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Housing Options

Housing Options

This site provides information on the following Housing Options:

Mutual Exchange

If you are a tenant of a Homefinder Somerset partner landlord within the Homefinder Somerset area and want to move to another location within the Homefinder Somerset area, then you can use this site to advertise your property for mutual exchange.

In order to do this you need to be registered on the Homefinder Somerset register. Once you are registered you can login to your account on this website and place a mutual exchange advert.

 

The Homefinder Somerset Mutual Exchange scheme

What is the Mutual Exchange Scheme?
This scheme helps you to help yourself to find alternative accommodation through a mutual agreement between two or more tenants.
If you are a Council or Housing Association tenant with a Homefinder Somerset partner landlord within the Homefinder Somerset area, and wish to move within this area, you can try to find another tenant to exchange with.

How do I find another tenant to exchange with?
Tenants need to find another tenant whose property suits them and who is interested in moving into their property. Both tenants should apply to their landlords for permission to exchange.
 
(Landlords will not allow the exchange if either household would severely overcrowd or under-occupy a property as a result.) The Landlords will ask you to ensure that any rent due is paid up-to-date before the exchange.

 

What do I do now?


For tenants across the homefinder Somerset region - you can now apply for a mutual exchange on-line.

 

The service allows tenants to register their property details and to view the details of other properties that are registered. These will include properties registered by other landlords who join the scheme.

Anyone listed on an old mutual exchange system must re-register with us on the Homefinder Somerset Housing Register in order to enable tenants to advertise their property. New registrations are also welcome.  To register online please follow the link marked 'click here to register' on the login/register page.

If I find someone to exchange with, what do I do next?
All tenants involved must be registered on the Homefinder Somerset Housing Register and stated that they wish to exchange.

Do I need my landlord's permission to exchange?

Yes. Do not exchange without permission from the Council or your Housing Association Landlord.

Most landlords will give permission provided the following conditions are met:-

(a) All tenants involved must have a clear rent account, and no Possession Order in Force against them.
(b) Any property involved in the exchange will not be overcrowded or substantially under occupied.
(c) The property is only suitable for a household with special needs, and the proposed new tenant has such a need.
(d) No fee or premium has passed between the tenants who are a party to the exchange.
(e) The prior written approval of the relevant landlords has been obtained before any move takes place.

With some Housing Association Landlords, where one tenant lives in a village, the other tenant may be asked to provide evidence of a connection with that village.

Some Partner Landlords have other restrictions on exchanges, and your own landlord will explain this to you. A home visit will be arranged by your Landlord to ensure the above conditions have been met prior to the exchange being permitted.

Please Note: Housing Association and Council tenants have different types of tenancies. Your tenancy can be affected by an exchange, so you should check what type of tenancy you will be taking and what differences there may be.

If permission has been granted, you will be asked to sign an agreement to the effect that you are willing to accept the accommodation as it stands.
Should you decide to leave any carpets or curtain fittings etc., this should be agreed with your exchange partner, and all items being left must be clearly marked with a label "Do not remove". The Council or Housing Association Landlord cannot be held responsible for the loss or removal of any such items, or become involved in any dispute arising over this.

How long does the exchange process take?
Your landlord should let you know within 42 days if permission is granted or refused, and a letter will be sent to you confirming the decision by your landlord. Council tenants must give three clear weeks notice to Housing Services from the following Monday after the home visit. If you are a Housing Association tenant you will need to contact your landlord to find out how much notice you need to give.

Please note, once you have accepted an alternative property via an exchange, your Transfer/Exchange Housing Register application will be cancelled, as it will be assumed, unless you advise otherwise, that your housing problem has been resolved.

 

Shared Ownership

 

Shared ownership homes offer a low cost way to get on the home ownership ladder. Shared ownership makes housing affordable.

Shared ownership housing: three key things to know:

  1. Shared-ownership makes home ownership more affordable because you part buy and part rent your home.

  2. Homebuy is the Government's range of shared ownership housing schemes.

  3. Shared Ownership and Homebuy schemes are managed locally by Housing Association 'Agents'.



    To find out about shared-ownership in Somerset, or to apply for shared-ownership, click on the link below.

    www.southwesthomes.org.uk

    Who can buy Shared Ownership housing?
    Shared ownership housing schemes are usually intended for people who cannot afford to buy a suitable home in any other way. Applicants must usually be in housing need and be unable to afford outright purchase. Priority will often be given to people on local authority or housing association waiting lists.

    What is Shared Ownership housing?
    Shared-ownership is a great way into home ownership. If you can't afford to buy outright, you can part buy and part rent your home. The monthly cost of buying a 50% share is about two-thirds of what you would pay on a mortgage if you bought the property outright. When you can afford to do so, you can buy more shares until you own your home outright.

    Housing Associations and Shared Ownership housing
    The other share in the property is usually owned by a housing association. If you are interested in buying low cost affordable shared-ownership housing, you will need to contact the local Homebuy Agent or contact directly a housing association in your area that provides shared ownership homes.
    This website, www.shared-ownership.org.uk provides the most comprehensive listing of housing associations that provide shared ownership housing. The Government has recently introduced new types of shared ownership housing called HOMEBUY.

There are three types of Homebuy scheme:


New Build Homebuy, where you share part of the ownership of your home with a housing association; 
Open Market Homebuy, where you part-buy a property and get a loan from the Government for the rest; and 
Social Homebuy, where housing association and local authority tenants are helped to buy their current home.

To find out more about Homebuy click visit this website www.homebuy.co.uk.

Some shared ownership vacancies will be advertised on this site - please check the property search area for more details.

Want to move out of Somerset?

There are a number of national websites for mutual exchange (some of which make a charge for their services) of social housing tenancies amongst these are:

House Exchange
Homeswapper

Further advice can be obtained from the DirectGov website.  These links are purely for information and we are not recommending these or any other providers.

 

Private Rented Accommodation

Information on private rented accommodation can be found on your local authority's website. These can be found on the How to contact us page.