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Need Help/Advice, No Money or Family

(29 Posts)
alis74 Tue 23-Aug-11 20:17:49

Hi

I just need a rant and want to get things down, I am also wondering if anyone has felt as hopeless as me.

Everything in my life is temporary, a temporary job and a temporary house (private rental)

I work full-time with an agency I am trying so hard with interviews on a weekly basis and can't get permanent work, I am working for a minimum wage. I live with my 13 year old dd in private rental and I am struggling so hard to pay this, support my dd.

The house I am living in is a dump. I rented it, in June and my landlord told me the house would be freshly painted, garden fixed and a heating system put in. I have emails and texts to back this up. Same old story regarding landlords she has done nothing. I am devastated and just don't know how to get out of the place (I didn't sign the contract though, she just took her money and gave me a blank one)

This morning was awful for me, I keep the place as spotless as I can and I found a great big slug on the wall. I just stood and cried it is my last straw. The place is also damp and I just can't afford to heat it (it is oil) for the winter. I am not entitled to any housing benefit.

I also do not have a deposit to pay for another home and I just feel like telling her when she is looking for her money that I have lost my job, and just give someone else her rent as a deposit iykswim.

My husband (still married, I can't afford legal fees sad and I dont get legal aid) stopped paying maintenance 6 years ago, the CSA can't find him. Recently they got a liability order on him but I am not holding my breath as they can't find him yet again.

The CSA called me last week to tell me that I still own a house (jointly) I asked them can they do anything but they told me to contact a solicitor to force a sale if I want. (by the way I left the marital home with my dd, and husbands family told me that house was nothing to do with me due to the fact that husband pays mortgage)

I feel crap as I went to see a solicitor to be told they can do so much - just found out today not entitled to legal aid.

I just don't know where to turn, or what to do anymore. I have no money, friends or family

ps I applied 5 years ago for a housing executive house and I am not a priority

Sorry for the rant

GypsyMoth Tue 23-Aug-11 20:26:32

Oh no, you sound in a pickle! Hope your situation improves.

alis74 Tue 23-Aug-11 20:27:29

I am I just can't cope anymore

GypsyMoth Tue 23-Aug-11 20:46:19

It's hard I know. Who is living in the house? Assume not the H

chubbasmum Tue 23-Aug-11 21:08:55

@ OP sorry to hear about your situation there is hope , go through your local MP it will force the CSA to go threw the legal route to get you something as long as your name is on the mortgage i think you are entiltled to something because if lets say he lapses with the mortgage they can still ask you for payment( thats a true fact) . I had problems with my ex as well i went to my MP for help after 6 years of persuing matters myself and via the MP it will cost you nothing its worth a try it worked for me

alis74 Tue 23-Aug-11 21:42:02

Thank you, I suppose there is nothing wrong with giving an mp a call and I have nothing to lose!

My husband is not living there, the CSA told me the bank the mortgage is with and they told me no one is renting it from him. I drove by the house last week a couple of times and there is a young family living there, so (no surprise to me) he is getting rent from them and not allowed to do this by bank

Anyway the biggest thing getting me down is working so hard and having absolutely nothing for it, just enough to pay for this rotten house and food

PaigeTurner Wed 24-Aug-11 18:13:48

Can you tell your landlord you will be withholding the rent until the heating and redecoration is sorted out? You could check with the CAB if you are within your legal rights to do this but I've heard of several people doing it this way.

If s/he does nothing then yes, I'd take the rent and use it as deposit on a new place.

alis74 Wed 24-Aug-11 18:24:51

Well I was thinking of telling my landlord that, but I have lived in rented houses for many years good landlords and bad. My ll is only concerned with her money. I don't want her (can't cope) with her sending emails and phonecalls demanding it (she makes me feel so inferior but maybe that is my state of mind at the moment) I could confront her with the emails with her promises which I tentatlveley did (sp) last month and she said that she felt that the paintwork and all the rest was fine.

I think when it is the due date I will just email her and say I lost my job, need to sign on and claim housing benefit it could take 4-6 weeks.....wrong maybe (I will always have the money in my account if I can't find anywhere), but I can't cope in here any longer and nor can my daughter I worry about her especially as I work in an environment each day with kids that have mental health issues and I am worried about her.

I have tried CAB they told me I will need a solicitor regarding the home I own and I am just in such a Catch 22, I can't afford legal fees and I can't afford legal aid

I am really really upset and low, I work so hard and just about manage to get my daughter the basics as for me I have nothing, I just feel like an empty shell and just do not know how to get out of this mess or who to turn to.

So sorry for this long post but it helps sometimes just putting things down

anothermum92 Wed 24-Aug-11 18:36:31

Message withdrawn

alis74 Wed 24-Aug-11 19:50:00

Thanks anothermum

There would be equity in the house I know there are only another 10 years left and the house would be owned outright but still in a Catch 22, with not being able to get legal help, sure I could stop working but what then dd and I would be totally homeless and would not be able to pay rent anywhere (and yes I am on a housing list and explained so many times, but to them we are a low priority as we have a home) work is also the only thing keeping me sane now.

I am not entitled to housing benefit but do get tax credits which I use the full amount of plus some of my pay to pay rent, for a rotten house

I think for my sanity and dd's I shall just have to be brave whether people think it is immoral etc regarding landlord, and lying I don't care, I am just going to tell her next week (month end) that I am now unemployed I think from reading threads here on mumsnet and other forums that housing benefit takes at least a month to go through so she shall be told she will just have to wait............. and the money I have for rent can be used as a deposit for a decent home

oksonowwhat Wed 24-Aug-11 20:00:50

Sorry you are having such a bad time. I know how you feel i am struggling to, also work in Mental Health, but you seem to be having a worse time housing wise. Do you earn a big salary then? I'm just thinking that up until a while ago i was entitled to hb but they stopped it when i started working extra hours.
I wouldn't usually suggest this but, might it make you life simpler to leave the agency and then you would be able to get legal aid and housing benefit. Get this problem sorted and then start again working? Not a good suggestion i know but trying to find a way to enable you to have some of the money from the house and get out of the awful place you are in.
What part of the country are you in?

alis74 Wed 24-Aug-11 20:02:30

I am in Belfast

oksonowwhat Wed 24-Aug-11 20:15:09

Oh i know nothing about Belfast. I was just trying to get an idea, about properties available for rent etc., Wish you could get out of that place and have a fresh start in a nicer house.
Although i am on my own and absolutely skint at least my house, although in need of a good redecorate is in reasonable condition.
So wish i could suggest something to help.

alis74 Wed 24-Aug-11 20:19:06

you are very kind oksonowhat! thank you

I will just not give her a penny this month and tell her (the landlady) I am unemployed. I did not sign a contract for the property which may be a good thing now because I do not have to give her any notice. On the other hand she can give me an eviction notice and I honestly don't care if she does I want out anyway.

My biggest problem at the moment is this house I am renting, if I had a decent home it would not be so horrendous.

Then maybe I can focus on the house that I do own once I have my dd in decent surroundings.

I never thought my life would turn out like this. I don't mind being a single mum but I never ever life would be like this at almost 40

oksonowwhat Wed 24-Aug-11 20:55:19

Know how you feel. I'm just over forty now and although i don't mind being single and my dc are happy i didn't expect to be so poor and to have to struggle so much at this age.
Do you think you will be able to find something decent to rent easily? I only worry that you will have stopped paying current landlady and want to make sure you can sort something else out??
Wish you all the best.xx

kayah Wed 24-Aug-11 22:56:37

I am really sorry about your situation.

I think that law is different in NI to Englis hlaw.

I would get all documents you have together, made appoinment for free advice from various solicitors and hope to find one who is happy to take your case on.

Have you tried contacting organisations such as
http://www.gingerbreadni.org/

I also found this
http://www.ondivorce.co.uk/families.htm
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/familyfinance/rightsandbenefits/

I googled "legal help single parents northern ireland"

try something similar to carry on with your search

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/ParentsRights/DG_4002954

http://www.itsfinished.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=112

also go to the board
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/legal_matters

and ask the same question there - you never know , maybe someone knowledgeable lurks there smile

kayah Wed 24-Aug-11 22:57:23

www.gingerbreadni.org/

www.ondivorce.co.uk/families.htm
www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/familyfinance/rightsandbenefits/

www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/ParentsRights/DG_4002954

www.itsfinished.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=112

also go to the board
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/legal_matters

PaigeTurner Thu 25-Aug-11 08:59:27

Good luck Alis. I'm sure a fresh start in a new home will give you the inspiration to try and sort out the other issues.

gettingeasier Thu 25-Aug-11 11:55:10

Hopefully Kayahs links will deliver some positive info.

I dont know about Ireland but here it doesnt matter who pays the mortgage if you are married you are entitled to half any assets like a house so any equity in the house would be half yours.

I am so sorry you are in this situation but I would do what you were saying about keeping your rent and find some inner strength and the means to pursue a divorce and get this sorted so you can begin a new life with your DD

((Hugs))

alis74 Thu 25-Aug-11 18:07:09

Kayah, thank you so much my dd will be at a sleepover tomorrow so I will be going through each link

Gettingeasier, I am going to withold the rent and use it as a deposit, and if I dont find anything next month I shall repeat, I think getting out of this place will clear my head

Oksonowwhat thanks as well!

Thank you everyone for all of your posts and help, it makes me feel better xx

STIDW Thu 25-Aug-11 18:49:58

Statute law in NI is similar to that of England & Wales although there might be local differences as to how it is applied. That means on divorce any assets (including pensions) held in sole or joint names are considered matrimonial property which is then shared according to a checklist of factors.

You could try contacting a couple of solicitors to see if they offer a first appointment free, although free appointments tend to be general and won't necessarily give you enough information about where you stand and what options there are. Another alternative might be to contact Citizen's Advice to find out whether there are any other sources of legal advice such as law clinics or support for representing yourself in court.

If there is no alternative there is no reason you can't apply for divorce and then financial orders yourself if you are prepared to do a bit of research and form filling.

spiderslegs Thu 25-Aug-11 19:16:00

Alis, regarding legal fees, when I left my first husband I moved back to the UK with nothing, we had a joint mortgage, I engaged a solicitor & started divorce proceedings & eventually forced a sale on our house.

Other than the fees to lodge the petitions with the courts the solicitor charged me nothing until the case was settled (it took five years).

If you find a reputable firm and explain the circumstances I'm sure you will be able to come to an arrangement with them, they usually give a free consultation so it's worth your while to go & see a few.

& yes, after I left my ex paid all the mortgage but this had no bearing on the eventual division of assets (we lived in the ROI btw).

HTH.

Good luck.

spiderslegs Thu 25-Aug-11 19:19:16

PS I think it takes a while of not paying rent for your landlord to obtain an eviction notice, certainly not after one month.

kayah Thu 25-Aug-11 23:38:27

I think if you keep collecting bits of knowledge and talk to girls in similar situation you should be able to make first step.

In fact writing here IS your first step.

Don't forget to visit your local library, books, leaflets are there, read as much as your brain can take in smile

cestlavielife Fri 26-Aug-11 11:31:26

housing - environmental health from lcao council can force private landlord to ask so first point of call is local council envornmental ehalth get tehm to come and inspect. tehy cans erve notice on landlord to fix teh problems.

go see lcoal councillor rather than MP at this stage - local councillor can get council dept to act on landlord.

joint owned house - ye you entitled to share of it and/or share rental income - you need to see a solciitor though for advice on how to proceed. CSA wont do this for you - you need to get divorce procceedings underway and division of matrimonial assets . sale of house and get your proportion of equity.

www.belfastcity.gov.uk/publichealth/fitnessinspections.asp

www.nihe.gov.uk/index/yh-home/renting_privately/advice_for_tenants-2/tenants_rights.htm

www.scambs.gov.uk/housing/housingadvicehousingoptionsandhomelessness/ehhousing.htm

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