Guidance For Mutual Exchange

About mutual exchanges

If you want to be re-housed, you can apply to the Council for a transfer to another property. Your application for a transfer will be considered under the Council’s Allocations Policy.

Another possibility is to consider a “mutual exchange”, where you can exchange your house with another tenant. You have the right to exchange your home with another East Dunbartonshire tenant, or with the tenant of another qualifying landlord. This includes other Councils, Registered Social Landlords, and water and sewage authorities.

You can request a mutual exchange at any time during your tenancy.

You can do this provided that:

  • The person you want to exchange with has the same type of tenancy agreement as you (a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement, or a Short Scottish Secure Tenancy).
  • The mutual exchange receives the prior agreement of the Council, and any other landlord involved.

Interested in a mutual exchange?

You can apply for a mutual exchange online via HomeSwapper HomeSwapper is a direct home swap service for tenants who live in a council house or housing association property and are interested in exchanging their home. HomeSwapper is a nationally operated home swap service.

HomeSwapper provides automatic matches with potentially suitable tenants based on your preferences with information being sent to your mobile phone via SMS messaging or to a secure email address. You can access the service by using the website If you require further assistance on accessing the service please contact your local Housing Officer.

Tell us about your plans

Before an exchange is approved, we will inspect both properties to ensure that the main tenancy conditions have been complied with. If your exchange partner is not an East Dunbartonshire Council tenant, we will request a tenancy conduct report from their landlord.

If the house you are moving to is another East Dunbartonshire Council property, we will ask you to sign a new tenancy agreement. When you exchange houses, you are accepting the condition of the house as it is. The Council will only carry out repairs in accordance with the new tenancy agreement which you sign. If your house or the house you wish to move to is in an especially poor condition, we may refuse permission for you to move until the house has been returned to a reasonable condition.

Important information on your Right to Buy your Home

If you swap your home with another tenant then your right to buy entitlement may change as there has been a change to your tenancy. You may be entitled to the modernised right to buy which means that:

  • you will have a five year qualifying period (although your full time spent as a tenant of East Dunbartonshire Council will be taken into account as long as there has been no break in the tenancy).
  • the discount starts at 20% rising by 1% per year to a maximum of 35% or £15,000, whichever is lower.

You should note that if you became a tenant for the first time after 1 March 2011, or you move to new supply housing, such as a new build home you may be exempt from any Right to Buy Entitlement. 

Some social landlords are exempt from the right to buy. If you exchange your home with a tenant of such a landlord you will not be eligible to buy your home. Your Housing Officer will discuss your Right to Buy entitlement with you before you move home.

You should carefully consider the implications of the right to buy before going ahead with a mutual exchange.

Permission from the Council

We will write to you telling you whether we have approved your application within one month of receiving it.

If we do not reply within one month, the tenancy agreement allows you to assume that permission has been granted.

The Council can only withhold permission if it has reasonable grounds for doing so.

Reasonable grounds for refusing permission could include:

  • The proposed change would cause either house to be overcrowded.
  • You or your exchange partner have been served a notice warning that eviction may be sought
  • An order for eviction has been obtained against you or your exchange partner
  • Your house was let to you because of your employment with East Dunbartonshire Council
  • Your house was designed or adapted for persons with special needs and if the exchange was allowed, there would be no person living in the house who required those designs or adaptations
  • The other house is substantially larger than you and your family need or it is not suitable for the needs of you and your family; or your house is substantially larger than the other family need, or is not suitable for the needs of the other family

If we refuse your request, you can ask us to review our decision

If you disagree with the Council’s decision, you can request that the decision is reviewed by the local Team Leader. If you are not satisfied after this, you can appeal against the decision to the Council’s Head of Housing and Community Services. If you still disagree with our decision, you have the right to raise proceedings in Court. The Court can order the Council to consent to your request, if it considers our refusal was unreasonable. We would recommend that you consult A Solicitor in this regard.