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To be envious that my neighbour lives in a council house........

(305 Posts)
EnviousEvie Wed 28-Sep-11 10:04:29

and pays £600 a month less than me for the exact same bloody house (her's is nicer inside) next door to mine?

Difference is hers is a council house, mine is a private rental. The owner of mine bought it from the council and now rents it out while he lives in a 4 bed detached house in a nicer part of town. We pay £950 a month, neighbour pays council £350 a month (3 bed terrace). We had to move here after selling our house last year because DH lost his job and we needed to release the small amount of equity we had to pay the bills we were behind on because we were terrified of being in debt. Our rent is now £150 a month higher than our mortgage was.

We struggle every bloody month and live on 'value' food. We are not entitled to housing benefit (DH now working again after a year, I work part time - 3DCs). Neighbour's DH is an accountant so she can afford not to work at all. That £600 would make a massive difference in our lives but we have not got a chance in hell of getting a council house. There are over 5000 people on the waiting list in my area. We are on the list but have been told that it could be over 5 years before we have a chance. Love my neighbour to bits but can't help feeling pissed off about it!

AIBU to think that this is bloody unfair?

QueenOfFeckingEverything Wed 28-Sep-11 10:09:39

It is rather unfair but its not your friend's fault - she is perfectly entitled to her council house.

This is the result of the right-to-buy schemes. People (like your landlord) are making money from what used to be social housing and people (like you) are struggling to pay high rents because there are too few social properties left.

Pakdooik Wed 28-Sep-11 10:11:15

Write a thank you letter to that nice Mrs Thatcher

QueenOfFeckingEverything Wed 28-Sep-11 10:12:14

Oh and - she is paying what the council deem to be a 'fair rent'. You are paying the market rent - and as you are finding out there is a vast difference!

QueenOfFeckingEverything Wed 28-Sep-11 10:12:38

grin @ Pakdooik.

EnviousEvie Wed 28-Sep-11 10:14:20

I don't blame my neighbour at all. It's shit and I am pissed off that we are struggling while working that's all. I never imagined we would end up living on a council estate but it's not that bad (apart from parking). The disparity between rents is sickening.

Quintessentialist Wed 28-Sep-11 10:14:52

Would you be bumped up the priority list if you stopped working and became a sahm?

MistyMountainHop Wed 28-Sep-11 10:16:41


MistyMountainHop Wed 28-Sep-11 10:17:13

private rentals are bloody extortionate and completely out of proportion with average incomes IMO

fanjobanjowanjo Wed 28-Sep-11 10:17:54

YANBU to be jealous, that absolutely sucks, and a lot of landlords just take the piss completely. I hope you find a way out of your situation to one you are happier with soon.

Andrewofgg Wed 28-Sep-11 10:18:05

The trouble with blaming that nice Mrs Thatcher is that RTB was popular with the electorate - see the results in 1983 if you don't believe it - so much so that no government since has dared abolish it or do more than tinker with it.

It's called democracy.

coccyx Wed 28-Sep-11 10:19:10

no council rents are too low, hence private rental seems too high.
thats life.

Upwardandonward Wed 28-Sep-11 10:19:30

Unfortunately it could take longer than 5 years, because you're already in a 3-bed property and other people on the list will be in overcrowded houses.

slartybartfast Wed 28-Sep-11 10:21:04

can you get help with housing association? their rents woudl be cheaper.

booyhoo Wed 28-Sep-11 10:21:28

why are you on the list for a counci house OP? you have a house? confused

CailinDana Wed 28-Sep-11 10:25:33

Is it possible for you to buy? You would probably pay a lot less on a mortgage than you do on rent (depending on your area). That rent seems very high, where are you living?

slavetofilofax Wed 28-Sep-11 10:37:17

YANBU, it is unfair.

Your neighbour is entitled to her council house, but she shouldn't be. No one that can afford to have one member of the household not working through choice should be entitled to a council house.

Thingumy Wed 28-Sep-11 10:43:15

Such is life.

Marne Wed 28-Sep-11 10:50:53


Although i can see how frustrating it must be, we were lucky enough to get a councel house last year (after a 3 year wait) and i feel so lucky to have a lovely house that we would not have n=been able to rent privatly, we rented private for years and the cost of a 2 bed house private was the same as our 3 bed house with the coucil, there was no way we could afford to rent a 3 bed house privatly around here as most are £900- £1200 per month.

We are still skint at the end of the month, i'm not working (as carer for dd2), money is tight and we will never be able to buy a house.

lesley33 Wed 28-Sep-11 10:51:00

booyhoo - Anyone can join a council house list. Even if you are a millionaire you can join the list. It doesn't mean though that you will ever be offered a house.

trailofevidence Wed 28-Sep-11 10:51:11

I live in a council flat. The only reason I was able to get a high priority banding is because my child is autistic and I also have my own health issues. My other neighbours have similar issues, or have had to flee from domestic violence or have experienced very severe overcrowding.

Your neighbours may sound quite capable and comfortable now, but you have no idea why they were allocated their house. Many people would have no idea that I had such a desperate personal situation, as my own disabilities aren't visible and my child isn't obviously disabled either. But, partly because of being supported by secure housing, I have been able to study and get well-paid work so a casual observer might think that I'm too comfortably off to deserve my home too.

If you are very low down the list on council housing, it is because you are fortunate enough to live in such circumstances that you don't need to be prioritised. Rather than feeling jealous, you should feel glad that you aren't in a position to gain priority points for health and social issues, or homelessness and overcrowding.

booyhoo Wed 28-Sep-11 10:54:09

but why would you join the list though? if you dont need a house.

Marne Wed 28-Sep-11 10:59:04

Booyhoo, i think anyone can join the list but only priority and higher bands will get housed (unless a house pops up that everyone else doesn't want), of course if you are loaded then you are not going to get housed. So many people are on the lists so if you already rent privatly and you are in the correct size house for your needs you are unlikely to get a council house. We only got ours because we needed an extra room for our Autistic dd2 ( i was sleeping on the floor down stars with her for 3 years as she could not share with dd1 who is also autistic), it was still bloody hard work to get the council to house us (needed letters from gp, paed and help from CAB).

EnviousEvie Wed 28-Sep-11 11:16:33

Booyhoo - pffftttt! Probably the same reason as the other 5000 people, we want a secure home that we can afford. I doubt that those other 5000 people are all homeless hmm. Quite a few of them are Eastern Europeans that overcrowd themselves by living 20 to a house with DCs too and then jump up the list. There used to be crowds of them in the council offices when we were in there every day trying to get help.

I also know that very well that many people in council houses do not have any more 'problems' than those in 'private' homes, they are just bloody lucky so don't bother guilt tripping me! Neighbour got her house just by getting to the top of the list before the bidding system was introduced. We are up shit street and just waiting for the landlord to kick us out so we have to stump up the costs of moving and another deposit (before we get this one back) so we feel very lucky indeed.

All the housing association homes go through the council's bidding system as well so that's not going to happen.

I actually don't blame Mrs T. I am sure she was not aware that Labour would allow housing prices to artificially inflate so much and rents to increase out of all proportion to wages. Labour could have stopped 'right to buy' 14 years ago but they did'nt.

kerrymumbles Wed 28-Sep-11 11:23:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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