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What local councils are responsible for – Northern Ireland

We’ve come to the last instalment in our series on how local government works in the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland lies across the Irish Sea from mainland Britain and local councils there hold different responsibilities than those in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland there are 11 councils run by elected councillors. Only in 2015, Northern Ireland put reforms in place around how local councils work in the country. [...]

By |March 19th, 2020|

Features you may not have seen: Customising location

This week we’re carrying on with our blog series letting you know about some of the clever tools within HomeSwapper, designed to make your HomeSwapper journey even easier. This time, we’ll be taking a look at… Quick Answer Dashboard > Menu > My Details > The Home I Want Type the area you want and click on the Map icon On the larger map Zoom in and out +/- and [...]

By |March 5th, 2020|

Carl’s Swapper Story: Taking the perfect picture

Remember Carl? A few months ago we spoke with him on how he used HomeSwapper to swap across a few different properties to finally move to his family’s dream home in Dorset. When we chatted to Carl, he also gave us lots of advice on how to prepare your home for the kind of pictures that are going to get your house attention on HomeSwapper. Most homeowners use the [...]

By |February 21st, 2020|

What local councils are responsible for – Scotland

This week we are continuing our trip around the UK, taking a look at what local authorities are responsible for in the different countries that make up the UK. Scotland’s local governments have developed over the ages from ancient ‘Burghs’. They watch over thriving big cities like EdinBURGH and the sparsely populated areas of outstanding natural beauty in the Highlands. Local councils in Scotland have to manage the delivery of [...]

By |February 7th, 2020|

Features you may not have seen: Already messaged

Continuing our blog series highlighting some of the clever tools within HomeSwapper that you may not have used before, we’re taking a look this month at the… Already messaged function When you go to your Matches you’ll see a list of all the properties that you could try to form a swap with. It will look something like this: Now, we all know the best way to [...]

By |January 24th, 2020|

Housing and happiness

Home is where the heart is, so the old saying goes. Beyond bricks and mortar the safety and stability of a home is key to our happiness. According to Shelter, in the UK 85% of people living in social housing are happy in their homes. These numbers are in line with those who own their homes and far higher than those privately renting. Here we’re celebrating social housing and the [...]

By |January 10th, 2020|

Round up of 2019

It’s been a busy year for us at HomeSwapper and as 2019 comes to a close, we’re looking back at all the great things that have happened. We wanted to share with you all some of the best bits from the past year… The Prize Draw First up, we're celebrating all of our winners from the year! Congratulations once again to: January’s winner: Carys, tenant of Guinness Partnership February’s [...]

By |December 30th, 2019|

Beating Christmas Stress

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but there’s no doubt that it can come with high expectations of perfect, happy families enjoying celebrations and gifts. Because of this, many of us can end up feeling stressed trying to live up to it all. With tensions potentially running high, even acknowledging that it may not be ‘perfect’ can make it a calmer affair. In this week’s article we’ve been thinking about [...]

By |December 19th, 2019|

Features you may not have seen: Amenities tab

Last month we started our new blog series that highlighted some of the clever tools within HomeSwapper that you may not have used before. Each month we’ll be giving you our top pick of functions for you to start using - and this month we’re drawing your attention to the… Amenities tab When you click onto another swapper’s advert, you’ll see this screen: Now, you’ll probably be [...]

By |December 13th, 2019|

What local councils are responsible for – Wales

Local councils are extremely important to the running of Wales. The country has 3.1 million people living in it, and with a lot of those people living in the countryside, it has half the population density of the rest of the UK. The place where the majority of decisions are made changed from The Houses of Parliament in London to the Welsh Assembly (which is known as Senedd) in the [...]

By |December 4th, 2019|

Tenant scrutiny panels

Housing Associations and local authorities are seeking out tenants for their opinions on how they work. Scrutiny panels are groups led by tenants that point out areas to investigate that matter to them, such as repairs, anti-social behaviour or debt advice. The outcomes from the findings are reported to the leadership and board members of your landlord and could make a difference to their decision-making. What is a [...]

By |November 29th, 2019|

Features you may not have seen

We’ve filled the HomeSwapper site with all the tools and features you need to swap your home – from our MultiSwap tool to our messaging function and match filters, we try to make using HomeSwapper as easy as possible for you. But aside from the main features, there are a few clever tools we want to draw your attention to for when you’re next using HomeSwapper to find your match. [...]

By |November 22nd, 2019|

Keeping yourself healthy this winter

With the cold weather closing in, in the UK we can expect buckets of rain, gale force winds and maybe even snow coming our way over the following months. Whilst this season has many good things: cosy evenings, the return of the roast dinner and Christmas, winter can also be challenging for homes and health. But there’s help out there and things you can do to prepare for the cold [...]

By |November 15th, 2019|

Keeping safe around fireworks

Bright lights, the excitement of sparklers and the smell of gunpowder mark the start of winter in the UK. Each November 5th we come together to remember Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up the Palace of Westminster in 1605 – and this Tuesday many of us across the UK will have been out doing just that. But this is only the start… the past week has also seen many people [...]

By |November 8th, 2019|

What local councils are responsible for in England

Local councils are responsible for providing a variety of services in the areas they manage. From education to waste disposal, local authorities provide and organise the frontline services that we all rely on. In England, more than 2 million people are employed by local government - these are some of the most respected workers in the country, such as firefighters, social services and schoolteachers. Over the next few weeks, we [...]

By |November 1st, 2019|

Dealing with Antisocial Behaviour

We can’t all get along with everyone all the time, in fact it’s completely normal to have your ups and downs with family, friends and neighbours. These little disputes can affect us in the moment and be forgotten about a day later. However, more disturbing or routine behaviour can make a real impact on our day-to-day lives and might actually be termed ‘antisocial behaviour’. Here’s what it means and some [...]

By |October 25th, 2019|

Carl’s Swapper Story: Accessibility Needs

A few weeks ago we spoke to Carl about his experience on HomeSwapper. To work his way from Lincolnshire to Poole, Carl had to complete a few swaps along the way. In the final MultiSwap that got him there, one of the swappers in the chain had accessibility needs. Carl told us about some of the things that they needed to consider as a chain. Carl and his family [...]

By |October 18th, 2019|

Setting up a bank account for your child

Securing your children’s future is a priority for all parents. There are many financial products out there that can help you set aside small amounts of money each month that can’t be accessed until they become an adult. There are also current accounts that can teach them how to manage their money, deposit wages and savings into. To start with you may just want to start setting small amounts [...]

By |October 11th, 2019|

Swapper Stories: Carl’s Story

Sometimes in life, to achieve your goals you may have to take some unexpected steps – and this counts for HomeSwapper as well! We spoke to HomeSwapper user, Carl. He and his family were determined to move from a small village in Lincolnshire in the midlands to Poole in Dorset on the south coast. It took them a bit longer than expected, but they learnt a lot along the way. [...]

By |October 4th, 2019|

Following the rules on HomeSwapper

While we know that the majority of you use HomeSwapper well, we recently spoke with a swapper who told us that there are a few users out there who aren’t quite following the rules. So, we wanted to remind everyone how to best use HomeSwapper with a quick guide of the most important rules (and some general best practice too). Cash incentives Some people may offer you cash incentives [...]

By |September 25th, 2019|

World Car Free Day

This Sunday, the 22ndSeptember cities around the world will shut down their streets to cars and vehicles, giving people the chance to enjoy a car-free city. From Budapest to Sao Paolo, World Car Free Day is asking us all to imagine our lives without cars. In urban areas, levels of toxic air are one of the biggest public health emergencies and vehicles are one of the main causes of [...]

By |September 19th, 2019|

Registering to vote

In recent weeks there has been a lot of talk of elections and if you’re eligible to vote, you’ll need to register to make sure you have your say. But whether or not a general election is called in the coming weeks, registering to vote is a good idea, as it improves your credit score and is a great proof of address and identity! Most people living in the [...]

By |September 12th, 2019|

Heritage Open Days: Free days out for all the family

Between 13-22 September each year 40,000 volunteers organise events up and down the country at National Trust sites, museums, places of natural beauty and other cultural sites. All of these events are FREE and a great chance to check out our country’s culture and history. Founded in 1994, Heritage Open Days began working with European Heritage to throw the doors open to places normally closed to the general [...]

By |September 6th, 2019|

Tenant events: why they’re great and how to make them work for you

Many of the landlords that are signed up to HomeSwapper hold events throughout the year to touch base with you all, answer any queries and – often – put on a day of activities and games. No doubt you’ll have attended one with your landlord before, but if not, we recommend giving them a try! Here we tell you why… Meeting other swappers There will probably be other tenants [...]

By |August 30th, 2019|

Childcare – what you’re entitled to

Childcare – what you’re entitled to The costs of childcare in the UK can eat up a big chunk of the family budget – but there is help to be had! In this article, we’ll take a look at the financial support out there that you can access, from when your children are toddlers, right up to when they’re teenagers! Tax-free childcare If you're a working parent with [...]

By |August 21st, 2019|

The Best Ways to Protect Your Home

Whether you’ve been living in one place for a while, or have just moved, home security is always a hot topic. It’s often only after a break-in that many people realise just how many spots around their house are vulnerable, but in fact many of these could be prevented or deterred with some simple security changes. Nobody likes to think about something like this happening, but prevention is always the [...]

By |August 15th, 2019|

Cycling schemes

This Thursday was Cycle to Work Day, so we’re giving some thought to some of the great cycling schemes around! One of the best ways to get to know your neighbourhood is by bike. Cycling to work, school or on days out can be quicker, more flexible and healthier – not to mention better for the environment! Councils and urban planners are increasingly encouraging cycling and building in cycleways [...]

By |August 8th, 2019|

SwapTracker: what does it mean for you?

Whether you’ve been on HomeSwapper for a little while, or you’re fairly new to swapping, you’ll know that using HomeSwapper, you’re able to take a look through other swappers’ adverts and eventually, find your swap. But what happens after you’ve agreed a mutual exchange? Once you’ve found your swap, your time on HomeSwapper will have come to an end. Now, both of you involved in the swap will [...]

By |August 1st, 2019|

Greening Your Home

In the UK there is one person that we can all agree is a national treasure: David Attenborough. For years he has been campaigning for us to make changes to help save the environment and people seem to be starting to listen. Plastic free July has been taking over social media for the last month - but trying to make more eco-friendly decisions can be intimidating and it’s hard to [...]

By |July 25th, 2019|

What is a Credit Union?

We’re continuing with our financial advice series and this week we’re looking at credit unions. If you’ve decided that mainstream banking isn’t for you, a credit union could be a great alternative! A credit union is a cooperative model of banking, which is owned and run by the very people putting in their money – you! They provide savings, loans and financial planning for their members and any money made [...]

By |July 17th, 2019|

Data Security: keeping your passwords safe

In this week’s article we’ll give you a few tips for keeping those passwords secure and we’ll show you a way to make sure you never forget another password! It might be for your utility bills, your studies, garden centre or even HomeSwapper account - the truth is we are all drowning in online passwords! Some of them are more sensitive than others; our medical or financial information needs [...]

By |July 12th, 2019|

A guide to basic bank accounts

A few weeks ago we wrote about tools and tips for improving your credit score. This week we’re looking at basic bank accounts, which have been designed for those with low credit scores who can’t get – or don’t want – a standard bank account. A basic bank account offers a place for you to store your money and pay your money from, without an overdraft – which means the [...]

By |July 4th, 2019|

Community led improvements

The areas we live in can mean ‘home’ to us, just as much as the property we’re living in… and the people who know what’s best for a street, community or public space are the people who live in it every day: you!  Is there a space in your local community that could do with some love and care?  Could you plan to bring your neighbours together through an event? [...]

By |June 28th, 2019|

The rules around renting out a spare room

If you’ve got a spare room, you may be affected by ‘Bedroom Tax’ and looking for an option that allows you to stay in your home. Getting a lodger in could be a great way of solving this – and you’ll even make some extra income in the process. As of October 2013, social housing tenants have been able to rent out their spare room, although some people may not [...]

By |June 21st, 2019|

The story of social housing in the UK

Social housing is an important part of our society, with over 4 million social housing homes across the UK. The boom of social housing came from some of the greatest times of social unity in our country, when we had come through the struggle and suffering of the Second World War. Following the 75th anniversary of D-day we are telling the story of the co-operation amongst British people from all parts [...]

By |June 14th, 2019|

Best Time of the Year to do Home Improvements

It’s always a good idea to spruce up your home every so often, whether it’s for yourself or for potential viewings. Little changes can make a big difference and they don’t all have to be DIY projects; some of them can be little fixes that will breathe new life into your home. Here we’re listing out how you can give your home a lift all year round… [...]

By |June 5th, 2019|