Swap with another public housing tenant

Last updated: 20 September 2016

The mutual swap service lets a public housing tenant swap homes with another public housing tenant.

Am I eligible for a mutual swap?

The social housing register of interest criteria apply. You must:

  • Meet social housing income and asset limits
  • Not own or part-own a house, unit or flat
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have paid back any money you owe us
  • Not have been evicted for non-arrears tenancy breaches in the last 12 months.

What size property can I swap to?

You must be eligible for the size of property you want to move to.

When you work out the property size that you are eligible for, you can only include people that have lived with you for at least six months. This rule doesn't apply if:

  • There's been an increase in the number of dependants
  • A person moves in because they receive ongoing care.

Housing size guidelines

To calculate the total number of bedrooms for each household, the minimum number of bedrooms for adults and children in the household is added together.

For example, a couple with four children - three daughters aged 16, 8 and 4 years old and a 10 year-old son:

  • Couple: 1 bedroom
  • 4 children – three of the same gender: 3 bedrooms

This means the family would be eligible for a property with four bedrooms.

Adults
Household memberMinimum number of bedrooms
Single person or couple1
Resident aged 18 years and over1
Children under 18 years old
Number of childrenMinimum number of bedrooms
1 child1
2 children - all same gender1
2 children - one of each gender2
3 children2
4 children - all same gender2
4 children - two of each gender2
4 children - three of same gender3
5 children3
6 children - all same gender3
6 children - four of same gender3
6 children - any other combination4

Where can I swap to?

You can swap to a public housing property anywhere in Victoria. Your local office has a list of everyone who is interested in swapping.

You will have to accept the property you move to without any of the usual maintenance work we do between tenancies.

The tenant you wish to swap with must agree to the swap, and accept your property in its current condition.

How long will I have to wait for a swap?

A mutual swap depends on you being able to find a property and person to swap with.

Because tenants agree to swap between themselves, we cannot give an estimate of how long it will take.

How do I apply for a mutual swap?

You can apply at any time. After a swap, you have to wait at least a year before you can swap again.

  1. Fill in the Mutual swap interest form (.doc)
  2. You will need to include:
  • Details about your current property, like location, type (high rise, house or unit), cladding (concrete or brick) and number of bedrooms
  • Details or requirements for the property you'd like to swap to
  • Your name, email address and telephone number
    The form asks for your permission to share the information with tenants who are interested in swapping. You don't have to give permission, but if you don't it will be hard for tenants wanting to swap to contact you.
  1. Take your form to your local office.

What happens next?

Your local office has a list of everyone in Victoria who is interested in swapping. Your details will be added to this list.

If we have your permission, we may give your details to tenants interested in swapping so that they can contact you.

We may also give you details of tenants wanting to swap to the type of property or place where you live.

When you find someone you'd like to swap with, you and the other person must arrange to see each other's properties and make sure that both properties meet your needs.

How do I get approval to swap?

Once a swap has been agreed on, both tenants must arrange the swap with their local office.

You will need to show you are eligible by completing the online Victorian Housing Register Application or completing the paper Register of Interest application. Find the forms on the Apply for social housing page.

This is so your local housing officer can make sure you are eligible and arrange to inspect your current property.

Any maintenance charges or outstanding amounts will need to be paid before the swap can go ahead.

When your swap is approved, you'll need to sign a new tenancy agreement for the new property. The tenant you're swapping with will sign a new tenancy agreement too.

If you're swapping to a property that is managed by another office, you will need to arrange to sign the new tenancy agreement with that office.
 

More information

Contact your local office to find out more about applying for a mutual swap.

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