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To feel so fed up of this house?

(28 Posts)
honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 04:31:58

We've been renting this house since early 2011 for £550 per month. Most 3 bedrooms go for £500-550 around here. At first it wasn't too bad but I am disabled with a variable mobility illness and had to leave work. LHA is only £415 per month for two children and I am finding it a massive stretch to afford the extra money every month.

The back garden has a rat problem as we live behind barns and next to a restaurant. One chewed through the back door frame and lived in the kitchen for a month before he finally ate the poison. I have two DD's 6 and 3 and the landlord just said get rid of it or pay for an exterminator as it's a common issue due to the location. We've found two others in the garden since but none in our kitchen now we've blocked the hole up. Landlord hasn't replaced the door or door frame so we've just blocked it up.

The boiler is safe but so old that in the cold weather we end up paying £60 on a meter for heating. It isn't justifiable so we're mostly very cold. This doesn't help my joint and muscle issue or my two babies.

We live opposite a pub that has got very loud and rough in the past two years. There are loud screaming matches and physical fights every weekend, sometimes even in our garden. I got a dog to make me feel a bit more safe with the DD's but it's still quite unnerving.

I can't afford to move privately. Since we rent through a friend of a friend we didn't have to pay a bond to move in so we get nothing back and my benefits are stretched so thin I'm in debt already. All my family are elderly or broke and can't help. I've just applied to go on the housing register but I know that can take forever hmm

I just feel fed up. Autumn is coming and I don't have enough from income support and child tax credits to cope decently now let alone then. If I stop paying my rent or get into arrears our landlord will evict us and I can't risk that as we have nowhere to go. Just the thought of having to give away my dog breaks my heart confused

I know it's not really AIBU but I guess I'm asking AIBU to feel like this sad

VestaCurry Mon 25-Aug-14 04:44:51

Can you see the housing department of your local council? You might get extra points because you have a disability and are in receipt of disability benefits.

missbishi Mon 25-Aug-14 04:46:26


Surely LL is responsible for extermination and repairs, common problem or not? I'm sure someone who knows for sure will post soon.

The boiler. Would you qualify for some kind of energy efficiency grant to get it changed? Might be worth looking into.

The pub. Report to police & council and demand to know what they are going to do about it.

Housing. Your current house is making you ill. Is there anything the GP could do to get you a higher priority grade? You won't know unless you ask!

honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 04:53:22

The council application said they will get back to me within 3-4 weeks. I will see my GP and ask if there's anything they can do. I'm not in receipt of disability benefits, only Income Support. The last time I claimed ESA and got told to appeal I ended up more ill than ever because of the stress on my mental health (bi polar, diagnosed but unmedicated).

Our landlord is lazy and hates putting his hand in his pocket. In the past DP has offered to do the labour and he takes the cost off our rent just to get things done. We haven't seen him in 3 years except to say when we had arrears in which he posted a threatening note through the door. We communicate by text or phone. Our next door neighbours are elderly and spiteful too calling our landlord over the summer when I was drilling at 12pm for three days to build shelves and when the children are playing in the garden.

I sit awake at night crying because things are so awful but I know I could be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. The carpets are all stained (cream upstairs) from the kids over the years despite steam cleaning (dogs aren't allowed upstairs) and I know I'll have to pay for replacements if I leave sad It seems there's no good option.

honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 04:54:35

Forgot to mention DP works but only on an 8 hour contract so earns only £10 more doing nights than doing nothing on benefits. No luck for other jobs just now but hoping his hours will increase in the Autumn.

Augustwedding Mon 25-Aug-14 04:57:48

I would speak to your local housing office and see what they advise and call Chester as well. I have always found them helpful when I have called them about client in a similar positions hat you have described.

Most local areas will also have a Floating support service for generic housing needs issues which is what I do. Depending on the service, if there is one in you area, you will need to be referred, they will come and do an assessment and see if you are eligible. As you are on HB and income support I see no reason why you would not and you obviously havea a housing need! If you think this might be an option and need to find your local service PM me your local area and I can look for you or call your housing office and ask if there is one.

Augustwedding Mon 25-Aug-14 04:59:17

Chester!? Shelter!

honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 05:00:26

Thank you! I'm in South Wales if that gives you any more information?

Augustwedding Mon 25-Aug-14 05:03:05

I will have a look and see if they have one that covers that area or if it is my more specific area!

honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 05:04:43

I've found drop in surgeries with them that are quite local - will they be able to give me advice that I don't already know? I'm terrified of pissing off my landlord in case he evicts us as we're on a rolling tenancy & I have absolutely no savings or back up money in case this does happen.

Turquoisetamborine Mon 25-Aug-14 05:19:46

Sorry to hear your situation. Is there a housing advice place like Stonham who you could contact to complain about your landlord? Or see CAB who could advise you on decent landlords?

I would get a cat for the rat problem. We had mice briefly in our own house and I came downstairs to find the cat had killed 8 of them. We never had a problem again! You need a female though, better mousers.

honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 05:25:15

Augustwedding has been incredibly helpful and has pointed me in the right direction for support so I hope something good comes of that.

I'm hoping to just make it through these next few months of rent. IS are taking £15 for an old crisis loan debt every week & I'm paying £20 to tax credits for an overpayment weekly so I'm already down on money per week. DP's monthly money comes in handy for rent shortfall but obviously we have other bills and debts from our unemployment too so we're really struggling right now.

The living situation doesn't help with my mental health especially when DP works nights and my anxiety gets terrible due to the fights outside etc. I just want it all to be better but I know it could all get much worse and I should count my blessings.

Stratter5 Mon 25-Aug-14 05:58:51

Have you applied for these? Ring DWP, and make sure you are receiving everything you are entitled to, ask them outright if there is anything else you can claim for.

Secondly, do you mean 12am regarding the drilling? Your neighbour can't complain about you drilling midday, unless you live next to the most unreasonable neighbour ever.

honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 06:09:23

I'm definitely looking into those!

I mean at midday. Our neighbours said they wanted to enjoy their garden and called up our landlord personally who phoned and told us to stop because they were elderly!! angry

Augustwedding Mon 25-Aug-14 06:12:08

Also call dwp and renegotiate your payments, £15 pw is a lot, explain situation and ask if they will accept £5. Means paying longer but more cash in hand.

DWP Debt Management contact centre
Telephone: 0345 850 0293

Good luck with everything!

Augustwedding Mon 25-Aug-14 06:14:55

Also look at the criteria for this, it caps you water bills.

Worriedkat Mon 25-Aug-14 08:31:45

Citizens Advice? They can do a full benefits check and see if there is anything else you can claim. They also know about debt management and have links with housing organisations. It's definitely worth a try.

HeySoulSister Mon 25-Aug-14 10:25:27

Doesn't your DP claim JSA?

honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 17:06:26

No. He earns more than JSA as he works nights so while he technically could claim it he wouldn't receive any money from them.

plecofjustice Mon 25-Aug-14 18:01:02

Most councils offer free callouts for rats, you should check this and get them in if so

honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 18:14:07

The council offered to come out for £35 if we had evidence of rats. Apart from the door frame I don't think there is any evidence as they're in the garden. They come up, they scoot around, they try to come in then they go again. I'm finding it difficult to afford that money and there's no guarantee they can do anything, they said. hmm

HeySoulSister Mon 25-Aug-14 18:20:39

Lay your own poison. Rats are common and we sell lots of rat loosening products at work. You aren't the only now with rats, you just need to get on with it imo

HeySoulSister Mon 25-Aug-14 18:20:56


tittifilarious Mon 25-Aug-14 18:33:53

Sounds bloody awful!

You won't be the only one with rats so maybe the neighbours will chip in for the £35 - you'd imagine it would be a massive issue to the restaurant next door! Failing that the likes of home bargains sell poison for less than a fiver.

You're in Wales so I don't know if the scheme applies there but I am certain there was something where people on certain benefits could get a replacement boiler - it might not cost your landlord anything.

I don't wonder you're fed up though.

honeyandhim Mon 25-Aug-14 19:22:07

I laid down poison in the house and finally caught Ratigan that was living under the cupboards. I'm a bit scared of using it outside due to the dog and children - any advice on keeping safe?

Neighbours said they don't have a problem with rats and they're contained to us and restaurant said it's nothing to do with them so to call EH if I have an issue. Feel a bit alone and lost with it all but know it's just something that happens. Just fed up about it all.

There are schemes in place for insulation/boilers but I always get worried they'll charge us and it's too good to be true. These free schemes are real then? Sorry if I sound a bit daft, I really don't have a clue!

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