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Aibu to give up my council house?

(63 Posts)
Beautyisintheeyeofthebeholder Sun 22-Jan-17 14:12:49

Okay guys...bear with me might be long but i could really use some wisdom ...😰
As in the title I'm considering giving up my social housing property and moving into private rented.
Reasons being, I find living with my neighbours tough. They have dogs on both sides which bark sometimes nonstop morning noon and night. I'm starting a degree in healthcare and will be required to work shifts and I don't se how this will be doable trying to manage assignments etc on little/disturbed sleep. Next door has bought their property so no chance of them moving, and they have had walls knocked through and laminate fitted so every bloody noise travels you can hear coughing talking etc so clear it's unreal 😩.
Other next door have had the property in the family (passed down tenancy) since house was built in 1920 so no chance of them going either.
House itself is in poor decorative condition it was meant to be sorted out when my x partner lived here but when he left he refused all help. I'm a single mum on benefits so can't really afford professional decorator etc.
House is damp mouldy inspectors from the housing say it's condensation (it isn't) and have installed those air vent things which are bloody useless.
I have virtually no kitchen cupboards and worktop space it's impossible cooking.
Bathroom is from the 1970s and the housing have refused to take it out as it "still works" .
I don't know fully how I can afford a private rental as the lha is around 450?? I'd be looking at a shortfall of 100-200 pcm and I have no idea how that will change when I go on student finance.
I just don't think I can put up with this house much longer I'm very down at a point in my life where I should be happy I'm about to start a professional qualification 🙁
Any advice appreciated

Livedandlearned Sun 22-Jan-17 14:14:17

Have you tried an exchange before you hand in your tenancy? Lists are so long nowadays you might never get a council house again.

HeyMacWey Sun 22-Jan-17 14:17:12

Agree - look at an exchange.
Or contact your uni and see if there are any single parents who'd consider a house share? Chances of this would be next to zero but worth a look.

Beautyisintheeyeofthebeholder Sun 22-Jan-17 14:17:14

No one will take this area, plus when they view they will probably hear the dogs so unless they have dogs themselves it will be an issue.
I waited 7 years for this one so I know I won't get another 😕

ScruffyTheJanitor Sun 22-Jan-17 14:20:43

Why doing you contact the council?

Nuisance noise is any noise that is having a detrimental effect. It doesn't have to be loud parties at 3am etc.
A dog barking all day would classify as a disturbance and the Environmental Health will probably get involved if you ask?
Or even talk tonyour Housing Officer, they might be able to offer help too.

TheHobbitMum Sun 22-Jan-17 14:22:45

I would deal with the issues you are facing and keep the social tenancy. It's is virtually impossible to get hold of one now and of you were to get another you'd be on the newer version of tenancy which is renewed based on circumstances. I would never give up a social tenancy for private. You can involve environmental health & MP to help deal with the issues. Ask for an installation date for bathroom & kitchen and then you can work out of their lifespan has been reached (35yr for bathroom, 20yr for kitchen for my house) and if the time has reached you can liase with the planned works manager to have them refitted. If your going to be a student You will need to rely on benefits a lot and the caps and reductions that have been introduced would. Mean you'd struggle. You would be mad to give up a social tenancy in my opinion and

Beautyisintheeyeofthebeholder Sun 22-Jan-17 14:24:18

Yeah I know I have thought of reporting of course. But this is my home and I live alone I don't really want to go making enemies of my neighbours. They are a couple with a large family I don't want to be left vulnerable they will know I've told on them.

user1484317265 Sun 22-Jan-17 14:25:46

I would move. But it doesn't sound like you can afford to rent privately, so I don't understand why you are even asking. AIBU to do something that I can't actually do anyway......?

TheProblemOfSusan Sun 22-Jan-17 14:27:24

Private rented is awful. It's insecure, you often have the same problems with neighbours, and it's horrifically expensive, and if you make a fuss about any thing you end up but being able to renew your tenancy.

Stay put, honestly. We've had to move so many times because landlords keep selling on us to take advantage of house prices rising or falling, it's cost us thousands on top of rent costs.

stubbornstains Sun 22-Jan-17 14:30:53

I suspect, sadly, that if you're looking at the very cheapest private rental properties- that accept housing benefit- that they too will probably have mould or be in poor repair.

It might be tough, but I think your best chance is at least to try for an exchange. You never know. Until then, try serious ear plugs. Good luck thanks

Beautyisintheeyeofthebeholder Sun 22-Jan-17 14:31:55

User, I won't always be a student. I'll be earning over 20.000 when I qualify. If I got maintence off my child's father I could afford the shortfall for a private rental.
The hobbit, bathroom is due for replacement summer 2018, kitchen was fitted 2008 so still new ish. The kitchen isn't in bad condition it's just the tenant before me chose few cupboards and worktops so Im left with little storage . I store plates etc under the stairs where the elec meter is

preparedtobeshotdown Sun 22-Jan-17 14:33:11

I would stay put for now. Try putting some soft music on when studying..not loud just enough to maybe help you concentrate. Helped me when I was studying. Or can you go to a library at all? Even for just an hour a week or so...? But I wouldn't lose your accommodation. Private renting is difficult expensive and isn't always the safe option. Stay put until you have done your studying and training and when you manage to work full time after then I would move. Until then don't go into the unknown!!

Amethyst81 Sun 22-Jan-17 14:34:17

I'm in a similar position, we are in social housing in a two bed flat. The building is poorly built, we have damp and are prone to mice and rats every so often. We also have a howling dog upstairs and despite visits from the dog warden and the housing officer continues on. I have often thought about giving it up and moving to a lovely modern private rented property. But, we have a secure lifetime tenancy and our rent is very fair, I would be looking at paying twice the rent with private and the insecurity of a private landlord selling up, increasing rent etc. Plus our social landlord is very good with repairs and emergencies so we stay. I would be very reluctant to give up a secure tenancy because this feels as close to it being our own home as possible as we can decorate how we want and we don't have to worry about our tenancy ending.

stubbornstains Sun 22-Jan-17 14:34:38

Also, the decorating you can do yourself, surely? Seal with a PVA glue/ water mix before you paint, and it will stop the mould coming through until next winter. Similarly, see if you could be a bit clever and remodel the kitchen a bit?? This is the kind of thing you can do in social housing, but if you have a shit layout in private rented, you just have to put up with.

preparedtobeshotdown Sun 22-Jan-17 14:36:08

J sorry maybe there isn't studying. And it's the shift work/sleep. Ear plugs... not great but an option for a while.

Babymamamama Sun 22-Jan-17 14:37:02

Try home swapper website? Don't give up this house. Swap it. I think you will regret coming out of social housing.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 22-Jan-17 14:41:45

Yes giving up social housing is a terrible idea even in your circumstances. Do you really want the uncertainty of moving regular when your dc is on school. Excessive rents and quite possibly equally or worse neighbours.

Beautyisintheeyeofthebeholder Sun 22-Jan-17 14:41:54

Amethyst flowers I'm lucky I have a 3 bed semi house. I don't think I could deal with neighbours above/below. 3 bed are like bloody gold dust. It's only be and my daughter I'd be going into a 2 bed she has and she doesn't want to move . If I could have some peace I could sort the other issues.
I just don't work well on sleep deprivation on sleeping pills as it is. I'm dreading starting uni. Which is unfortunately an hour away

IonaNE Sun 22-Jan-17 14:42:47

OP, don't give up your tenancy. I also live in social housing and the security you have is priceless, compared to being at the mercy of a private LL.

Re. decorating: I have had 3 council properties so far and on moving in the housing officer surveyed it with me and depending on the state of it I was given B&Q vouchers. Did you not get anything like this to deal with decoration?

Re. the noise and dogs barking: if you'll work in healthcare and do shifts, you'll need to learn to sleep during the day in all kinds of noise, too. What'll happen if you move into private rental and 2 weeks later a major construction project will start for the next 3 years? Also, what if you get noisy neighbours - then all (most of) your neighbours will be owners by default and there will be no way they'll go either, just like now. You can, of course, keep moving, but there is no guarantee that wherever you move to won't be the same 2 weeks later... And you'll have lost the security of social housing.

As for finances: I earn above 20K and at one point I earned 37K while still living in social housing in an area of the country where I could have easily afforded a mortgage. But believe me, 20K will not go that far, you'll have to pay more rent to a private LL and you'll have less disposable income (from which you'll also have to save, if you are responsible, because a private LL can give notice and then you'll need money for a deposit...).

I would not give up social housing, OP.

Beautyisintheeyeofthebeholder Sun 22-Jan-17 14:43:17

Posted too soon .
My daughter has asd that should say .
Going to the uni library will take an hour each day there and back .

bookwormish Sun 22-Jan-17 14:47:55

I was in a miserable flat the entire time of my professional degree, so I feel your pain. I'm glad I didn't move into private accommodation though as I would have struggled, especially being in a less secure tenancy than my flat. Financially, I would have got myself into serious arrears because I wouldn't of been eligible for housing/council tax benefit...I could just about keep up with the housing association rent on Student Finance! If you can't bare it & noise complaints don't make a difference, then apply for a mutual exchange & look on the homeswapper website but definitely avoid private letting.

user1484317265 Sun 22-Jan-17 14:48:52

User, I won't always be a student. I'll be earning over 20.000 when I qualify. If I got maintence off my child's father I could afford the shortfall for a private rental

Yes but you aren't qualified now, you aren't earning that amount, and you don't get the my point still stands.
You can't afford to move, can you

user1484317265 Sun 22-Jan-17 14:48:55

User, I won't always be a student. I'll be earning over 20.000 when I qualify. If I got maintence off my child's father I could afford the shortfall for a private rental

Yes but you aren't qualified now, you aren't earning that amount, and you don't get the my point still stands.
You can't afford to move, can you?

SparkyStar84 Sun 22-Jan-17 14:50:08

As others have said you could look into an exchange, possibly somewhere closer to where you'll be working and/or Uni.
You will find that houses near a hospital/college/university to be more expensive, plus a lot of them student / health professional properties where rooms are rented with communal living areas, obviously not ideal for DC.
But hopefully depending on where you are you should find a 3 bed for £500 PCM, but it might not be all sparkly and shiny.
Firstly plan your finances and work out what is doable, then go from there.
The only downside being you're not guaranteed neighbours that are quiet. So it could be a frying pan into the fire situation. I'm guessing detached houses would be crazy money. Also even with detached you could have a neighbour with barking dogs.
I understand your grievance, there's a couple of dogs who take shifts in barking 3 houses away. Anything can set them off, but I don't sleep all the way through due to my health issues. Is your bedroom on the back so you hear them more? In which case could you swap bedrooms with DC?
Another option just popped up, you could put in for a new property depending on how their system works. If it's tiered, be honest and say you're sensitive to the noise and it's making life unbearable, starting a dream job which includes study means you need sleep/rest/conditions for studying. Hopefully that would get you into a higher band.
Before I get flamed for the above suggestion, OP vacates her HS house, which means another family can move there.
Also look at bus routes if you don't drive. So you have a clear idea of how long you'll have to travel. Also look at schools and distance from areas, you should get support with childcare so hopefully you can get a childminder that will pick DC's up from yours & drop them off again.

I hope this has helped a bit, I'm guessing most of this has been covered by others.
Good luck with your house & course smileflowers

stubbornstains Sun 22-Jan-17 14:50:11

3 bed are like bloody gold dust

I think you've answered your own question then OP. You shouldn't find it too difficult to swap to a 2 bed that you prefer.I guess, also, that you must be liable for the bedroom tax in this property, so you'd also be free of that?

The sleep issues, I think, are another matter. I sympathise with you here, because I suffer from them too- I live in a very quiet place, and sometimes it just needs the clicking of the thermostat to wake me up! Usually, when they get bad, it's a reminder that I should be addressing the cause of the stress/ observing better sleep hygiene/ doing relaxation routines at bed time, etc.

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