do i stay in my damp cold expensive house or lie through my teeth so my kids can have a nice home??

(332 Posts)
bellarose2011 Mon 26-Nov-12 15:49:44

just looking for some advice really, i am a single mother to 2 DD, 10 months and 2yrs.
we currently live in a 3 bed semi detatched house, it has an old back boiler which makes the gas bills huge yet we are still always freezing. the garden is a vertical hill (literally!) there is mold growing on the kids bedroom wall. the double glazing doesn't work and there is puddles of water on all the windowsills every morning. i hate it!!
in the area i live there is a shortage of social housing and my name is on all council/housing association lists. my only hope is a house from an estate agents. but of course they won't accept DSS.
now i get my housing benefit paid to me so there is no reason i need to disclose this other than it being dishonest. but i know i would be a great tenant, i have never not paid my rent, i'm a clean freak and have no pets.
i have found a perfect house that i can afford and have the application form in front of me, i know i won't get it if i tell the truth. i have a friend who runs her own business and would say i worked for her. i just don't know what to do??
the eatate agents use MARAS, will my bank tell them where my funds come from?

kickassmomma Sun 03-Feb-13 18:17:44

Some estate agents accept DSS, I applied for two houses both accepted DSS. Maybe the specific house that you want doesn't accept it therefore you find another that does. If I was in your situation I would be finding any house that was warm an suitable for my dd, first then findin a nicer house to move onto when the move isn't do urgent smile

cumfy Thu 20-Dec-12 22:10:16

It's interesting to see how different the general response is to this compared to say when OP asks about lying on their CV.

A very typical response then is along the lines - "As long as you can do the job, good for you; it's not like you're carrying out surgery is it ?".

For a tenant the "demands" are very easily met; pay the rent and don't trash the place.

So why the difference for the OP ?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 03-Dec-12 20:28:42

Oh, came across this: information for landlords re. grant to cover cavity wall/loft/and one other I forget insulation.
It seems it's the tenant who applies as they are responsible for the bills, but that means your benefits situation/income is taken into account rather than your landlord's.
Worth having a look and maybe showing it to him.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Mon 03-Dec-12 20:22:21

Excellent! Next job: glazing film for windows here.

You can get insulating tape to go around the door frames as well, to fill in any possible draughts. I think you can also get ot for windows, if they're sash-opening ones.

bellarose2011 Mon 03-Dec-12 19:20:02

yes i dry at least one load of washing a day, sometime 2/3.
i dry it on or infront of the radiators, im sure this is probably the worst thing i can do as far as damp/condesation goes but just havn't got anywhere else to do it.
i do have a tumble dryer but rarely use it, somebody gave it to me. ive always thought they were really expensive on electric, not sure if thats correct?
i have bled radiators (v.easy!) and that has definatly helped.

Graceparkhill Sat 01-Dec-12 13:32:31

Agree with all techy advice . Also have a think about how and where you dry your washing. With 2 wee ones you must have loads and if you are drying indoors pints of water will be circulating within the house.

If you can't open the windows this moisture has no where to go.

Same applies to shower/ baths. Ventilation is key to avoiding condensation .

I know not easy when it is so cold and heating so expensive.

Xenia Sat 01-Dec-12 12:52:38

Certain try bleeding the radiators. Most of us will have seen others do it or looked up how to do it on line. Also if the water is coming from a hole in the roof then that needs to be fixed and may just need a few new tiles putting up there. The landlord might also be able to buy a dehumidifier for you - they are not too pricy compared with roof repairs anyway - which you plus in and takes moisture from the rooms and you can empty it fairly regularly.
If you can afford it (probably not) keep central heating on night and day but low setting as that might help remove dampness too.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sat 01-Dec-12 11:51:45

You can easily get a radiator key from any DIY/ hardware shop/plumbers' suppliers.

bellarose2011 Sat 01-Dec-12 11:47:38

ok, thanks. i do think the radiators havn't been getting as hot as usual. i was thinking this morning that i can't remember the house ever being this cold so could be the problem.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sat 01-Dec-12 11:45:17

DIY not SIY, obv. blush

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sat 01-Dec-12 11:44:34

Bleeding a radiator must be the easiest home maintenance/SIY job there is. Just google it and you'll find hundreds of sets of instructions. First one I found on youtube here.
It's very satisfying, too!

bellarose2011 Sat 01-Dec-12 11:22:55

no havn't bled radiators, how do you do it?
would it be better to ask a bloke to do it? sorry feminists im just not that good with DIY!!

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 01-Dec-12 10:21:27

Have you "bled" the radiators? (Let air out)

If the radiators are 1/2 water and 1/2 air, then they wont warm up properly.

You need to air the house by opening the windows. But no matter how much you open the windows, it wont really matter if the house is filled with water due to a leaking roof.

bellarose2011 Fri 30-Nov-12 21:47:42

coconut, that sounds great. where do you get it from?
i do try to open the windows in the morning but its just so bloody cold that sometimes i don't!
just pulled the sofa out to hoover and there is mold all over the wall,its never been there before. i think its the constant rain.

IWipeArses Fri 30-Nov-12 20:51:26

Ventilation is important to get rid of the actual moisture though. If you've any vents that have been covered over, they need unblocking, open windows every day etc.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Fri 30-Nov-12 20:46:51

Bellarose - we have victorian single glazed wooden sash windws that are so badly condensated every day that they are mouly and rotten. For the winter we cover them with glazing film. you just stick it on and blow it with the hairdryer until its tight and it creates a vacuum, reduces noise a little, reduces draft hugely and stops condensation. its brilliant stuff.

Graceparkhill Fri 30-Nov-12 17:37:15

Sorry - didn't mean to criticise. I do think it is worth having a dialogue with your landlord. The rental market is changing with more competition for tenants and more regulation for landlords.
You probably have more bargaining power than you realise.
Good luck!

bellarose2011 Fri 30-Nov-12 17:32:26

wipearse! i get really abd condensation in this house, there is puddles of water on the windowsills every morning. it even happens when were not here so not just due to cooking/baths. will look at link now.

bellarose2011 Fri 30-Nov-12 17:30:43

grace, i am listening! just so many posts loose track.
i have asked landlord to come over tomorrow to look at damp.
will discuss maybe my ex doing the work, he would if he had time. he's ok when he's not drunk!
but i think most landlords would give notice to anyone that was demanding they spend thousands of pounds on the property.
there are so few rentals here they would always be able to rent it out.

Graceparkhill Fri 30-Nov-12 17:19:00

Me again with another bright idea. I am not sure how things are with your ex ( i know you say he has looked at the roof)but would he ( if it is safe for you to be in contact with him) or a colleague be willing to repair the roof in return for a reduction in your rent?
Landlord could supply materials and ex/ colleague could supply labour.

IWipeArses Fri 30-Nov-12 17:17:55

I've been reading a funny blog about saving money on heating, Chipping reminded me - coldhousejournal.com

Bear in mind that if the dampness is due to condensation it's not the landlords problem. It's possible to handle by keeping temperature consistent (moderately low) and ventilate the property.
If it's a leaking roof then they need to fix it.

bellarose2011 Fri 30-Nov-12 17:15:26

im not expecting my landlord to look after me, i pay them rent. they should fix stuff. that is how it works.
some people on here have very strange ideas.
are you expecting your mortgage company to look after you because they lent you the money to buy your house? does that make any sense?

there are other reasons we can't start the business yet, my mum has other commitments that she is sorting out. in the mean time she is doing a course.
we could do it without the course but would rather be prepared, we will hjave to employ poeple so need to learn about accounting taxes ect.

tittytittyhanghang Fri 30-Nov-12 17:15:03

Xenia, thats not the answer, or nowhere near it. The fault lies with the landlord and quite frankly if they are bad landlords or cant afford it then they shouldn't bloodly well be landlords. At the end of your mortgage period you will own your house, when people are in rented they get fuck all at the end, the trade off is supposed to be that they are in a well maintained house. And even getting a job doesn't equal buying a house neither, getting a mortgage nowadays is like plucking hens teeth.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 30-Nov-12 17:13:53

Bella - if that's the case wouldn't you be better off getting an electric shower (not expensive) and some oil heaters? When I used them, they didn't seem expensive to run at all (contrary to what some on here say) and they did a really good job.

Graceparkhill Fri 30-Nov-12 17:13:14

https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/repairs

You do have rights as a private tenant and there is help available ( from Shelter and others) I know I am like a broken record but I figure even if OP does not engage then the info might help someone else.

You could contact environmental health for advice as well.

It is wrong to be paying rent for a substandard property and your current landlord will not find it easy to get the property relet if it is in poor condition.

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