of a Housing Association;
  • A tenant of another Council.

For more information about Mutual Exchanges you should contact us on 0114 293 0000 or 0114 205 3333. 

Who Can Apply for a Mutual Exchange?

We will seek to allow an exchange wherever possible, however there are some reasons why landlords may refuse an exchange. Below are some of the reasons:

  • The tenancy has had a notice seeking possession served, or possession proceedings are pending. This could be for reasons including rent arrears or Anti-social Behaviour.
  • The property is substantially larger than you and your family need and would result in Under Occupancy
  • The property is too small for your family and would result in overcrowding or would break our normal letting criteria.
  • The tenancy is not a Secure or Assured tenancy, or it has been let as a Service tenancy.
  • The property is Sheltered accommodation and you do not meet the criteria for Sheltered accommodation.
  • The property has been designed or adapted for a person with a physical disability and if the exchange were to go ahead, a person with a physical disability would no longer live in the property.

This is not an exhaustive list.

The landlords of all properties involved must agree to the exchange before a sign up can be arranged. 

We strongly recommend that you view any new home to make sure you are happy with it before you apply to exchange.

Eligibility Checks

Before we can agree to any exchange, we must check that:

  • You qualify for the size and type of property you wish to move to.
  • Your rent account is clear and there is not a possession order on your home for either rent arrears or antisocial behaviour.
  • Your home is in a satisfactory condition.

If you exchange without permission from all landlords involved, you could be asked to move back and could be subject to possession proceedings.

How Do I Find an Exchange?

You can advertise your property details on the HomeSwapper website at:

HomeSwapper is an independent nationwide service for social housing tenants who want to exchange their property.

If you are an existing Sheffield City Council tenant you will be able to register free of charge. For other tenants you will need to check with your landlord whether or not the service will be free to you. If your landlord is not a partner there will be a small charge for membership.

If you have registered your property on HomeSwapper, it will check for potential new exchanges for you. You will be matched with tenants who are looking for the type of property you have and will send you updates by text or email should any new homes which meet your criteria become available.

You can then choose from this list of matches or you can browse available homes separately.

You could also advertise in other places such as local shops and newspapers. Don't forget to tell your friends and family that you want to move, they might know someone who wants to exchange with you. You might even already have someone who you would like to exchange homes with.

How Do I Apply for a Mutual Exchange?

Once you have found a suitable person to exchange with, you will each need to contact your individual landlords to get their approval. 

It will usually take us between 4 and 6 six weeks to process your application and carry out the necessary checks. If you want to exchange with someone who is not a Sheffield City Council tenant, this may take a little longer. We will process your exchange as quickly as possible and confirm if your permission to exchange has been granted or not.

If you are applying for a Mutual Exchange and one or more tenants in the exchange are tenants of Sheffield City Council, all parties in the exchange will need to complete a Mutual Exchange Form.

Please fill out the form below and submit to: Lettings Team at either or PO Box 5967, Sheffield, S2 9GH

Mutual Exchange Form

If you are a tenant of another landlord you will need to contact them and you may also need to complete one of their forms.

If you need any further advice regarding the Mutual Exchange process, please contact us.

What Type/Size of Property Can I Exchange To?

The table below details the type of property you may be able to exchange to:


Property Size


Bedsit/ Studio

Single Person

One Bedroom

Single Person or couple

Two Bedrooms

Single Person or couple.

Two adults sharing

Family with one child, family with two same sex children or family with two different sex children both under the age of 10.

Three Bedrooms

Family with one child, family with two or more children.

Two or more adults sharing.*

Four Bedrooms

Family with three or more children or household of five or more people

Five Bedrooms

Family with five or more children or household of seven or more people


*A couple is assumed to share a bedroom for eligibility purposes.

  • A Mutual Exchange will not be agreed where a tenant is worsening their situation or making themselves intentionally overcrowded.
  • Note that other landlords may have eligibility criteria different from that stated above.


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