Jackie is looking to exchange her home. Along the way she has had some challenges and disappointments. She is speaking up to help current and future exchangers, so they don't go through the stress and heartache that she and other swappers have faced. She has been inspired by her struggle to set up a petition and a blog to share those stories.
Have you ever found that dream home to then have it taken away? Have you ever had your time wasted and been dragged along on a promise of a swap? Well I have.
After searching for so long I was contacted by another swapper asking was I interested in her home. It was in a lovely location, the house wasn't perfect, but it meant I had the chance to move away from harassment so I accepted the offer and she loved my home.
Paper work was filled in and we started making arrangements. Inspections were completed. We started packing. I was so excited and so were my children as they were not happy in our home and were too scared to play in garden. The lady phoned me and said her housing officer was meeting with her at her house and could I attend so we could sign the tenancy. I did so, and a week later we did the same with my H.A.
We agreed we would move during the school six week holiday. I thought I better have school placements sorted out before this, so I applied for places at the school near the new home and these were granted. I went and bought new uniforms. The van was booked. I sold off my lovely well-established tropical fish tank that I had had for many years and had enjoyed. Friends had cleared their diaries to help with the move.
It was just two weeks to go. I was practically packed and ready to go and suddenly thought... I've not had the final letter from my H.A to say thumbs up, and come to think about it nothing from the lady I was swapping with. I called my housing officer to ask for an update. She was slightly puzzled about why I called and explained she thought we cancelled the swap as the lady called her and told her she had pulled out and that she had told me. This was a lie, she hadn't told me anything. I was devastated and out of pocket. The worse was telling my children.
Time for a change
I finally found a exchange and I've lived in this home for five years, but I've been looking to move again. I've joined many a site and groups on social media. I've been reading many other time waster stories and I thought it's time to speak up and take a stand.
The council and H.A should not allow people to mess with people's lives in this manner. I've even heard of one person's exchange falling through on the day of move. I don't think this is right, so I've set up an online petition to try and put a stop to this and maybe deter time wasters. There should be a point in the exchange process where you are not allowed to pull out.
If you have a story to share then please let me know via HomeSwapper, and sign the petition. Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for updates.
Views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily shared by HomeSwapper or Housing Partners Ltd.