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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?

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

Please don't feel guilty about taking the bigger house, much better a family with three children in it than a couple who want a smaller place anyway. I wouldn't worry about the long list either, the plain fact is unless this older couple move out to somewhere else, it won't be freed up.

It's lovely you have a conscience, but you will be paying rent and I don't really see the logic that says that because other people are overcrowded, you should remain so too.

Take it (you'd be silly not to).

DSM Tue 15-Jan-13 10:24:39

I totally don't understand this.

If you have to pay for it, then why are you asking? Do we all think you should buy a house with a bedroom for each child? Is that the question?

My parents live in a 5 bedroom house. There's only the two of them. What's the issue?

I think I'm missing something blush

ENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 10:24:41

When does that extra bedroom tax thing kick in?

Presuming you will be paying more rent for the 4 bed?

Doilooklikeatourist Tue 15-Jan-13 10:24:47

Go for it .
They want yours , theirs sounds perfect for you

BreakOutTheKaraoke Tue 15-Jan-13 10:25:19

God, yes, I would go for it. Like you say, what are the chances the older couple are going to find a 5/6 child family in a 2 bed house that they want? The couple obviously like the area your house is in, happy with the way it's looked after, etc. As long as you can afford any extra costs that may come your way as and when the councils' change their housing rules, go for it.

Its a mutual exchange, the couple are going to exchange anyway rather than rent somewhere else and have a family from the waiting list take the house so why shouldn't you go for it since the council will accept it?

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 15-Jan-13 10:26:02

Good God woman! Of course you take it. It's a swap. The couple you are swapping with want smaller, you need bigger (3 growing kids to a room is overcrowding) and it's not too big for you. It's not like you will have a spare room.
Congrats on your good fortune.

Free house for fucks sake. Presumably you will be paying rent.grin

orangepudding Tue 15-Jan-13 10:26:10

Do you claim HB, if so you will lose some of it due to having an extra room.

isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:26:32

Oh yes Appleandblackberry I didn't think of that, as they are "older" they don't have to move and won't get charged the "bedroom tax" will they! Oh well that makes me feel a bit better about it all.

It really is such a big thing for us, I feel very excited actually!

TomHardysPinky Tue 15-Jan-13 10:27:41

Well we have 4 kids, 3 bedrooms and NO dining room, just small living room, small kitchen.

DH and I are in one room with DS in his cot, I have 2 boys with bunk beds in the other small double room and DD in the tiny, tiny, box room.

And we got a letter saying we were under occupied... apparently they have no record of my youngest 2 existing!

isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:28:29

No, we don't claim HB as we work so pay our own rent (Def NOT a FREE house, unless anyone has one of those going?) smile

The rent around here privately is about £900 for a 2 bed house and about £1300-£1500 for a 4 bed. My current HA rent is £440 a month and this 4 bed is only £500 a month.

I really want it too (does that count) wink

Crawling Tue 15-Jan-13 10:30:20

Go for it and don't feel guilty just think how lovely it will be for your family.

YouOldSlag Tue 15-Jan-13 10:30:46

You will be mad to refuse.

Stop feeling guilty and bloody grab it with both hands. There are five of you altogether and therefore a 4 bed house for a growing family of five is not excessive or greedy.


millie30 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:30:56

Don't feel guilty, just do what is best for your family. When I got my HA house my banding was changed at the last minute and I leapt over someone else who wanted the house too. I felt guilty but then my mum reminded me my only priority was myself and DS. You didn't make the rules and it's not your fault there is a housing shortage. Go for it and enjoy your new home!

DSM Tue 15-Jan-13 10:30:58

So, how do HA houses work then? Do you have to go in a list or something?

I'd bloody love to only pay £500 a month - for a 4 bed! We pay over double that for a 2 bed!

Sorry, I obviously know sod all about HA. blush educate me!

Mumsyblouse Tue 15-Jan-13 10:31:45

For an extra £60, wow, I'd be on the phone arranging it asap. There's nothing to feel bad about, your children need the room, the other couple need a smaller place to manage, I would say yes immediately (in case someone else sees this great offer!)

orangepudding Tue 15-Jan-13 10:32:07

Go for it! As others have said it's unlikely they will find someone in a 2 by bed with 4 or more kids to swap with.

Lovethesea Tue 15-Jan-13 10:33:00

Go for it, sounds a great thing for you all as a family.

badtasteflump Tue 15-Jan-13 10:33:15

Go for it and don't feel guilty. Apart from anything else, you will need the space soon if you don't now - your DC may be happy sharing whilst they're little, but if they're anything like mine, when they get a bit older they will want/need their own space.

shock at the cost of renting BTW...

Another reason to definitely go for it!

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 15-Jan-13 10:34:25

I am confused about this HB thing.
So....I have one child. If I find a 3 bed which is actually cheaper than a 2 bed (quite likely actually since the ex-council houses round here tend to be 3 bed) would I be penalised by them taking some of my HB off me?
That makes no sense!
(sorry about hijack OP, although now you have told me how cheap your rent is I am actually officially not speaking to you!)

PandaOnAPushBike Tue 15-Jan-13 10:35:37

If you are seriously bothered about it, talk to the HA and see if they want to engage in a 3 way swap. Someone off their waiting list to the 4 bed, you into their 3 bed and the other exchanging couple into yours. Can't see why they wouldn't jump at it.

MoodyDidIt Tue 15-Jan-13 10:35:56


go for it you jammy cow envy

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 15-Jan-13 10:36:03

My rent is more than what I would pay for a 100k mortgage badtaste. And no way in hell would I qualify for a 100k mortgage. It's mental how high rent is.

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

If you are allowed to, then do it.

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

Take it. You'll not be overcrowding I as you have three DC and it sounds ideal.

I live in a council house, pay full rent etc. It has nothing to do with anyone else if you claim HB or not.

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