Council Housing

(40 Posts)
muriel68 Thu 01-Sep-16 13:43:39

I'm in a real quandary. Maybe someone can exchange similar experiences?
I'm single, I work in a decent job but don't have a lot of spare cash as I pay child maintenance for 2 kids, who are 9 and 13, they come to stay with me 2/3 night s a week. I've been registered as homeless as I've been staying with my sister (overcrowded) since I split with ex, and been on the council list for approx 5 years. In the last 2 months my uncles flat has became available to rent and he's offered it to me at a very reasonable price(only £50pm more than council rate). It's a good size flat, very central and only 5 mins from my work. He says I can have it as long as I need and can decorate. In the last week, the council have offered me a flat, 2 bed, decent area, but unfortunately the owner on the bottom floor looks like he's running a scrap metal yard from his front garden. It's an absolute eyesore!! I decided to go up and spend time in the street to see what like. He has a large dog he lets run free in the back garden, and there appears to be a never ending stream of totally dodgy looking characters in and out (one neighbour told me likes to keep the close door wedged open to save him bother of answering security phone). 2 of the neighbours on the middle floor (who were renting privately) have moved out in the last week due to the people hanging about and the mess. Have asked the council if anything can be done, but they say as he owns it, and carries out his business within his own boundaries, there nothing they can do. He's been there 18 years. I honestly can't begin to describe the mess..... cookers, doors, cars stacks of tyres etc. Do I take the house as it's with the council (it's nice enough inside by the way) or do I take my uncles house and the insecurities that goes along with private renting? (my uncle is nearly 70, in good health, but nobody knows whats round the corner) I'm losing sleep trying to decide!!

Floggingmolly Thu 01-Sep-16 13:45:59

Is your uncle's flat still council owned? They take a very dim view of subletting... For both parties. Very stupid thing to do.

MeAndMy3LovelyBoys Thu 01-Sep-16 13:49:21

Could you live in your uncle's flat for the time being and just keep applying for a council flat/house in a nicer area? How many are you allowed to turn down before they strike you off the list?

MeAndMy3LovelyBoys Thu 01-Sep-16 13:50:34

Flogging sounds to me like he owns it and privately rents it out.

muriel68 Thu 01-Sep-16 13:51:26

My uncle owns the flat. He bought it approx 10 years ago

WiddlinDiddlin Thu 01-Sep-16 13:52:47

Uncles flat - having lived in close proximity to the neighbours from hell, I definitely wouldn't do it again.

Have a chat with your uncle about the long term as well as the short term of course, get a proper tenancy agreement/contract written up too.

Taking his flat does mean you are not then going to get another offer of a council property -HOWEVER given what you have been offered sounds like its been turned down by people higher up the list than you already, it's highly likely you won't be offered better than that in future (nor if you took it would you be moved to a better place later on).

muriel68 Thu 01-Sep-16 13:53:06

This was my second offer from the council, and they've said I'll be off the list if I don't accept as it's a 'reasonable offer'

VimFuego101 Thu 01-Sep-16 13:58:14

Horrible question to have to ask, but you say your uncle is 70... If he passes away, who will he leave the flat to? If the recipient will likely want to sell it, I'd say the council place is the safer option.

muriel68 Thu 01-Sep-16 14:01:38

The flat would be left to his 3 children, who'd most likely put it on the market should the worst happen. He's still with my auntie who's about 68. (Sorry, should have mentioned her in the first post) It's both their flat. They bought it initially so their son could use it to go to uni.

gamerchick Thu 01-Sep-16 14:04:06

So if he dies you'll be out on your arse and back at the bottom of the council waiting list?

muriel68 Thu 01-Sep-16 14:05:16

Yes, if anything happens to my uncle. I'll be back at the bottom of the council list.

MeAndMy3LovelyBoys Thu 01-Sep-16 14:15:43

I'd go for the council one so you have that security at least.

Babyroobs Thu 01-Sep-16 14:24:57

I would go for your Uncle's flat if he can assure you it will be long term. If the neighbourof the council one owns the flat he may be unlikely to ever leave meaning you would be stuck with the mess forever ! Yes your uncle and aunt could die soon and you could be left high and dry but most people these days live until thier eighties or nineties by which time your kids will be living independently and youcan be more flexible about where you live anyway. I'd rather have some insecurity then fneighbours which can make your life a misery.

specialsubject Thu 01-Sep-16 14:26:00

I was also going to ask what happens when your uncle dies. You can buy some security there with a long tenancy agreement (years) which will not change if he dies while it is current.

Is that a possible until your youngest is 18?

Tricky one, though.

LifeInJeneral Thu 01-Sep-16 14:32:45

Bit of a wild card but have you heard of the affordable rent scheme? I'm just waiting to hear back about a house on it. It's a government initiative as far as I understand but different to HA as you can only apply if you have a job and earn between two boundaries (it's roughly between £12k and £23.5k here but differs between areas). The point is that it's for those who aren't seen as high priority for HA bit can't afford to rent on private market. They houses are priced at roughly 80% of private market and deposit is only one months rent. Plus the houses are much nicer (mostly new build). The one I've applied for is 2 bed semi with garden, brand new and only £428 per month. I got mine through Yorkshire housing but I think if you check your local area housing websites you might find something similar. I was thinking you could take your uncles flat for now and look into this scheme in the meantime..it would give you time to save up a deposit perhaps?

muriel68 Thu 01-Sep-16 15:39:10

Thanks for all advice folks. Much appreciated. I'm pretty much decided I'm gonna take my uncles offer provided he can give me a 10 year tenancy agreement, and I'm gonna look into affordable rent scheme. I've never heard of it, and the council certainly didn't advise me at any of the various meetings I had with them. I'm quite annoyed the council couldn't give me a better offer after waiting 5 years though, and that they're not prepared to do anything about the mess from one person. I feel sorry for the poor person who'll be forced to take it due to having no choice

JellyBelli Thu 01-Sep-16 15:42:32

I would take the council flat.
Once you have one you can get on to the exchange register and you never know your luck. You may also be able to look at exchanges with HA tenants.
Your uncles flat will only be yours until he dies. Its insecure as that could be any time.

thecatsarecrazy Thu 01-Sep-16 15:48:47

You don't want to take the council flat and be miserable. I live in a house because the rent was cheap and I've hated every minute of it. Cant afford to move now.

loona13 Thu 01-Sep-16 15:51:58

I would double Jelly, take the flat and try to swap.

DoloresVanCartier Thu 01-Sep-16 16:36:39

Can you speak to the council re a clean up?

CedricSydneySneer Thu 01-Sep-16 16:38:30

I think I'd take the council flat. In 10 years you might be homeless again but in 10 years the council scrap metal man might be gone.

DoloresVanCartier Thu 01-Sep-16 16:42:34

I lived next to a guy who played elvis constantly!!! After a week or so I was ready to hang elvis!!!!winkwinkwink

CremeEggThief Thu 01-Sep-16 16:44:40

But who would want to swap? confused

OP, provided your uncle will give you a 5 or 10 year tenancy, that's your best option in this case. Yes, social housing usually offers more security, but if you get stuck in a bad area, you'll be in the same position as homeowners who can't sell as they live next door to nightmare neighbours. How miserable would that be?

sleepyMe12 Thu 01-Sep-16 17:00:02

What would happen if you are given the 10 year lease and your uncle dies and the family want to sell?

I'd take the council tenancy.

melonscoffer Thu 01-Sep-16 17:13:00

I took a housing association tenancy because IT IS SECURITY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. You should too. Think of this as being given a tenancy and not that specific property. Tenancies are like gold dust so grab it and sort the future out from then on. I have done this myself.
If there are problems then fight for your right to peace and acceptable living standards for your home. Environmental health will help you with your right to live in your home in a peaceful and acceptable environment.
I have had a six month period where I took action against my neighbour who is the only neighbour above my ground floor flat.
The very day I moved in the upstairs single man started music at highest volume with all his windows open. Unbeknownst to me he turned out to be a druggy who plays his music non stop. Warning after warning was issued from housing and also environmental health. He ignored them all.
I've had help from the environmental health and support no end from the housing association . This morning , six months after my first tentative phone call to the housing THEY HAVE ARRIVED WITH THE POLICE AND CONFISCATED HIS EQUIPMENT. The police also found drugs in his flat and arrested him and took him away. Therefore the housing association are now considering grounds for his eviction.
For the first day of my tenancy it is quiet.
Take the tenancy. I cannot stress enough that it is a security for your life. Forever, if you need it.

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