Local authority or housing association residents have the right to exchange tenancies with other tenants. Every year many people move home this way - sometimes relocating to other cities or towns in the UK.

Find more information about the exchange process below, as well as whether you are entitled to buy the council property you live in.

For help with any queries, contact your local housing office. Alternatively, phone Portsmouth City Council's Leasehold Services on 023 9284 1256 for more information or an application form.

Exchanging a council property

Finding the right property in the right area and someone willing to swap into your home has always been the most difficult part of the process.  Homeswapper has the largest membership of any exchange matching site, so tenants have the best chance of finding the right move. 

Membership of the Homeswapper website is free for all Portsmouth City Council tenants. Register from any computer with internet access to receive texts and e-mails of suitable property matches. You can upload photos of your home directly from your mobile phone.

When you find a match, contact your local area housing office to apply for the exchange. Completing a property exchange is a legal process, and you need the approval of your local area housing office before you move.  

Buying a council property

If you have been a secure council tenant for three years or more, you may be able to purchase the property you live in from the council under the government's Right to Buy scheme.

Eligible tenants can buy their property at a lower price than the full market value.

The Communities and Local Government Department website helps you find out if you are eligible to buy your council house, and has more information if you are interested in buying your council flat.

Some tenants are not eligible to buy their property, such as those: 

  • with a service tenancy in connection with their job 
  • in sheltered housing 
  • whose home has been adapted for use by the disabled or the elderly
  • with a court possession order against them, or an undischarged bankrupt.