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working family struggling to find a house to rent.. So stressed and unhappy.

(17 Posts)
220hawthorn Fri 10-Jul-15 10:19:26

Lived in last property for 5 years, always paid on time ,good landlord. He wrote to me the week before Christmas and days before my Dd was due to say he was selling. Due to a new baby (dc number 4) and the festival season where property slows to a snail's pace it took us 3 months to find somewhere. Moved 4 miles away from children's school wheich means I have a journey in morning then journey for nursery pick up mid day and again in the evening plus additional trips for clubs, parents evenings etc. Adds up to av average 25 miles a day in stop start residential traffic across town. Fortune being spent in diesel, car insurance more expensive in this postcode too as its deemed a rougher area.

5 days after moving in letters came from the 'll mortgage company saying they are in arrears to the tune of thousands. Huge problems with mould, damp, maintenance to the property only gets done if you hound them and the agents. Reported them to environmental health in the end due to the state. of the place and their lack of action. Caused so much stress , arguments, rows, depression and I absolutely hate this house as a result. Been looking for another private rental since January.husband works full time .every estate agent we ring says he doesn't earn enough. We are not on any benefits other than tax credits and child benefit. They speak to me like I am shit. Saying my kids can't share a room so always being told a 3 bed is too small. Being rude as to why I don't work. My dcs are 9,4,2 and 1. Have no family nearby to help with childcare and nurseries etc are expensive. Plus what do I do in half terms and summer holidays. I have a guarantor but literally every property I go after so do umpteen others that's if they will even let me view. Then if there's two wage earners the landlord picks them over us. We pay a rent of £1200 now with no problems and are only trying to rent something of a similar value not excessively high. Even offering g more rent in advance it's a no. Tried hunters, spare room, Craig's list, ads on Facebook sites, an ad on here, looking thru newspapers classifieds everything and no luck. We are just a normal family and feel like we are fucked and stuck in this shithole forever.landlord is trying to sell, only had one viewing in 6 weeks and they walked out questioning why there's mould everywhere estate agent tried to blame us saying it's where there are 6 of us breathing in and out all day. . Seriously! Landlord won't serve me a section 21 as he knows it's going to take ages to sell (it's very overpriced) as he wants us to stay and pay the rent (aka his mortgage) do we wait and try and get the council to house us. All feels so hopeless. Feel so very unhappy and needed to vent

Stumbleine Fri 10-Jul-15 10:48:15

Oh god I am so sorry that you are in this situation. This kind of shit makes me so a angry!! The private rental market in this country stinks, and it's about time something was done to change things. How dare these jumped up estate agents feel they can look down their noses at people!

I'm sorry that I have no useful advice to offer, but hope you get something sorted soon.

220hawthorn Fri 10-Jul-15 10:59:28

Thanks stumbleine. It needs a massive overhall. Should be one set marker across the board. Fees should be a set level with agents. They are in the main, sure there are some lovely professional ones around, jumped up twats in suits who know fuck all about property. I asked one if the landlord manages it himself and if he is resident in the UK, mine wasn't and it was a nightmare, only to be told that's not my concern and they only divulge that information when you have signed a tenancy. WTF! How dare they patronize and bull shit me!

specialsubject Fri 10-Jul-15 11:13:02

nightmare. Although you've rented a dump from a crook and it will soon be a repossessed dump.

you probably won't get the landlord's full address until you sign but questions about how it is managed are entirely reasonable.

letting agents are totally unregulated so you have to expect cowboys. Landlords are regulated.

general guidance is that rent should be no more than 40% of wage/income. Arm yourself with that information and perhaps even demonstrate how the sums work out.

you are most unlikely to get a council house without an eviction, and it must be a no-fault eviction, so stopping paying the rent (as if you would!) is not an option. You will be evicted when the place is repossesed but that is not helpful!

- report again to environmental health, although as you realise there is a limit to what they can do.
-'sell yourselves' as the good tenants you are: non smokers, no pets, know how to run a house, good landlord reference, stable income PLUS guarantor. -when you speak to agents, rise above any rudeness and ask to be put in touch with the landlord.

purplemurple1 Fri 10-Jul-15 11:19:53

On the other selling points don't forget you are looking for a home and are willing to sign a longer term lease with a high deposit (if you are of course)
And tell the landlord this as it should save him money as letting agents charge for contract renewals.

cruikshank Fri 10-Jul-15 11:36:00

Oh honey I really feel for you and could have written your op myself a year ago (dire house, damp and structural problems, landlord doing fuck all about it, agents turning me down right left and centre due to being a single parent reliant on tax credits and housing benefit and making me feel like shit despite working full-time, no chance of council housing because as far as they were concerned we were housed so no problem). Our situation got turned around by pure chance by one very nice person who I shall be eternally grateful to. We are still renting, and financially it's not ideal because it's a lot of money to find every month, but at least we're out of the nightmare. Our old house was in an awful awful condition and it coloured every aspect of my life - I felt that I'd failed as a mother by not providing a decent environment to live in, we couldn't have people round because I was so embarrassed by the state of the place, our stuff (not only clothes but furniture also) was gradually getting ruined by the damp, I dreaded every interaction with our landlord who was such a bastard in so many ways that I could write a book about it, and every day was a grinding, horrible, depressing struggle. When people talk about poor housing, they often see it in the abstract - living with the reality of it is absolutely debilitating. You should not be having to live like this and I feel so sad and angry that you are.

However, in your situation I would be tempted to stay put. When the house does sell, the council will have to house you. That means affordable rent and a secure tenancy. I would also try and find a sympathetic councillor who can take your case up and try to get you housed quicker due to your living conditions. I did attempt to do this and got nowhere, but I know of other people who have been successful so it can work. I hope that something works out for you and I'm sorry that I have no better advice to offer.

specialsubject Fri 10-Jul-15 12:00:33

the council will indeed have to house them - but there is a dire shortage of council houses and it is getting worse with extended right to buy. So that roof over their heads may be a b and b or worse.

220hawthorn Fri 10-Jul-15 12:13:37

Yes it will be a b and b or hostel possibly out of the borough, they Have been threatening people with Manchester and made the news over it. House is not being repossed. Landlord is selling. Is doing an open house Tomrow but apparent only 2 people are booked to See it.

Lollipopgirl8 Fri 10-Jul-15 12:31:05

There really is terrible shortage of council housing in and around London and a lot people have been offered b&b' s and hostels

220hawthorn Fri 10-Jul-15 12:45:41

Cruickshank. I could have written your Post. Yes to feeling embarrassed and ashamed. Kids asking why the walls are black. Rows with dh as he is out at work all day while I deal with our landlord and these rude estate agents. My dd is only 18 months old and already lived in 2 houses soon to be 3 or more. Feel like an absolute failure as a parent and human being. How the fuck did my life get to this and why are these bastards playing God with my life

220hawthorn Fri 10-Jul-15 12:55:06

Yes also to our stuff getting ruined. Bedding, dd cot matress, clothes, toys etc. And also to dreading speaking to them as they have laughed down the phone about it before and I could happily punch them or Chuck a match through the letterbox! Landlord always pleading poverty so don't think he has any insurance so would take great delight in seeing his house burn to the fucking ground. They paid 275k for it in the property boom in 2007 have it on interest only mortgage are 7k in arrears and still owe £254k on an interest only mortgage. Fundamentally that's not my concern I know. Just trying to paint the picture. of what they are like. He now wants £350k for it and will not lower the price despite fuck all in the way of interest.As I say it's on with 2 agents, has had 1 viewing in 6 weeks and only 2 ppl are coming to the open day tomorrow. Ok they could make an offer but all the time it sits unsold there will be no section 21,.accelerated possession, eviction and council help, which means I either sit here open ended and wait and quite likely do another winter and Christmas here or I keep flogging a dead horse and being demoralised with every estate agent in town! confused

specialsubject Fri 10-Jul-15 13:33:05

if he is in arrears the mortgage company will take possession and evict you, not that it helps.

it certainly isn't going to sell, and he will of course be worse off letting it go to that stage.

obviously you are not a failure. Leave the landlord to sink and look after yourself by getting on the case of a new home. If this is London then there is the horrific overcrowding, there are much better places to live at lower cost. As an example in my county town your £1200 will get you a detached 4-bedder with a garden in immaculate condition, (can see it on rightmove), minimum rental term 12 months so they want long termers. Work, transport, nice place to live...

220hawthorn Fri 10-Jul-15 14:11:40

Do you have a link. We are in a London borough bit classed as kent x

specialsubject Fri 10-Jul-15 14:29:55

will PM you!

Twinchaos1 Fri 10-Jul-15 21:25:00

We rented out our family home for two years. It was a four bed and we accepted two kids sharing one of the large rooms, it's unlikely we would have accepted more. As landlords you are not encouraged to promote overcrowding.

That said in our area in the north you would get a 4 bed detached house for that.

Also our kids have moved four times in six years, life just happens sometimes, it's not a sign of failure!

220hawthorn Fri 10-Jul-15 21:33:28

Any council will tell you that two children of the same gender can share until they are 21 and opposite genders until the oldest is 11. In our case we are only "entitled" hate that word, to a 3 bed for the next 8 years! But private landlords recon kids can't share a room. Madness

Kiwiinkits Mon 13-Jul-15 06:38:42

angry on your behalf

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