To take a bigger council house than we need?

(1000 Posts)
isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:11:02

Have namechanged for this as it's pretty obvious who I am if you know me...

We currently have a two bedroom house (3 children) and we can fir just about but it's a squeeze. We are "entitled" (cringe) to a 3 bed house but it's likely to be 4-5 yrs by the time we would be offered one so placed our details on the Housing Association's "mutual exchange" site. We have also said we are happy to take a 2 bedroom house with separate dining room to use as the 3rd bedroom.

Have been contact by someone via our housing association's "mutual exchange" list. They have a large 4 bed house with a dining room and massive garden and they want to downsize (older couple all kids left home) and would like our house.

Given that is is bigger than we actually need . Part of me thinks it should go to a family with 5/6 kids but part of me thinks this couple are looking for a mutual exchange to downsize to a 2 bed house, what's the chance of them fining such a large family in a 2 bed house that they want.

It would be fabulous for us of course, lots of space for everyone, kids could have their own bedrooms and a nice big garden to play and we wouldn't have to move again when we have more children (planning another 1 or 2 in next 5 years perhaps).

Would we be unreasonable to accept it?

Matildaduck Tue 15-Jan-13 10:57:04

To be fair i wouldn't rush to jelous, the op will be renting this house, it's not hers and it might not be in an area that you would want to live.

I wouldn't want to live in socail housing.

I think she's mad to consider further children when she can only afford to rent.

Horses for courses and all that.

16052013 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:57:39

Moody I have read the OP's posts. Her HA "full rent" is half the market rent.

expatinscotland Tue 15-Jan-13 10:58:00

Take it! You're not 'depriving' anyone because it's a mutal exchange. The occupants won't move out without exchanging.

And if you're not on HB, you're not affected by the bedroom tax.

Don't feel guilty!

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 15-Jan-13 10:58:44

"A separate bedroom for every child, a massive garden, and the opportunity to plan for extra children even though you have three already.
"
When social housing was invented in the 1930's that was the aim, yes. That ordinary "hardworking families" (to quote the current government) would be able to live in spacious, clean housing with space for a veggie patch and the kids to run around in the fresh air.
That was always the point. Social housing was never designed to be a race to the bottom for the dispossessed, or a social lottery for people who have been priced out of private rented accommodation.
It was always supposed to be there to give normal people a decent place to live.
Of course, now we no longer live in houses. We live in "properties", which makes us think that housing is no longer a right but a privilege.
It makes me want to weep.
I am paying over the odds for private rent. I will probably never get a council house, but I don't begrudge OP's luck. She is good people, paying her way, and paying a reasonable rent, rather than a rent that has been made unaffordable on a decent salary by a pumped up housing market and buy to let cowboy landlords like mine.

DSM Tue 15-Jan-13 10:59:00

But her full rent is less than half mine, and for a house twice the size of my flat.

It's not hard to see why people get annoyed.

So, can anyone get on these HA lists? Is there eligibility criteria? And are only certain houses available? If so, I assume these aren't in 'nice' areas, like council housing?

LegoAcupuncture Tue 15-Jan-13 10:59:00

Council houses are not subsidised! The rent is the standard rent, it goes up every year as well. Private rent is so high because of house prices. If landlords were not so greedy, private rent would be cheaper.

Not everyone who lives in a council house gets housing benefit you know. Some actually (shock horror) work for a living.

ANYONE can go on the housing list, you get allocated the house around your needs so may not get one straight away.

WorraLiberty Tue 15-Jan-13 10:59:03

Moody HA properties are subsidised by public money/taxes.

Sour grapes much, 16052013? The op and her dh are also working, so not quite sure what your point is. Keep taking those bitter pills and I'm sure you'll be just fine.

Hope the new house works out well for you and your family op!

expatinscotland Tue 15-Jan-13 11:00:06

HA is not 'subsidised'. It's that private rents are too high due to high mortgage costs for the BTL landlord.

LegoAcupuncture Tue 15-Jan-13 11:00:18

DSM my HA house is on a council estate, but it is a nice one. Not all council estates are horrible. And all estates have their old and bad points!

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16052013 Tue 15-Jan-13 11:01:01

Do you know any private landlords?

Most of them are renting out their own home in order to work elsewhere.

A very, very few make a profit. They tend to be people who have made adequate provision for their own retirement because THEY DON'T WANT TO LIVE OFF THE STATE.

Most of them are barely clearing yields of 4% in London because the capital costs are so high.

DSM Tue 15-Jan-13 11:02:23

lego I'm sure there are nice council estates in some places, there are some new build ones in my city that look nice but ultimately I wouldn't let DS walk to the bus stop in an are like that. Not would I feel comfortable walking alone at night.

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 15-Jan-13 11:02:45

What others have said, the problem isn't with HA or council rents, it's with the greedy landlords and property developers that make private renting so expensive.
That's what need to be tackled.

JakeBullet Tue 15-Jan-13 11:03:18

DSM, it depends oon the HA and the area. My HA has a certain percentage of properties allocated according to need so I got my house due to DS' s disabilities.

Most offer shared ownership though which might be cheaper than privately renting and does at least mean you have a stake in the property.

expatinscotland Tue 15-Jan-13 11:03:37

'But her full rent is less than half mine, and for a house twice the size of my flat.

It's not hard to see why people get annoyed. '

So you're angry with her and not a government which allowed massive speculation in property by individuals and a huge housing bubble to develop - which it still supports via low interest rates that penalise savers and pensioners? Really? Wow, those in power aren't so stupid, they've done a marvellous job of pulling the wool over most peoples' eyes and wagging the dog so those who are rightly to blame for the shite system that private renting is in this country escape it entirely.

Bogeyface Tue 15-Jan-13 11:03:53

They are not subsidised!

But equally, they are not mortgaged or "investment" properties. They were built to house people at an affordable level and thats what they do. There is no profit made, and thats why the rents are so cheap. Private landlords have to charge high rent to cover the costs of the their mortgages or simply because they can. Councils dont have to cover mortgages and their remit was always to provide affordability.

MoodyDidIt Tue 15-Jan-13 11:04:27

Moody I have read the OP's posts. Her HA "full rent" is half the market rent.

to 16052013

<yawn> can people not see that the "market rent" is TOO HIGH, not that HA / council is TOO LOW hmm

have said this so many times on here, bangs head against brick wall

and btw you would LOVE me, my rents 50 quid a month cheaper than the OP's and we are moving to another, bigger council house soon where its EVEN cheaper, and we are planning DC3 grin

(and before you get your knickers in an even bigger twist, we work as well and dont claim.)

Yeah, all landlords are milking it, arent they?
We did not make any profit when we rented out our home to live in Norway a few years to care for my parents. It cost more than we earned, in repairs and maintenance. From the rent received, we had to pay mortgage, and insurance, and estate agent fees, inventory fees, gas and electricity safety tests, plus repairing everything the tenants broke, be it chest of drawers, light pulls in bathroom, shelves in the flipping fridge, we paid £40 plus vat call out charge for every little screw that needed fixing, plus parts. Heck, repairing that one shelf in the fridge cost us almost as much as a new fridge!

(Not going to list the additional £20k worth of damages the first tenant caused, when she decided to trash the place before moving out, with rent arrears. )

expatinscotland Tue 15-Jan-13 11:04:53

'Most of them are renting out their own home in order to work elsewhere.'

Really? Where's the evidence and statistics that prove that? We rented privately for years. EVERY time it was someone who was a property developer or just had an extra place.

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 15-Jan-13 11:05:27

For those who are jealous, most of you would not want to live on any of the HA estates round here. Not that they are awful, but they look slightly grim, and not remotely salubrious.
And of course HA housing should not be temporary. What about the stability of The Family (Cameron again)??
It's not great to have to keep moving your kids. That is one of the main reasons I would like social housing, to have some security and stabilty, since we have moved 3 times in 6 years.

MoodyDidIt Tue 15-Jan-13 11:05:40

So you're angry with her and not a government which allowed massive speculation in property by individuals and a huge housing bubble to develop - which it still supports via low interest rates that penalise savers and pensioners? Really? Wow, those in power aren't so stupid, they've done a marvellous job of pulling the wool over most peoples' eyes and wagging the dog so those who are rightly to blame for the shite system that private renting is in this country escape it entirely

and <applauds expat> for her last post (above)

exactly.

expatinscotland Tue 15-Jan-13 11:05:46

I don't think they're all milking it, I think many have to charge what they charge because of vastly over-inflated housing prices.

McNewPants2013 Tue 15-Jan-13 11:05:48

I would take it.

mrsscoob Tue 15-Jan-13 11:05:54

You should go for it if you wish, you are doing nothing wrong it is a mutual exchange. Also don't let other posters somehow make you feel guilty as your rent is less than theirs. You are paying a fair rent. It isn't your fault that private landlords charge extortionate and unfair rents.

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