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To take a bigger council house than we need?

(1000 Posts)
isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:11:02

Have namechanged for this as it's pretty obvious who I am if you know me...

We currently have a two bedroom house (3 children) and we can fir just about but it's a squeeze. We are "entitled" (cringe) to a 3 bed house but it's likely to be 4-5 yrs by the time we would be offered one so placed our details on the Housing Association's "mutual exchange" site. We have also said we are happy to take a 2 bedroom house with separate dining room to use as the 3rd bedroom.

Have been contact by someone via our housing association's "mutual exchange" list. They have a large 4 bed house with a dining room and massive garden and they want to downsize (older couple all kids left home) and would like our house.

Given that is is bigger than we actually need . Part of me thinks it should go to a family with 5/6 kids but part of me thinks this couple are looking for a mutual exchange to downsize to a 2 bed house, what's the chance of them fining such a large family in a 2 bed house that they want.

It would be fabulous for us of course, lots of space for everyone, kids could have their own bedrooms and a nice big garden to play and we wouldn't have to move again when we have more children (planning another 1 or 2 in next 5 years perhaps).

Would we be unreasonable to accept it?

DSM Tue 15-Jan-13 10:12:42

Is this for free?

MakeItALarge Tue 15-Jan-13 10:14:16

Would it cause problems with under occupying? As long as you can afford it go for it, no point holding out for a smaller one to have to move again in a few years.

But I am envy at your four bedrooms!

WorraLiberty Tue 15-Jan-13 10:14:16

If we all said YABU would you seriously say 'OK, I won't'?

It's your life and your family.

I thought HA and council were different though or am I wrong?

I don't know how this works tbh. Are you 'allowed' to take a house bigger than you 'need'?

Fluffy1234 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:15:20

So would you be giving up your right to buy?

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 15-Jan-13 10:15:36

It sounds perfect for you, I'd jump at it.
And with 3 children, it really isn't too big anyway, like you say, you've got 3 children with at least another planned.
Go for it.

Allonsy Tue 15-Jan-13 10:16:41

Im not sure they would let the exchange go ahead on either side as neither house is adequate for needs.

They won't allow you to change to a bigger house than you need (they don't here anyway), I'd ask the council first to see if they will accept the swap.

DSM Tue 15-Jan-13 10:17:47

I'm confused by this. How much more does it cost? If you can afford it then why not. If we could afford a 4 bedroom house, we'd get one. We'd also then be able to have more children, which we am can't just now as we can't afford to move from our 2 bed.

I don't get the post?

DSM Tue 15-Jan-13 10:18:46

But it's a 4 bed house? They have 3 children, how is a 4 bed house too big? hmm

Is this a free house, is that the issue?

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 15-Jan-13 10:20:07

Up here, there is no right to buy an HA house.
And of course it isn't free confused.
It's an exchange which will suit all parties and perfectly legal.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Tue 15-Jan-13 10:20:10

Take it

It's because children have to sgare

isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:21:16

HA and council are different but you can do a mutual exchange between council and HA easily (and the other way).

I have called and checked and yes we are "allowed" although the lady did tell me about the long waiting lists for 4 bed houses in this area (guilty). You are allowed 1 bedroom more than you need as a "spare room" and the dining room doesn't count as a bedroom.

Not for free DSM - People don't get given FREE houses smile

Not saying I am definitely going to decide based on a MN vote worral, but I am after opinions as I do feel in two minds and my partner and I feel guilty.

TomHardysPinky Tue 15-Jan-13 10:21:41

I have 4 kids and am not classed as overcrowded (even though I have no idea where my 18 month old is going to go when he leaves our room!)

The HA wouldn't allow me to have a 4 bedroomed house (not that there are any available), so I'm not sure they would allow you with 3 children?

Mumsyblouse Tue 15-Jan-13 10:21:54

This isn't a moral issue, it's a practical one. Get onto the housing office and ask if they are fine with the swap, there's no point worrying about it until you know it can happen. If it can, great, 4 bed is one bed each for three children and one for you, hardly excessive and if it's what's available, go for it.

MolotovCocktail Tue 15-Jan-13 10:21:59

Sounds like a dream come true to me. We are a family of 4 in a 2 up, 2 down house, looking to pay £895-£950 per month in rent for a house we need (min 3 bed). DH has had to get a new job and even then it's gonna squeeze is financially.

Yep, offers like this only happen in my dreams. Take the swap, if you can!

TomHardysPinky Tue 15-Jan-13 10:22:36

Ah thats interesting, must be different rules.

Ah, then take it. The couple want your house, you need more room, so it seems fair enough tbh.

dancemom Tue 15-Jan-13 10:22:55

So you claim HB? If so you would be under occupying and come April your benefit would be deducted by 14��

AppleAndBlackberry Tue 15-Jan-13 10:23:24

I would take it. The older couple aren't obliged to downsize, and they probably won't if they don't find something they like so it's not like their house would go to someone else anyway.

dancemom Tue 15-Jan-13 10:23:31

That should be 14%

oldraver Tue 15-Jan-13 10:24:02

I'm not sure what the rules are on sharing but surely at some point it would be advantageous for all three children to have their own rooms ?

Fluffy1234 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:24:06

It's a chance of a lifetime , you will be happy, the older couple want your house. Definetely go for it.

isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:24:36

Yeah, apparently different HA and councils have different rules. They told me the other big HA in this area doesn't allow "spare" rooms and classes separate dining rooms as anther bedroom so with them we'd only be "entitled" to a 3 bed house or a 2 bed house with a dining room (which we'd be perfectly happy and grateful for I will add). Although as the waiting lists are so long you'd think they'd crack down on the rules! hmm

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