to think council housing is a last resort

(150 Posts)
nailak Wed 08-May-13 20:03:10

we have been given notice, everyone keeps saying go to council, but i don't want to deal with the uncertainty of being in temporary accommodation and not having a choice over where i live and so on, even though in the long run after a few years we would probably be better off once i am housed an am settled in a new area (which takes a couple of years to make friends). Am i being precious? Obviously we need like 3k for deposit and first months rent and we dont have that so need to find it etc, and if we have no choice then i will have to go down this route. But absolutely as a last resort. aibu?

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 09-May-13 01:46:13

When people think of fitted kitchens they tend to imagine ones with built in cookers loads of cupboard/ storage ect a bit like the ones you see on adverts not quite the same basic arrangement that you get in a LA house we tend to call those just kitchens.

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 01:48:40

Which begs the question, of how UC is going to deal with those on WTC and CTC and partial HB/LHA, if it's paid in arrears.

It's clearly going to be a massive problem, specifically designed to put people off thinking it's an easy lifestyle choice.

A lot of people, and their children, will suffer enormously.

The idea is to make living on benefits such a horrendous choice that people just won't choose to do it.

nailak Thu 09-May-13 01:55:30

Oglala you misunderstand I think the housing benefit pays the rent, we just paid one months rent and deposit at beginning look I will break it down for u.

We paid for month a at beginning of month a

At beginning of month b housing benefit paid for month a and we paid top up so landlord considered that advance rent for month b

At beginning of month c hb paid in arrears for month b and we paid top up so landlord considered that as payment for month c

Then at beginning of month d we move out yet landlord will receive hb for month c.

I don't understand about utc either

nailak Thu 09-May-13 01:57:44

Or are u saying no hb would be paid for month c?

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 02:04:59

Yes but you're paying the top-up in advance, the HB pays the remainder in arrears.

Under UC you will get one monthly payment and will have to pay the whole of your month's rent from that, yourself - whether in advance or arrears, it'll be your responsibility to make sure you pay it.

nailak Thu 09-May-13 02:39:31

But I paid for the first month before I moved in the whole amount one months rent and one months deposit, so the landlord would have been paid again for that month from hb

Say rent is 1000

Before moved in we paid 2000 one months rent and one rents deposit

So month a paid by us

Month b 500 paid by hb for month a (which we already had to pay for in advance) plus top up taken as advance payment for month b

Month c 500 paid for hb for month b combined with top up taken as month c advance

Month d we move out 500 still paid to landlord by hb, but we don't owe him anything as all rent already paid

nailak Thu 09-May-13 02:41:52

So I'm asking can we have this 500 from month d to cover the cost of the month we already paid in advance ourselves, the initial 1000 you have to pay befor you move in?

In theory, hb paid in month d should be paid to you to cover your 1st month (a) rather than the landlord. This would either be directly from the council or the landlord should return it along with any deposit owing.

If you do manage to rent somewhere privately again after this place then you will be paid the LHA direct. It's a shame that you weren't changed over from HB to LHA before now.

Sorry crossed posted but I think you are correct re: the rent. Also back to your OP, can totally understand your thinking. I would be getting my name on the HA/CH waiting list but as a last resort and as I'm likely to be in a similar situation in the near future I will take my own advice too.

mrsjay Thu 09-May-13 09:36:45

8hen people think of fitted kitchens they tend to imagine ones with built in cookers loads of cupboard/ storage ect a bit like the ones you see on adverts not quite the same basic arrangement that you get in a LA house we tend to call those just kitchens*.

this is laughable I read on here but CH has fitted kitchens don't they I have to pay for my kitchen when somebody is a council house is getting a free kitchen <stamps feet> it is some work stops and a bloody sink WHICH ALL HOUSES HAVE grin, we put our own fitted kitchen in our flat as we had a work top and 2 cupboards when we moved in

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 09-May-13 11:17:34

Quite mrsjay.

And lets not forget the fact that they pay rent

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 11:27:27

nailak how about give Shelter a call? They have a helpline 0808 800 4444.

Shinyshoes1 Thu 09-May-13 11:43:36

There's nothing wrong with council housing
I live in a lovely 4 bedroom council house with own drive , huge back garden which we are renovating . My daughter goes to the local primary school that has scored " outstanding " for the past 3 ofsted visits .
Im surrounded by elderly and disabled bungalows so it's a very quiet street
I have lovely neighbours who have bought their houses . In fact I think I'm the only council tenant in my street

If you are about to be homeless I'd swallow that pride of yours . Not all social housing are bad with scummy neighbours

Dinkysmummy Thu 09-May-13 12:05:41

Ok I haven't read it all but in regards to the orignial post...

Council housing is a last resort, and there if you should need it.

I'm in a council place and trust me I waited 11 months in a hostel and there were people who left before us that didn't actually need council housing yet were taking it as their right (like the couple who pretended they had split up while he was earning enough to private rent yet he was there every night, and the other couple who both worked and claimed JSA).
Me on the other hand, I had no deposit, a 5 year old with sn, I had lost my job the year before and all the private rentals wanted a garuntor who earned £30k a year. So yes council and hostel were a last resort, and should never be used as a first resort.

If it is a snobbery 'last resort' the answer is still YANBU because let's face it even the best council places are still council places and everyone knows which ones are council.

Naila, the housing benefit claim would have started when you moved in and claimed, even if it was paid later. I expect that first month has been paid to your landlord somehow. You need to get your paperwork together and go through it carefully.
Yanbu to be scared of the thought of council housing the process, but actual council housing is generally fine.

ouryve Thu 09-May-13 12:07:37

If you're in real danger of ending up homeless for want of a deposit, then you're already at the stage of last resort.

Dinkysmummy Thu 09-May-13 12:09:32

If its the deposit that is a problem most councils will help with a deposit or do a rent deposit scheme

AmberLeaf Thu 09-May-13 12:28:05

Naila re your actual question;

I think that as you sound like the sort of person who makes the effort to be a part of their community and to engage positively...that you will be ok in the end wherever you live.

I know what you mean about uprooting etc, but, I have done this several times and it really isn't that bad, but I do understand your apprehension.

I think the benefits of a secure tenancy and no worries of being given notice for nothing you have done will over ride anything else.

Once you make this move and settle you wont have to do it again.

In London [Im sure thats where you are?] temp acc is more than like a regular property but one that you wont stay in, ie not a B&B but a flat/house whatever, you may be in a hostel for a short while, but IME you would then be moved into a temp property which would be the same as any other council property.

In your position, I would approach the local authority housing dept.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 09-May-13 12:31:32

Dinky LA housing is not allocated on a financial bases so him being there would make no difference to the actual allocation you do not have to be in receipt of HB or any benefits to apply.most LA tenants do not claim HB

TeenTwinsToddlerandTiaras Thu 09-May-13 12:32:12

nailak IME, I would not bother with the council and put all your energies into searching for a longer term private rent.

I was in the same position as you a few years ago, moved on yet again for the 3rd time in 3 years from a private rental. Went to the council as I could not stand moving again with DCs and they made me jump through hoops to get any help at all. Had to go through going to court for a repossession hearing as the council said they would not do anything until the landlords bailiffs turned up at the door to evict us (very stressful) and were then dumped in a absolute shithole of a 'temporary' house which we had to pay full market rent on (no choice in it) as it was privately rented through a letting agent that had a contract with the council. They were shysters, did not repair major water leaks, let us move in although there was a gas leak ('it's OK, it's just a small one, keep the windows open love') and insisted I had not paid rent when I had.

After 2 years of hell, I finally get offered a 'settled' home from the council so I thought the long wait and stress would be worth it - a 2nd floor flat in a shitty block in a shitty area with the token stinky, sweary drunken old pervert living downstairs who complains about everything and calls my DC 'cunts'. I could not refuse this offer as the council would then discharge it's duty to house me and they would evict me from the 'temporary' house. I was told that after my one year introductory council tenancy is over and I become a 'secure' council tenant, I could request a transfer. Yeah right, I have been told it will be a 3/4 year wait for a house from now. I am in despair (4 DCs in a 2nd floor flat with no lift or garden) and it has really dragged me further into depression living here. I have any choice of where and how I lived taken away from me for the last 3 years and the whole psychological impact of feeling like control has been taken away from me is horrible.

I am now having to try and get back into private rent again. I tried to get a 'secure' home for my DCs and it has not been worth it at all. I wish we had never gone down this route. So beware!

AmberLeaf Thu 09-May-13 13:21:35

Naila, also, most London authorities use choice based lettings, where you 'bid' for properties you want.

That gives you much more say over where you live and hopefully your experience would be different from the poster above.

ophelia275 Thu 09-May-13 13:22:09

It is very unlikely you would get social housing anyway as the rules changed last year which means that councils will have fulfilled their obligation to you as a homeless person by finding you somewhere to live and they are now legally entitled to put you back into a private rental, even if it is temporary. This is because there is so much demand for social housing and in the past homelessness has been seen as the fast track to social housing, so a small minority of unscrupulous people have claimed to be homeless to get social housing.

See here;

www.insidehousing.co.uk/care/homeless-forced-into-private-rented-sector/6524606.article

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 09-May-13 13:42:48

Amberleaf you are correct with your information and are eggellent wink and knowledgeable when it comes to housing info and always gives good advice.

AmberLeaf Thu 09-May-13 14:31:55

Thank you Sock wink I am no eggspert....but I try! grin

andubelievedthat Thu 09-May-13 14:44:28

For someone who seems to be close to being out on the street you seem to be over concerned re money any landlord is receiving ? why, if you need a roof over your head ?,who gives a fuck how much the landlord is getting? as regards council house getting new kitchen ? the housing is an asset ,the council are being prudent in maintaining said property.Those houses are part of a balance sheet come "add up the figures " day.>assets/loses.an example > Glasgow Uni owns an entire St of new build solely to rent out to students ,everything is sub contracted to a.n.other company re maintenance,rent etc ,but at accountancy day ,those properties are a big fat asset,same as council homes.

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