Mutual exchange, next steps

What happens if I find someone to exchange with?

What should I do if I find someone to exchange with?

  • You contact the tenant directly and arrange to view each other’s property.
  • Please make sure you look carefully at the property and you are satisfied with it.
  • Please remember that if you move, the association will not carry out any cleaning, decorating or other work that is the tenant’s responsibility.
  • If you like each other’s properties, you will need to apply for permission for the exchange.

How do I apply for permission?

An application form is available on the Bedfordshire Homefinder Mutual Exchange Service at: Or download it here.

Each exchange party will need to fully complete an Aragon application form and send it to our office. All joint tenants must sign the application form. If you wish to exchange with someone who is not an Aragon tenant, you must also contact their landlord.

What happens next?

Once an application form has been received from all parties, we will check the form and your tenancy records.

An appointment will be made for a maintenance surveyor to inspect your home. An inspection is needed so we can advise you of any tenant responsibilities or repairs that you need to do before the exchange, as well as advising the incoming tenant of any additional responsibilities.

If your exchange partner is not a tenant with Aragon, we will write to their landlord to request a reference. We will also forward a reference for you to the other landlord.

How long will it take for Aragon to make a decision?

We will try to make the decision as quickly as possible. The maximum time we are allowed to take to make the decision is 42 days.

Can Aragon refuse to give permission?

Examples where permission can be refused include:

  • Legal action is being taken e.g. a Notice Seeking Possession has been served or a court order has been issued.
  • The property is unsuitable for the household wanting to move e.g. it is too large or too small, it has been adapted for people with disabilities or it is retirement housing.
  • You have a starter or introductory tenancy.
  • The property has been built under a Section 106 Scheme, where it can only be let to people with a direct connection to the parish and the household wanting to move does not have a connection.

Can Aragon delay the move?

Aragon can attach a condition to any consent and you would be unable to move until the condition was met.

For example, we could give permission subject to you clearing any arrears on the rent account, or completing a repair or other work that you are responsible for. This must be done to our satisfaction and we will carry out an inspection to check this.

How will I know your decision?

A letter will be sent to you, either giving permission and outlining any conditions, or giving the reasons for refusal.

The permission letter will also tell you about any items you will become responsible for e.g. any alterations or improvements made by your exchange partner, as Aragon will treat these items as though you carried out the work yourself. This means that Aragon may not be responsible for their upkeep or replacement.

What would happen if we moved before we had written permission from Aragon?

If you move without written permission you risk making you and your family homeless. Both you and the person that had moved into your home would become illegal occupants. You would also have no right to move back to your current home as you would have breached the tenancy of that property by giving up possession.

If Aragon gives written permission for the move to go ahead, what do I need to do?

You should contact your exchange partner to agree a date you would like to move and then contact the Allocations Team to confirm this.

The moving date must be on a Monday. An allocations officer will make an appointment for you and your exchange partner to come into the office to complete the necessary paperwork. You will be asked to sign a Deed of Assignment and you will be given a copy of the tenancy agreement.

We will also explain your tenancy rights at this appointment. All joint tenants must attend this appointment

How do I hand over the keys?

You must agree with the person you are exchanging with about how and when you will swap keys.

If the property is not in the condition I expected, what can I do?

It is your responsibility to inspect the property thoroughly before you agree to move and again before you hand over your keys.

You should agree with your exchange partner exactly how they will be leaving the property and who will be responsible for any outstanding repairs or rubbish. You must not assume that Aragon will take responsibility for carrying out any work unless you have written confirmation that we will do so.

What will Aragon do on the moving day?

Aragon will arrange for gas and electric safety checks to be done on the Monday you move. You must allow our contractors access to carry out these checks.

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