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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mutual exchange?

Gentoo assured tenants have the right to exchange their tenancy with another Gentoo assured tenant or tenants of a Registered Social Landlord, or with a secure tenant of a local authority. The process by which they do this is called mutual exchange.

Who is eligible?

Only Gentoo assured tenants are eligible

I live in a Private Rented/Housing Association property. Can I advertise on the Gentoo Mutual Exchange website?

No, in order to advertise on the Gentoo Mutual Exchange website you would need to be living in a Gentoo Property.

Will this cost me anything?

No. This is a free service to all Gentoo tenants.

I’ve forgotten my reference number. What do I do?

You can use the “contact us” tab on the home page and request the information or you could contact your local Gentoo housing office who will be able to assist you.

Will the scheme help me move to a different area?

The Home Swap Direct function on this site allows you to search both regionally and nationally for properties of other non Gentoo tenants who are interested in swapping their property and provides a link for you to contact them.

Can I use the Gentoo Mutual Exchange Website without being registered?

Available exchanges can be viewed without being registered but you must be registered before you can express any interest in an advertised property. 

I currently live in a property which is Age Banded for applicants over a certain age - can I undertake a Mutual Exchange?

If you live in an Age Banded property for example a bungalow you can undertake a Mutual Exchange providing that the tenant you are exchanging with meets the age criteria for your property. This would also be the same if you would like to move into an Age Banded property - you would need to meet the age criteria.

Who will be able to see my contact details? 

Only the person with whom you want to exchange with will see your details. When you express an interest in their home your preferred contact details (from your original application) are automatically placed on the shortlist in  ‘My Account – My Mutual Exchange’ and they will contact you if they want to proceed with a viewing.

Your personal safety is of the upmost importance to us so please take precautions when arranging a viewing for example view in daylight hours only, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back and consider taking someone with you etc.

Can I add photographs to my application?

Yes. You will be able to upload photographs of your home onto your application and we would encourage you to do this. However 1 image must be identified as your main photograph for use in the newsletter. It is easy to upload photographs, after you have received your membership number open ‘My Account' and then 'My Mutual Exchange’ follow the on line link and then upload the image from your PC or camera. Please note that images will be directed to your local housing office for verification before appearing on your advert. Try to keep these images simple and avoid having any people or children in the photograph. All photographs are accepted in jpeg format.

Please note we reserve the right to reject images we consider to be unsuitable.    

Can I change my application at any time?

Yes - you can amend your details on the website. Log in to the site using your reference number and simply edit your details via ‘My Account' – 'My Mutual exchange’ Please note that any changes will be verified by your local housing office before they appear on the website. You can also delete your application at any time using the ‘Withdraw Advert’ button which is available only after you have logged in.

I’ve received a message that my advert is due to expire. What do I do?

It is recommended that after you log-in you check your shortlist area for any recent and suitable bids recorded. If there is nothing suitable you should withdraw your current advert and complete a new mutual exchange application. This will be then be forwarded to your local housing office for approval prior to appearing on the website. By doing this all unwanted bids will be cleared from your shortlist area.

If there is a bid that does interest you please contact your local office who can then amend the expiry date of your advert.       

What happens when I find a suitable exchange?

When your registration with Gentoo Mutual Exchange is accepted your advert will appear on the website allowing other tenants with an active exchange application to view and apply for your property. When you find a property you are interested in, express an interest and then your contact and property details will be sent to the tenant. Your details will in appear in their ‘Your Account Section’ when the other person logs in and will only be accessible to them. If they are interested in exchanging it is their responsibility to contact you. Once you have viewed each others property and if you wish to proceed with the exchange you both should confirm that you want to exchange. Both adverts will be removed from the website with the exchange details passed to the relevant local housing office for approval.

Should you wish to exchange with a non-Gentoo tenant contact your local housing office who will arrange to contact their housing provider on your behalf.

Please note that you must not proceed with any removal arrangements until you have received the full approval of your landlord and you have signed all the necessary documentation. You could be putting your tenancy at risk if you move without this permission.

If I apply for an exchange can I change my mind?

Yes. You can withdraw at any time before you sign the deed of assignment. Once you have signed the deed you are no longer the tenant of your old property.

Can my exchange be refused?

Yes. Mutual exchanges are subject to agreement by us. Consent can however only be withheld for one of the following reasons set out in Schedule 3 of the Housing Act 1985:  

  • A Notice of Seeking Possession has been served on either tenant proposing to assign their tenancy.
  • A Court Order is outstanding against the tenancy.
  • A Court Action is pending for an order against the property.
  • The tenant is subject to an Anti-social Behaviour Order or Anti-social Behaviour Injunction or it is being applied for.
  • The property would be substantially more extensive than is reasonably required (e.g. a couple moving to a four bedroom property).
  • The extent of the property is not reasonably suitable to the needs of the proposed family.
  • The property has been let to a tenant who is an employee of any company within the Group, for the purposes of employment or is within the boundaries of a company building.
  • The request to exchange involves a property which has substantially different features from those of ordinary properties and has adaptations to suit and accommodate the needs of the residing tenant. If the exchange does not make effective use of these adaptations then the exchange may be refused.

In addition to the above grounds on which permission to exchange can be refused, the right to exchange can be made conditional on clearance of arrears or resolution of some other breach of tenancy, but no other conditions can be imposed.

It should be noted that each case is considered individually on merit.

How long will it take to receive a decision on my Mutual Exchange?

A decision will be made within 42 days of receiving the request to exchange (from both parties to the exchange).

Other important information

It is illegal to offer any form of incentive including any form of payment when either advertising or considering an exchange. If you do you could be faced with legal action which may result in you losing your tenancy.

When considering an exchange you must be aware that you accept the property in its present condition. The landlord may only carry out repairs that they are legally required to do.


Gentoo Group Limited is a charitable community benefit society, registration number 7302. 

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