Mutual exchanges and transfers

If you rent your home from a council or housing association and wish to move, there are several options open to you.

They include:

  • applying for a transfer within your council's area
  • a move to a new area
  • a mutual exchange

What is a transfer?

A transfer is where a council or housing association tenant registers for a move using the housing register. This is because their current home is no longer suitable for them (for example, due to size, area, disability or choice).

How do I transfer?

If you wish to transfer, you can apply to join the Gateway to Homechoice register. For full details and the online application visit:

Gateway to Homechoice 

What is a mutual exchange? 

A mutual exchange is where a council or housing association tenant exchanges their home with another tenant.

It can be a good way to find a bigger or smaller home, or to move to another area.

You could find an exchange through any of the following:

  • word of mouth
  • personal advertising
  • social media
  • the internet

Find out if you are eligible for a mutual exchange here

How do I find a mutual exchange? 

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have recently signed up to Home Swapper which is a mutual exchange platform which enables you to advertise your home and search for homes to swap with, known as a mutual exchange. Registration is free for our tenants.  As a BMSDC tenant, you already have access to House Exchange to do the same, but this is another opportunity for you to find a mutual exchange, therefore giving access to more people to swap homes with and a better chance of finding a suitable match.  You can also download their easy to use app on your smartphone from your app store.

From 27th November 2023 – all mutual exchange applications received by BMSDC will be managed through Homeswapper – this new platform will give you the ability to track your exchange in real time, providing you with a customer dashboard so you can see the progress of your application and enable you to communicate with us with ease.  All information about mutual exchanges and how to apply can be found on our website Mutual exchanges and transfers - Babergh District Council - Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils - Working Together – If you require any support from us with the application process please contact us on

House Exchange is a UK service that helps people find exchange partners.

Visit House Exchange's website to register online and search for an exchange partner.

Shelter also publish information about mutual exchange here

What happens when you have found an exchange?

If you do not already have a Homeswapper account then please complete this form and an invite to complete your mutual exchange application will be sent to you as soon as possible

Once you have found an exchange, you must complete the online application form. This form will take approximately ten minutes to complete.

Please ensure you have identification (Passport/ Driving License or Birth Certificate and utility bill) and proof of child benefit (if applicable) to hand to submit as part of the application.

Please ensure all parties moving into or out of a Babergh and Mid Suffolk Council property within your exchange submit an online application form.

Once all completed forms have been received, we will confirm within 42 days if the exchange can proceed. If all applications have not been received after 14 days, the application will be closed down.

You must have written permission from your Local Authority or Housing Association landlord before exchanging with another tenant.

HomeSwapper | Register