Coronavirus update - 30 June 2020
The government has recently published updated guidance confirming that house moves can resume as long as the move is carried out safely and in accordance with current COVID-19 secure guidelines. We are committed to enabling house moves to take place but will only do so when we can ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues.
It is important to recognise that the process of moving home will look and feel different over the coming months as we move out of lock down. This may mean that some activities are carried out online and any visits to your home will need to follow social distancing guidelines. We appreciate that this may cause concerns for you and we will work with you to find suitable solutions.
We have restarted mutual exchanges for all customers who had an agreed moving date prior to end March 2020. We are making good progress in clearing the backlog of mutual exchanges, but this is taking some time as we follow safety guidelines and social distancing rules. We anticipate that we will clear this backlog by mid to end July.
During August, it is our intention to move our focus onto applications for mutual exchanges that were received by end March 2020 but not formally agreed by us. If you had applied to exchange your home which was being assessed as lock down began, we will confirm your moving date as soon as we can.
We anticipate that at the beginning of September we will be able to welcome new applications for mutual exchanges. We will continue to approve Homeswapper and House Exchange requests so that you are able to locate possible exchanges. We appreciate that waiting until September may be disappointing news but would like to reassure you that we will welcome applications for new exchanges just as soon as we are able to.
We are continually monitoring the current situation and closely following guidance from the government and Public Health England. Timescales are subject to change and we request that all customers continue to refer to our website for further updates.
Swapping your home
You can swap your rented home with someone else who has a home with us, a home with another housing association or a home with a local council. This is called a mutual exchange.
Please speak to us if you’d like to swap your home, as you need our permission, as well as permission from the other landlord.
How to swap your home
You'll need to register with one of the following services to be able to swap your home.
- House exchange (free to LiveWest customers) 1.4 million social housing customers use this website free of charge through a network of partner landlords. There are in the region of 1,200 swaps a month nationwide found through House Exchange and we have over 60,000 people actively looking for a home on the website.
- Homeswapper (this is free to LiveWest customers). It’s easy to register and you’ll see homes in your area and across the UK. There are thousands of potential swaps available every week, and you can search and get match alerts by email and text. There’s a forum to share information and over 27,000 homes registered to swap.
- UK home swap (you have to pay to register).
You’ve found a home to swap so what now?
When you’ve found someone to swap with, please give us a call and we'll talk you through the next steps. Remember:
- There are different types of tenancies, so make sure you don’t lose out by moving home - speak to us about it first.
- Don’t move before you’ve been given permission and before the paperwork’s been signed by everyone involved.
- You will need to arrange and pay for the move yourself once we’ve given permission.
- If the home you move into is in a poor condition, you’ll be responsible for damage caused by the previous person.
We’ll need to have a look around your home and meet with you and the person you want to swap with. We’ll send you a letter to say if the swap can go ahead. This can take a few weeks while we cover everything with the landlord.
There are times when you won’t be able to swap, such as:
- You have a starter tenancy.
- The home you want to move into is too small or too big for your personal circumstances.
- You have rent arrears.
- You or the person you are swapping with has not kept to the terms of the tenancy agreement.
For more more useful information on swapping your home please read our leaflet here.