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to report this to the council?

(19 Posts)
AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Sat 10-Nov-12 23:32:29

Months ago a council property a few doors away became vacant. The council spent ages doing it up to standard (they are doing all the council houses round here, so I presume it took so long as they replaced the kitchen and bathroom, plus they knocked down a lean to extension that had been put on)

They finally finished and the property still stayed empty for ages, which we thought was strange as obviously like everywhere in the country there is a shortage of houses. Finally some net curtains were put up, and a sofa put in the living room. And that's it.

There is no one living there. The lights are never on in the evening or night, no one comes or goes (I'm a SAHM and though I don't spend all day looking out the window I'm in and out of the house, and have never seen anyone in there through the nets.)

It seems to me someone has been given this house and ??? what??? Why aren't they living there? If they're not there, and it's been about 3 months now, then they surely don't need a 3 bedroom council house, someone else on the list could be in there.

So should I email or phone the council with my worries or should I mind my own business and stop being a curtain twitcher?

Tweasels Sat 10-Nov-12 23:34:14

I think you've answered your own question.

BeauNeidel Sat 10-Nov-12 23:36:43

I would. All it takes is a query as to why the property is vacant, they will do the rest. It's better for everyone to have people in there.

WorraLiberty Sat 10-Nov-12 23:37:13

There could be all manner of reasons, but yes you can always ring the council and enquire.

lovebunny Sat 10-Nov-12 23:44:26

they might have a quota of properties they need to keep aside ready for emergencies. there are old people's bungalows near where i live and there are usually two empty at any one time, as sometimes people need accommodation quickly.

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 23:45:01

Me and Ex DP applied for a council house 10 years ago. He got one on the grounds of living in overcrowded accommodation (I was 16 so technically wasn't on the application although I was noted as being pregnant) offered to him. At the time I was about 5 months pregnant. We didn't have the money to move straight in, or anything to move in with. It took us another 3 months to move in as we had to get things together. We both lived with parents prior to this, so it was a case of all hands on deck til we had everything to move in with.

Although we did go round regularly in the months leading up to this, to decorate, do essential jobs, etc.

rhondajean Sat 10-Nov-12 23:47:24

Detective, you are usually expected to be living within the house much more quickly than that.

Whatnowffs Sat 10-Nov-12 23:48:41

You have two choices. You can either phone the council and make an enquiry or you can (and i wholeheartedly recommend that you do this) stay on here making wilder and wilder assumptions about what might be going on.

I'll start - David Cameron has the house on hold, just in case he is evicted from No.10

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 23:50:47

I couldn't, as a pregnant 16 year old, with an 18 year old boyfriend who was a youth trainee, 'earning' £60 a week, it took several months to get all the basics together. We had already started getting things as soon as we found out about the pregnancy. I went to college for £30 a week doing a 'degrading' life skills course hmm just to get extra money to help us set ourselves up.

We did what we could at the time.

Tweasels Sat 10-Nov-12 23:51:37

I'm impressed with your in depth knowledge of the situation. Are you my MIL? grin

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 23:53:57

We didn't live in an area that was under supplied with council housing though. As I say, DP got offered a 2 bed house, just for him. He got points for being overcroweded. He shared a 2 bed house with his mum, dad and 16 year old brother. I was noted as moving in with him as a pregnant woman (girl?!) but didn't get points for this and my name wasn't on the application. He got offered the house with in 3 months of being on the council list.

I suspect it hasn't changed much since then, I think the town still has enough council housing to meet demand.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 10-Nov-12 23:59:14

Perhaps it's a crack den run by invisible vampire frogs planning to take over the world whilst nobody's watching.

You must report this straight away phone the out of hours team * won't anybody think of the children*

rhondajean Sun 11-Nov-12 00:02:21

Not criticising your individual case detective - especially as you say there are plenty of houses where you are - but Im quite heavily involved in social housing and just making the point that it's not usual in my experience to let tenants not live in the house for months for any reason, here housing is desperately short and you are expected to move in practically immediately, if you couldn't the assumption would be you are not in that great a housing need and it would go to the next person.

I do realise this will not be the case everywhere though!

rhondajean Sun 11-Nov-12 00:03:01

Oh and it would be checked on within a few weeks with anew tenant visit to ake sure things were okay.

peanutMD Sun 11-Nov-12 00:03:51

Sounds like temporary accommodation to me.

We have a few houses like this in or area that are minimally kitted put but are kept vacant for emergencies.

TheDetective Sun 11-Nov-12 00:06:35

It might have been easier if we had just applied for benefits and got a community care grant as it was then! But his youth trainee scheme was leading to a job, so would have been stupid to do that! He got converted to a full time job just as we moved in, before the baby was born!

Worked out for the best to stick with the job in the end ;)

It was a northern town. Lots of social housing. I suspect in other areas we would never have got somewhere, or it would have been a flat.

Pinkie29 Sun 11-Nov-12 00:25:50

ring them and tell them you think it's abandoned and they'll look into it, I agree tho its sad to see a good property go to waste when there's so many ppl in need

MsHighwater Sun 11-Nov-12 00:34:53

Could be held for homeless or decant accommodation, either of which might require it to be furnished. You say the council are doing up the houses round your way so my money would be on decant. The LA I work for has several properties kept vacant at any one time as temp accommodation for people who cannot stay in their own home while it is modernised (rewired, new bathroom, new kitchen) - usually elderly or disabled people. The other possibility is that no one wants it. Even when there is a long waiting list, there are hard to let houses.

Pinkie29 Sun 11-Nov-12 09:25:35

Forgot about that, all (I assume) councils have x number of properties set up for emergency accommodation in case a tenants house is flooded or gutted by fire, either way I'm sure they'll put your mind at ease

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