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Existing social tenants

Housing options for existing social tenants

If you are already a tenant of a housing association, then you may have additional housing options available to you which are not available to tenants in the private sector, including:

  • Mutual Exchange: the right to exchange your home with another social tenant
  • Downsizing: the ability to transfer to a smaller property owned by your landlord
  • Right to purchase your home: the Right to Buy / Right to Acquire offers you the right to purchase your home at a heavily discounted rate

You should check your own tenancy agreement to confirm what options are open to you as agreements can vary between housing associations.

If you are an A2Dominion resident, your landlord has a range of information available on their website. If you are a resident of another housing association, please contact them for information on what options are open to you.

Mutual exchange

Mutual exchange gives you the opportunity to move to another council or housing association home anywhere in the country, and be in control of selecting the home that you would like to live in.

Your landlord will be signed up to a national exchange service, such as HomeSwapper, so check with them which service they offer.

It is important that you get your landlord's permission before swapping your home. To do so without permission leaves both you and your exchange partner at risk of losing your homes.

Generally, you will only be able to move to a property which meets your needs. If the home which you are proposing to move to is too large for your needs, or it doesn't have the adaptations which you require, then your landlord may refuse permission.


Since the introduction of the removal of the spare room subsidy, also known as the 'Bedroom Tax', social tenants have been actively encouraged to downsize to accommodation which meets their needs. Generally, downsizing tenants are given very high priority on transfer lists, and some landlords have incentive schemes to support tenants to move. Please check with your landlord.

If you live in Spelthorne, and the Council has nomination agreements with your landlord, we may be able to give you high priority on the Housing Register, provided that your landlord agrees that when you move, we will have the right to nominate the new tenant. Please contact the Housing Register team if you are unsure.

Right to purchase your home

Depending on your tenancy agreement you may have either:

  • Right to Buy,
  • Preserved Right to Buy, or
  • Right to Acquire

These schemes allow social tenants to purchase their home at a heavily discounted cost. For more information, please contact your landlord, or look at the Government's Own Your Home website.

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