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To beg you to help me make this decision? Renting & council & SKY HI ANXIETY

(56 Posts)
Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 17:03:21

I'm a lodger at the moment, it's very physically safe and clean and I was very happy but the landlord I think is playing some mind games with me. Says I'm not clean and tidy enough, that if I don't scrub shower tiles with bleach every week rats and mice will come in to eat my skin flakes hmm and that I should have told her all my health issues before I moved in. I feel very insecure and like she could ask me to leave at any minute.

I have physical disabilities (I disclosed some of these before moving in, but not all) and anxiety which she does not know about. My anxiety is really hard to control when I feel I'm going to be asked to leave my home. I have no family I can stay with.

The council have offered me a flat with a private landlord they work with. It's very expensive though. About half as much again as what I pay now, then bills on top.

I work part time and get PIP so can comfortably pay my rent BUT my PIP is being re assessed at the moment and if they discontinue it I won't get any housing benefit to help. My wages do not even cover my rent, leaving out bills, food, travel to work, and anything else.

So what risk do I take? Do i take the risk of staying here with no contract knowing I could be asked to leave, but with less money to pay? Or take the council offer for help with a landlord who is fine with housing benefit tenants but risk a situation if I lose PIP entitlement?

The council are pushing for a decision by tomorrow morning. I feel so stressed and like I can't evaluate things properly. I'm terrified of making the wrong decison.

If you've read all that, thank you. WWYD?

Cakedoesntjudge Thu 09-Nov-17 17:26:01

I would probably take the council up on their offer, your landlord is unlikely to get any better and at least then you’d have peace of mind. However, I’d want a contingency plan for if your PIP reassessment meant you stopped getting help.

Sorry to be ignorant, but why would it mean you no longer get housing benefit? Would your wages be too high? I am on a low wage and get help with housing benefit but I don’t know all the rules around PIP.

Have you explained your concerns to the council? I’ve had a period where I haven’t been able to meet my rent and explained everything to the housing association and they were very understanding and let me pay it back in instalments. But obviously that would require the money being available to you at some point in the future. Is there things you can do to raise your income if they decide you aren’t classed as eligible for your PIP payments anymore?

Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 18:46:41

Yes I've explained to the housing officer my worry about PIP, he said I could get some help with discretionary housing payment for 3 months? But if I've committed to a year contract what happens for the remaining time?

My wages wouldn't be higher just that I'm able to get housing benefit for self contained accommodation with PIP. The council agree I should not be sharing for my health. But if PIP gets stopped, I then get the shared housing rate for under 35 years old people, which is far less.

Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 18:48:21

I was so happy here, I'm so disappointed the landlord is doing this. I just want quiet peaceful use of the property. I know I'm not dirty, it's actually really offended me.

picklemepopcorn Thu 09-Nov-17 19:08:49

I’m sorry to hear you are having these problems. Are there any groups you could talk it through with, like CAB, it may be a discrimination situation. The thing is, no one wants to fall out with their landlord, even if they are right!

Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 19:27:21

I definitely don't want to fall out with the landlord, but I am confident I'm not dirty. Some of my anxiety issues are around germs so i am scrupulous.

I need to give the council a decision tomorrow, otherwise I'd be trying to make an appointment with CAB. They are hard to get though, there's a wait of 2 or 3 weeks.

Jerseysilkvelour Thu 09-Nov-17 19:33:58

At the moment you're in 1 rooms shared accommodation as you're lodging aren't you, so in self contained accommodation your LHA/HB rate will increase.

I'd suggest that right now you go to one of the benefit calculators (turntous comes to mind) and work out what HB you would get with and without your PIP, and go from there.

Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 19:53:10

Yes. I have used turn 2 us and entitled to. I've checked with and without PIP, and on current housing benefit versus universal credit.

I'm ok as long as I have PIP, providing of course I keep getting enough hours at work.
It's not zero hours but only guaranteed X amount.

I don't honestly know how people make shrewd, sensible decisions. None of my options feel safe.

Jerseysilkvelour Thu 09-Nov-17 20:15:32

Get a bit of paper, draw a line down the middle. List the for's on one side, against's on the other, then go with the majority. I've made many an important decision like this, honestly!

BackBoiler Thu 09-Nov-17 20:29:31

You could always find another landlord if things don't work out alone! You DO NOT have to put up with such a dick of a person. You DO NOT deserve to be made to feel that way and you DEFINITELY deserve better flowers

picklemepopcorn Thu 09-Nov-17 20:34:50

Sometimes, the choices are not great. It’s the least worst, not the best. Can you stay where you are for the moment? Delay the decision until you have more information, and take the next flat the council offers. I think the opportunity will c9me up again. Perhaps you could ask how often suitable accommodation c9mes up?

Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 20:53:07

That's another thing worrying me - if I say no, maybe then the council can shrug their shoulders and say that's it? No more help? The only reason I'd refuse it is because of the anxiety of taking on a much larger rent and getting stuck if PIP gets cut. I don't want to be picky or entitled.

I've asked can I meet to discuss it with the housing officer. Surely if it's very risky financially, they will have to see my point? I'm scared of debt, I have none at the moment and it's very important to keep it that way. Arrears on a flat rental would kill me with anxiety.

I wish there was someone in the housing department who could advise, bearing in mind it moves so fast and they need instant decisions and you can't realistically get a CAB appointment.

I just want somewhere safe and clean really!

Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 20:57:11

I'm shocked at the behaviour of the landlord tbh. She is so nice most of the time! Then gets very critical, makes personal remarks and is catty. She has been quite critical of me on and off but I've not allowed myself to get annoyed when she was making remarks about how lazy I am - um no I have several serious illnesses going on, and am doing my best hmm

This is the first time I thought she might kick me out though, and that's what has made it very hard. I could live with the odd grumpy or bitchy mood, what stresses me out is the fact she can kick me out on a whim if her mood is shit.

badmgr Thu 09-Nov-17 20:57:17

Take the council offer 100%. Much more secure and likely won't come around again.

Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 21:03:20

When I think about it, this is the first time in about a year I've actually been offered a property. Which would suggest that the opportunity definitely doesn't come up much. I moved in here because nothing was forthcoming. As I mentioned, I loved it, was so safe and nice but this has thrown me.

I had thought we were ok living together, had cups of tea and a few laughs. I think it's some kind of power game, which makes me uneasy.

TheABC Thu 09-Nov-17 21:17:30

Another one here who thinks you would be better off with the council. Do you have help/an advocate for your PIP reassessment?
Good luck.

RightYesButNo Thu 09-Nov-17 21:23:28

Yes, take the council property. I agree with previous posters - it will not get better with your landlord, so think of it like this: you must move for your health and you might as well move to the council property and IF (and I understand the size of an “if” can grow much larger in your mind with anxiety, I really do) you lose PIP or it gets reduced, then you can find another place.

Also, even if you’ve committed to a year’s contract and your PIP gets stopped/reduced, speak to CAB and then the landlord as soon as they advise. If council will help with rent for three months past that point, that should give you enough time to find somewhere else AND the landlord time to find another tenant (they don’t WANT to put you into arrears they may never see - they’d much rather have a tenant who can just pay). And these are all what if’s that may never come to pass and can be solved if they do. Enjoy the safe, clean, stress-free council property. Good luck!

Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 21:34:10

Thank you all. I'm starting to calm down about the heavy weight of the decision making process. There is pressure to get it right, but I can only do my best to make the right choice.

That's also a good point, that if PIP is stopped at least I would have 3 months to organise. Maybe even as the council is so desperate for places to put people - if I was suddenly ineligible maybe they could shove in another person like me but who was still getting full HB. I don't know where I'd go though. But yes, that's assuming all the worst possible things happen.

Landlord is being lovely again now this evening, and I feel bamboozled.

Crapatdecisions Thu 09-Nov-17 21:36:55

I wish I didn't have my PIP review for another six months though, would make things less intense.

MiraiDevant Thu 09-Nov-17 23:27:54

You can appeal the pip review if it doesn't go your way. That usually takes two months. Do make a CAB appointment - they can help. No time for the first review but they'll help with appeals.

I'd take the council property too. Lodging is so insecure. If worst came to worst you would have to find somewhere else but at that point there may be another option.

HelenaDove Fri 10-Nov-17 03:02:40

"Landlord is being lovely again now this evening"

Part of the cycle of abuse.

i think she is enjoying the power imbalance.

Venusflytwat Fri 10-Nov-17 03:59:59

100% take the council property.
They don’t come up often as you’ve said yourself.

MissWimpyDimple Fri 10-Nov-17 06:16:26

Take the council property.

Even if things change with the PIP payment, the council will find it hard to evict you. They will be making you homeless and will then have a duty to house you.

Is the rent market rate on the new place?

Good luck in your new home.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 10-Nov-17 06:32:11

I understand your concerns OP

By the way it's completely normal to stress about a decision such as this . I feel anxious about big decisions too , most of us do .

I would also take the council property as the risk of staying where you are is too high OP . It will make you ill staying with someone who is a bully and plays mind games

I also think having your own place is a good
Place to focus on recovery

If the worse happens with PIP you can appeal , Work more hours etc

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 10-Nov-17 06:33:14

And anyone who says that rats will eat your skin flakes is either ill the self or just evil !

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