Mum wants to SWAP her large three-bed council house because it’s too difficult to clean

A new scheme which sees council house tenants swap homes has seen a clutter-conscious mum left horrified by a house with a toilet in the pantry.

Council House Swap, shown tonight on Channel 5, follows Michael and Lucy, from Leicestershire, as they attempt to swap their large three-bedroom house with another family.

The family, who pay £88 a week in rent, wanted to downsize their end-of-terrace house in Barkby as they struggled to keep up with Lucy’s high cleaning standards.

The mum, who struggles to clean due to health issues, was left baffled after visiting a landlord who claimed to have converted his downstairs toilet into a pantry – which still contained the toilet.

Tenants of council properties can swap homes under Mutual Swap, which was expanded by an initiative called HomeSwap Direct, introduced by Grant Shapps in 2011.

Council House Swap, shown tonight on Channel 5, follows Michael, Lucy and their son Thomas, from Leicestershire, as they try to swap their large three-bedroom house with another family.

The family were left baffled after meeting a landlord who claimed to have converted his downstairs toilet into a pantry – which still contained the toilet.

The family were left baffled after meeting a landlord who claimed to have converted his downstairs toilet into a pantry – which still contained the toilet.

In the show’s second episode, Michael and Lucy attempted to trade the big one where they lived with their two children, a granddaughter, and their menagerie of pets, for a smaller property.

Ultra-clean Lucy was struggling to maintain her usual cleaning standards due to her health issues and so enlisted her ‘exhausted’ husband Michael to keep their home up to date.

“I’m happiest, or was happiest when I can clean up,” Lucy said. “People think I’m bothered, but one day in my house where I can just clean up, I’m the happiest doing it.”

The couple admitted that a messy house wouldn’t make a good first impression on them. not nice’.

The family, who pay £88 a week in rent, wanted to downsize their end-of-terrace house in Barkby as they struggled to keep up with Lucy's high cleaning standards.

The family, who pay £88 a week in rent, wanted to downsize their end-of-terrace house in Barkby as they struggled to keep up with Lucy’s high cleaning standards.

After listing their home on the site, the family attracted interest from three different parties, with their first visit to a home in Waterlooville, near the Portsmouth coast, owned by mum Alison (left)

After listing their home on the site, the family attracted interest from three different parties, with their first visit to a home in Waterlooville, near the Portsmouth coast, owned by mum Alison (left)

Lucy and Michael were visibly shocked after seeing the pantry, which had shelves stacked with food that had been built around a toilet and sink

Lucy and Michael were visibly shocked after seeing the pantry, which had shelves stacked with food that had been built around a toilet and sink

“I can’t go back. So unless it’s a level anchor or better, it’s not going to happen.”

After listing their home on the Mutual Exchange site, the family attracted interest from three different parties, with their first viewing of a home in Waterlooville, near the Portsmouth coast.

The house belonged to mum Alison, who had been very creative with her space, converting one of the larger bedrooms into two smaller ones and turning the downstairs toilet into a pantry.

Lucy and Michael were visibly shocked after seeing the pantry, which had shelves stacked with food that had been built around a toilet and a sink.

Exchange council or housing association house

You can swap your council or housing association accommodation with another tenant if you follow certain rules and get permission from your landlord.

This is often called “mutual exchange”.

The tenants of the property may want to move for different reasons, including their house being too big or too small.

Tenants can also trade anywhere in the UK as there are no geographical restrictions.

A mutual exchange is an option for tenants who do not have a high enough priority or grouping to be able to access a home through the normal allocation process.

Once both tenants have submitted their mutual exchange application forms, landlords have up to six weeks (42 days) to decide whether to allow you to exchange homes.

Once a renter agrees to an exchange, they will be responsible for paying the cost of moving, boxes, tape, travel, etc.

“The last thing I would think about would be putting food and shelves in the toilet,” Lucy said of the piece. “I’ve never seen that in my life”

And things only got worse when Lucy went upstairs and saw the small bedrooms, with the mum admitting: ‘I can’t see past it at the minute. It would be my bedroom and I only see a small tiny room and I feel quite claustrophobic”.

Lucy complained, “I couldn’t swing a cat in here”, while Michael described one of the bedrooms as “like a prison cell”.

In the end, they felt the house would need too much work and decided not to offer Alison a tour of their own home.

Number two was with dressmaker Maria in Belgrave, Leicester, who was looking to swap her £93-a-week home for a bigger house to accommodate all of her sewing supplies and fabrics.

Although the family liked the large kitchen and garden, they weren’t impressed with the “tiny” master bedroom, while Lucy said the house would need to be “gutted from top to bottom”.

Lucy explained to Maria: “It’s a beautiful house. The garden is the perfect size. Downstairs the kitchen, the fact that it is bigger than ours is nice – but on the other hand the downstairs is much smaller and we have two dogs, they are not not small dogs.

After deciding against a second visit, the family visited their potential next home in Yeovil, Somerset.

Although they were won over by the drive and the manageable garden which featured easy to clean synthetic grass, they felt the second bedroom was too small and the rent too high at £165 per week.

Lucy said: ‘I like the house, it has its pros and cons. I was a bit disappointed with the upstairs bedrooms, they are just tiny. With the rent situation, it’s just not for us.

Reflecting on their decision not to take any of the houses, Lucy said: ‘Walking around and seeing all the other houses and the conditions they were in, it just confirms to me that this is my home.

“Until we find something that we can say, ‘Yeah, that could be home,’ we’re not going anywhere. I know we don’t have to, but even when that day comes, I still think it’s going to be really hard to leave.

Council House Swap airs on Channel 5 at 9 p.m.

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