Joining the Exchange List
There are not enough homes in East Lothian to go around, so you may be faced with a long wait to be rehoused if you need to move, or simply fancy a change. A mutual exchange, where two tenants with a secure tenancy agreement swap homes, can be a quicker way to get the home you want.
You can exchange your home with anyone who has a secure tenancy:
- A Housing Association tenant - either with us or any other Housing Association
- A Council tenant - either East Lothian Council or any other UK Council
- Any other secure housing provider, e.g. a housing co-operative
We would only refuse an application for an exchange if we have a good reason to do this. For example if you, or the person you want to exchange with:
- have rent arrears or owe money for other tenancy debts such as chargeable repairs, legal expenses or benefit overpayments, etc.
- have been involved in anti-social behaviour
- have allowed your home to deteriorate to an unacceptable condition or breached any other tenancy condition
- have applied to exchange into an unsuitable property (more than one spare bedroom, too small, medical adaptations that you don’t need)
- if you have altered your home without our permission and the work isn’t to an acceptable standard
If you are on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, and apply to exchange into a property where you will have a spare room, you will have an under occupation charge deducted from your Housing Benefit or the rent element of Universal Credit. You may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment from East Lothian Council to cover this shortfall.
To make it easier for secure tenants in East Lothian to find an exchange, we run a joint list with East Lothian Council (ELC) called East Lothian X-Changes. The X-Changes list is easy to join and use. You can join the list and search for a new home on elha.com and on ELC’s website www.eastlothian.gov.uk.
If you don’t have access to the internet, you can fill out a paper application form and ask our staff to run a search on suitable available exchange listings at our Head Office, or check the printed listings in ELC offices.
Your address and property details will appear on the website, with a contact phone number or e-mail address, whichever you prefer. You do not have to provide contact details, but we will not contact you on someone else’s behalf. This means that if you don’t leave a phone number or e-mail address, anyone who wants to exchange with you will have to write you a letter or visit your home.