Coronavirus update - 19 March 2020
We recognise the increased uncertainty that coronavirus (COVID-19) may be causing. The health and wellbeing of you and our employees is of the utmost importance to us. We are monitoring the situation closely following guidance from the government and Public Health England.
We are currently focussing on minimising the risk and delivering only our core services to our customers, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable. We have taken the difficult decision to suspend all mutual exchange applications until further notice.
We will continue to approve Homeswapper and House Exchange requests so that you are able to locate possible exchanges. Until further notice, you will not be able to apply to start the mutual exchange process.
We will continue to progress current mutual exchange applications and work with you to complete all outstanding exchanges. We do need to stress that the situation is ever changing and we may have to suspend exchanges if we, the other landlords involved or any of the customers are not able to engage in the mutual exchange.
We will ask you if anyone in your family has been advised to self-isolate and will take all precautionary steps to ensure that we reduce risks linked to COVID-19.
You may want to cancel the mutual exchange and pick this back up at a later date. We are happy to cancel the mutual exchange but we are unable to put it on hold and reinstate it at a later date. We will cancel the mutual exchange and you will need to notify your exchange partner to let them know. You will be able to re-apply in the future when things have settled down and you are in a position to proceed with the exchange. Please note that the whole process will start when you submit new application forms.
For mutual exchanges that are complete and require paperwork to be signed, we will contact you to let you know when and how this will be completed. We may ask you to visit an office or phone in advance to ask you a few questions about whether anyone in your family is self-isolating.
We are continually monitoring the current situation and will reinstate mutual exchanges when it is safe to do so and current risks with Coronavirus have reduced. 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.