Housing association exchanges
You can only exchange your housing association property if you get your housing association's permission. You can swap your home with another housing association tenant or a Housing Executive tenant.
Who can I exchange my home with?
You must get your housing association's permission before you can exchange your property. If you get the housing association's permission you can exchange your property with:
- another housing association tenant
- a Housing Executive tenant
You can apply for an exchange even if you don't know who you want to swap your home with.
How do I exchange my home?
You should write to your housing association asking permission to exchange your home. The housing association must reply within 42 days of your application. If the housing association does not reply within 42 days, seek further advice.
When can the housing association stop the exchange?
Your housing association can refuse permission to exchange your property if your application falls into one of the following categories:
- the other person has been told by a court to leave their home
- the Housing Executive has started court proceedings against the other person to get possession of the home
- the accommodation is too big for the other person's needs
- the accommodation is unsuitable for the other person's needs
- the accommodation was designed or adapted for a physically disabled person
- the accommodation belongs to a housing association which provides accommodation for people who find it hard to get permanent accommodation. For example, Student Housing Association Co-op (SHAC)
- the accommodation is part of an area for people with special needs which has special services for the people living there
- a member of your household or a member of the other person's household has been convicted of an offence related to improper use of the property.
If you have broken the terms of your tenancy agreement your housing association may decide that you can only exchange your property if you agree to do something. For example, if you owe your housing association rent, you will not be allowed to exchange until you have paid your rent.
What happens next?
What happens next depends on whether you have found someone to swap you home with.
The housing association has 42 days to reply if you have found someone who wants to swap their home. If the housing association agrees to this arrangement, you can start your exchange.
If you want to exchange your home but you don't have a person to exchange with you can give your details to the Housing Executive. The Housing Executive has a list of people who want to exchange their home. The list is updated every month and you can get the list from your local Housing Executive District Office .
Get advice if your housing association says you aren't allowed to exchange your property. You can complain to your housing association. Each housing association has their own complaints procedure. Your housing association should give you details of their complaints procedure.
How long will it take?
How long the exchange process takes depends on whether you have found someone to swap your home with.
If you have found someone to swap you home with you can start the exchange within 42 days if you get the written consent of your housing association. You will get an acknowledgment letter within 3 days and the housing association will usually make the decision within 4 weeks.
There is no time limit on how long you may have to wait for an exchange if you don't have someone to swap your home with. You will have to complete a renewal form each year that you are on the waiting list.
Get advice if your housing association is not allowing you to exchange your home. Advice is available from Housing Rights Service.