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Swapping homes

The quickest way to move is often by finding another tenant who would like to swap homes with you. This is called a ‘mutual exchange’.

You can swap your home with another council or housing association tenant either in Islington, London or anywhere in the United Kingdom. You do not need to be registered on the transfer list or have any points to participate. 

Finding a home to swap with

There are a number of ways that you can find a mutual exchange partner to swap homes with. When looking for a mutual exchange partner you must make sure that the property you are moving to is suitable for your needs.

Smart Move Scheme

Our Smart Move scheme helps match overcrowded families in Islington with tenants who under-occupy their home.

We advertise the property details of tenants who wish to move to smaller or larger homes in the Home Connections advert each week. The advert is available to view on the website, or you can collect a paper copy at your local area housing office.

If you are interested in an advertised property and your property matches the advert's requirements, you can express an interest in the property via the Mutual Exchange Officer on 020 7527 4140. We will then put you in contact with each other to arrange for the properties to be viewed.


Find out more about the Smart Move Scheme in the leaflet at the bottom of this page.

Chain Letting
The Chain Letting Scheme allows under occupiers to exchanges properties with overcrowded families. If the under occupier does not like the overcrowded family’s property, the council will attempt to find a suitable property through Home Connections that will suit their needs.

Other options for existing tenants looking to move to a new council home

If you are an existing council or housing association tenant and have been looking to move for a while, there may be other housing options you could consider. One is our mutual exchange system (HomeSwapper), where we help you do a house swap with someone else in Islington. The other is Housingmoves, a scheme that helps people who want to move to other parts of London.

Find out more by clicking on the links under related websites, on the right hand side of this page.

We can give help and advice to tenants who are under occupying their home and who would like to move to a smaller property, particularly those who are affected by the bedroom tax.

Register with HomeSwapper

The HomeSwapper website can help you to find an exchange partner for you to swap with anywhere in the United Kingdom. You do not have to be on the council’s transfer list.

You must first register with HomeSwapper by logging on to their website. HomeSwapper will search for possible new swaps for you. It saves these matches and you can log on at any time to see them. You can also arrange to be sent ‘match alerts’ by email or by text message to your mobile ‘phone.

The website is for council or housing association tenants only. It is free for council tenants but some housing association tenants may have to pay a small fee to register, if their landlord is not part of the scheme.

You can also view the HomeSwapper list at your area housing office. You must contact the person who is living in the property you are interested in yourself to make viewing arrangements.

What happens next?

Once you find someone to swap homes with, you need to complete an application form and get permission from the council or your housing association. The mutual exchange application form can be found at the bottom of this page. Copies are also available from your local area housing office, or by calling the Housing Options team on 020 7527 4140.

We must make sure that the homes are suitable and carry out legal checks. We will reply to your application within 42 days.

We can refuse permission if:

  • The exchange would make a household overcrowded or your home would be too big
  • If you owe rent or have broken your tenancy agreement in any other way.

Please remember it is illegal to offer or accept money as an incentive to mutually exchange.

More Information

For more information please contact the Housing Options team on 020 7527 4140 or We are based at Islington Customer Centre, 222 Upper Street, London N1 1XR


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