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?

Wallison Thu 17-Jan-13 21:16:30

Tax-payers' money doesn't fund anything. There is no funding for the house as the money it cost to build has already been recouped. This is the beauty of public housing schemes - they make money over and over, long after the initial investment. A system of private landlords just doesn't work like that, because the landlord sells the house, and the next landlord gets a mortgage, and off the whole thing goes with needing to be paid for again and again. Which is why we need public provision of rental houses, not private.

expatinscotland Thu 17-Jan-13 21:17:12

'Gibbous she doesn't need social housing, she wouldn't be in a B and B.m

She would be on the same playing field as everyone else.

And I agree with you Maisie on the council's lack of use of 500k asset.'

It's a swap. There is an elderly couple in it right now who do not have to move. Ever. They are doing so because they have found a suitable swap, which by normal rules governing housing entitlement is also too large for them unless they need an overnight carer.

So this home is going to a family of key workers, and people are begruding them, accusing them of being all manner of scum and scrounger. Nice!

maisiejoe123 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:17:28

With councils being so short of money it must be tempting for them to look at their more expensive house stock - and £500k is a hell of a lot of money.

I havent read all the pages but there is clearly a loop hole here. And now that some kind people have explained some things.... A £500k house has a 'real rent' in the open market of £2500 p.m.

So I am right, we are subsidising this house....

Lets take the OP out of this. She has just found the chance of a lifetime but it surely is an exception rather than a rule isnt it?

gordyslovesheep Thu 17-Jan-13 21:17:44

TAX PAYERS can and do claim housing benefit and live in social housing ...just saying like

JumpHerWho Thu 17-Jan-13 21:18:47

Gibbous - it shouldn't but it does. It's a fact, and rent control and taxation to help control house prices are he way forward, not the government paying for reduced rent for people who would rather not work full time, or limit te no of kids.

The whole 'luck' thing - just doesn't work. How can a country run where the lucky get to pay tiny rent on huge houses, work part-time and have big families because the state helps them?!

Gibbous Thu 17-Jan-13 21:18:55

A four bedroom house for a five-person family with one parent working full time and another working part time, both for the NHS.

Hardly even the Mail's Benefit Scrounger of the Month are they?

What the OP is being offered should be the standard. And more house rents should go back to the public purse.

isthisunreasonable Thu 17-Jan-13 21:20:02

^I could work full time, but I don't need to as I have a HA property and cheap rent

Hahahaha! LMFAO OP. Your beard looks as though it could do with a trim grin^

What does that mean? It's the truth. Of course I could work full time, stick the kids in childcare, give up our scoial housing and pay private rent if I wanted to. But why would I? We are doing nothing keeping our tenancy and why would I work longer hours than I do (we have 3 young children remember) when I don't absolutely have to, something I am again lucky to have as it is purely because we are in social housing that I do not have to work f/t like my partner does.

Gibbous Thu 17-Jan-13 21:20:41

Absolutely agree with rent control JumpHer, it was other arguments I was countering.

expatinscotland Thu 17-Jan-13 21:20:44

Re: full-time work. Tons of nurses looking for jobs just now, and she needs to co-ordinate her shifts round her spouse. So might not be possible anyhow.

Having spent the better part of last year in a hospital with my child, I don't begrudge any of the nurses who worked there anything! Good on you, OP!

Wallison Thu 17-Jan-13 21:21:10

maisiejoe, it has been explained to you over and over that you are not subsidising the OP. I hope that your job doesn't involve doing any sums or reading anything.

HiggsBoson Thu 17-Jan-13 21:22:00

It means that some of your posts are suspiciously goady, OP.

Gibbous Thu 17-Jan-13 21:22:27

"So I am right, we are subsidising this house...."

Would you honestly prefer that the other £2k a month simply go to a private landlord? Because that would be the net result. WE are not subsiding anything.

JumpHerWho Thu 17-Jan-13 21:22:52

Wallis on please stop saying the same wrong thing over and over!

We ARE subsidising the Op as long as the council don't charge market rates.

To the tune of 2k a month.

Wallison Thu 17-Jan-13 21:23:36

^ the government paying for reduced rent

^ the state helps them?!

The govt doesn't pay anything. The state doesn't help. State provision of housing pays for itself.

aufaniae Thu 17-Jan-13 21:24:46

"Out of interest, how many of you critics of the OP do a daily job which involve saving lives on a daily basis?"

None of you coming forward then?

So, would you be happier if the OP and her DH ditched their low-paid NHS jobs, stopped saving lives and instead went to work for companies making profit for shareholders, so they could afford to pay rent privately?

Because to my mind, that's pretty fucked up!

JumpHerWho Thu 17-Jan-13 21:25:12

Wallison do you genuinely think its a good use of the property? You seem blinkered.

You're the council, making tough choices about cuts to education and services, trying to provide housing, and you'd honestly look at a .5 million pound asset and not make better use of it?

JumpHerWho Thu 17-Jan-13 21:26:44

Aufeniae I kill kittens for a living.

Is that relevant to the discussion?

CecilyP Thu 17-Jan-13 21:26:54

Sorry to be a bit slow. If the rent is only £500 who is paying the difference or funding this ... But the LL cannot charge £500 for a £500k house, there must be some subsidy going on somewhere...

OP has said that the house is 40 years old. So the council probably built it for £8,000 - maybe less. A private landlord who had purchased that house at the same time for the same price, could also let it for £500 without actually making a loss. They would be mad to, as they would be losing the difference between £500 and a market rent each month - but they would not be making a net loss on their investment.

OTOH, if someone bought the house recently, for its current value, of course they would be making a substantial loss on their investment if they only charged £500 a month in rent. Councils, as property owners, have received the same benefit on their investment from high rates of inflation as have private property owners.

Anifrangapani Thu 17-Jan-13 21:26:58

Wallison most social housing development does have an element of government funding - currently in the region of £20k per unit give or take depending on the scheme and the business model and borrowing rates. Otherwise I wouldn't have a job...........

Spamspamspam Thu 17-Jan-13 21:28:20

aufaniae - she is not paying into the public purse. How on earth can you summise she is? She might be paying tax, I guess on both their salaries they might be paying £3-£4K per annum. But she is receiving a benefit of over £1,500 per month against a private rental so that's £18K per annum plus child benefit for 3 children and no doubt there is a bit of tax credit in there too. Then let's take into account the HA coming round and fixing boiler, toilet seats and the like another £1,000 a year? So a total of circa £25K in versus £3-£4K out - how is that paying into the public purse?

Someone somewhere is paying for this - whether is be a developer who could get more profit or a tax payer is irrelevant. To somehow conclude that she is paying into the public purse is absolutely unbelievable.

And you have no idea of what I pay into the public purse and believe me I will never mention it .

maisiejoe123 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:28:49

Wallison, Just because I do not agree with your point of view doesnt make you right and me wrong! £500 rent for a £500k house is not right. Councils need to look at funding and this house could give them an injection of cash quickly.

The council have an asset of approx £400-£500k. That would buy a lot of services for a library for instance. We are all living longer. Something has to give and allowing an asset of this value to be rented to someone at a vastly reduced rate (compared to the open market) does not make financial sense. And I do work with figures and contracts.

That is why I am questioning this. The OP tbh doesnt really come into it But she has spotted a very good opportunity for herself!

Wallison Thu 17-Jan-13 21:29:00

As long as councils return over £100m a year to the Treasury gained through provision of housing, you are not subsidising the OP or any other council tenants. 'Market rates' mean fuck all. Councils charge what they need to, and they charge a fair rent. The fact that private rents are higher means that private rents are a rip-off and not a fair rent.

JumpHerWho Thu 17-Jan-13 21:30:58

It's so random.

It's like the council choosing to let some people swim for free or have free parking, or give random people from a waiting list 75% off their council tax.

If Op doesn't need it, she shouldn't have it. Simples. I'm judging the system not her btw she looks hairy from here anyway

Wallison Thu 17-Jan-13 21:31:29

Yes, maisiejoe, I'm sure that your concern is all for the kiddies and the libraries etc rather than outrage that someone has got something that you haven't.

aufaniae Thu 17-Jan-13 21:31:41

Um, spam. You seem to be having a bit of a problem with maths too!

"she is receiving a benefit of over £1,500 per month against a private rental"

No, she isn't!

She is, personally saving money as she's not in a private rental. But that money is hypothetical, no one is actually paying it to her!

The reality is, she is paying her rent money into the public purse each month (while she' sin a council house).

She's certainly paying a lot more than me (owner occupier).

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