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Report an Illegal Mutual Exchange/Subletting


An Illegal Mutual Exchange is when social housing tenants swap their properties without the written consent of their landlord and occupy property without signing a Tenancy Agreement with the landlord of the property. Tenants who do this are in breach of their Conditions of Tenancy and may face action that will result in the loss of their existing tenancy and removal from the property they illegally occupy.

Illegal Subletting is where a tenant sublets part of or the whole of their property without obtaining the written permission of the landlord. Tenants have the right by law to sublet a part of their property but must obtain the written permission of their landlord before doing so.

Essential Information
  • No additional information.

  • You can find tenants wishing to exchange at the Homeswapper website, or advertising in local newspapers and local shops.

  • As a tenant you have the right to sublet part of their property but you will need to obtain written permission from the landlord before you do so. You cannot sublet any part of your property before you have the written permission. Under no circumstances are you allowed to sublet the whole of your property.

Frequently Asked Questions
    • No. If you do not get permission to exchange first you and the person you swap with could be evicted and lose your homes.

    • Yes, and if you swap without permission you could be evicted and lose your home.

    • If you believe that your neighbour has made an illegal mutual exchange you should tell your local housing team who will investigate the matter.

    • Requests for subletting must be made in writing and must include the following information as well as reasons for the request:

      • Full name and date of birth of prospective subtenant
      • Details of which part of the property is proposed for subletting and reasons for subletting
      • Duration of proposed subletting arrangement
      • If there is any charge for this arrangement

      If permission is granted it is the tenants responsibility to inform Benefit Services as their entitlement to Housing Benefit may alter.

    • If you believe that your neighbour’s property is being illegally sublet you should tell your local housing team who will investigate the matter.

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