Renfrewshire Council

House exchange

What a house exchange is, how to find someone to swap with, what to do if you find someone to swap with, what happens next, your application, how long before you get an answer, if you are refused permission to swap.

If you are a Renfrewshire council tenant, you could swap your home with another Scottish Secure tenant. This is called a 'mutual exchange'.  

By swapping homes you may be able to get the kind of house you want without having to wait on the Council's housing waiting list.

How to find someone to swap with

Renfrewshire Council is a member of House Exchange. The website for exchanging properties has been designed to bring tenants together, who are looking to swap their home.  You can also search for tenants who live in other parts of the UK if you are considering moving from Renfrewshire.

If you are interested in finding another tenant to swap your home with, please register on the House Exchange website.  It is easy to register and if you are a tenant of Renfrewshire Council you can register for free.

Please note that you need to be a Scottish Secure Tenant before your mutual exchange will be considered.

When you register with House Exchange, you will need to provide:

  • Your contact details
  • Details of your current property
  • A photo of your current property (if possible)
  • Details of the size and type of property you are looking for

Once you have applied to register, your application will be reviewed by Renfrewshire Council and you will be sent an email which includes your ID number and password, to confirm successful registration to the site.

When this has been done, your property will appear on the online database and you will be able to run searches to find someone suitable to swap with.  You should ensure that the property you wish to exchange to will meet your needs. If you claim housing benefit or Universal Credit you should check your entitlement.

If you have any questions about house exchanges please contact:

  • your local housing office
  • our Customer Service Centre on 0300 300 0222 where staff will be happy to assist you.

What to do if you find someone to swap with

You must have a current housing application with Renfrewshire Council to allow your application to be processed.  If you or any of the parties wishing to exchange do not, please contact your local housing office to arrange for a housing options discussion to complete a housing application.

Contact the other party and make arrangements to visit each other's houses.

Inspect their house carefully.  Make sure you are happy with the condition of it, as the landlord will not be responsible for any decoration needed or for carrying out repairs which are the tenant's responsibility.

If you decide after viewing that you want to swap, you must both complete a mutual exchange application form. 

Your application

Your application should be made to the local housing office which covers the area where you live. See the contact details for each local housing office below.

What happens next

Once we have your application we will:

Inspect both houses (where both parties live in Renfrewshire Council properties) to make sure they are in good condition and request a tenancy reference if another landlord is involved.

Check the size of the houses to make sure no overcrowding will occur if you do swap.

Check that both tenants have a clear rent account and there have been no problems with either tenancy.

If you want to swap with a tenant outwith Renfrewshire, we will write to the other landlord for information to let us assess the application.  We will also give the landlord information about your tenancy.

How long you will have to wait before getting an answer

We will give you a decision within one month.  We will confirm that we have received your mutual exchange application form within 10 working days of receipt.

If we agree to the swap, you and the other tenant(s) will be notified in writing and you will be asked to sign a new tenancy agreement for your new home and terminate your current property.  You must not move in before the exchange has been approved and you have signed for the new property.

If you are refused permission

Permission would only be refused with good reason.

We will not agree to a swap where the house you want to move to does not suit your needs or either party has an outstanding rent account balance.

If you do not agree with our decision, you can challenge it by giving your reasons in writing to your local housing office.  They will then let you know of their decision within 14 days of receiving your appeal.