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UK 1st time pregnant - need advice please!

(12 Posts)
Fullofqs Wed 29-Nov-17 11:11:29

I'm not sure whether this is in the correct topic or not, but I had to pick one. Sorry if I'm wrong!
I just found out on Saturday that I am 7 weeks pregnant with my first child, and I'm clueless as to what to do!
I have made my first midwife appointment, which will be in 2 weeks time.
My issue is with my current house. I have had an ongoing issue for the past 3 years with my estate agent to get problems sorted in the house which have never been fixed, I am allergic to mould which manifests itself in asthma - I never had asthma prior to living in this house, and have been to the doctors and been diagnosed with mould-related asthma, which I need to use a nasal spray and inhalers to control. The mould is being caused by water coming in to the house from the roof somewhere, there is a huge crack in my upstairs ceiling with water coming through, it goes down the inside of the wall to the downstairs ceiling where there is another crack, and comes down the living room wall where it pools in one area of the carpet which is constantly wet and about the size of a large dog bed. I have sent multiple e-mails to the estate agents, a plumber is supposed to be coming round to find the problem, he called me in May and never spoke to me again and never showed up, last Monday I called the estate agents again to get him to come over and I have heard nothing since.
Now that I've found out I'm pregnant I immediately stopped smoking and have stopped taking any of my medications as I'm not sure if I can take them while pregnant or not as most are steroid based. Obviously if i need to use my relief inhaler I will but
I have to wait nearly 2 weeks for a telephone call with my GP to go through my meds - but that's another issue.
I have registered myself with my local housing to be able to try to get a council house, however as we currently are only me and my partner and we already live in a 2 bedroom private house we are Band E - no housing need. I did put on my original form when i registered that my house is not appropriate due to mould and my allergy, but basically got fobbed off with that. I also registered back in 2016 prior to getting pregnant, now that I am pregnant and in this situation will my need for housing be able to go up?
I don't want to bring my child up in a mouldy, water-logged house where the ceiling is so cracked it looks like it could fall down at any given moment. But I can't seem to find a way out of my situation, so I am hoping to get some advice from someone with knowledge of housing or benefits and rights please? I'm 27 but I'm completely new to all of this.
If you've read this far without getting bored at my moaning, I applaud you.

specialsubject Wed 29-Nov-17 12:47:11

it's not the letting agent you need to be kicking, it is the landlord. That's who you have the contract with.

Clearly this house is a dump and needs fixing.

get landlord details (legal entitlement) write a letter (not kiddy comms, write, get a free proof of posting) demanding a fix and threatening to involve environmental health. Set deadlines.And do involve environmental health.

read the how to rent guide on gov.uk.

or find somewhere else. Much easier. You can afford it. As a non-smoker you'll find many more options for private rentals.

Fullofqs Wed 29-Nov-17 13:16:28

Thank you for your reply, special.

My original landlord when I moved in passed away shortly after I moved in, I believe it transferred to a female family member but I have no idea who, no one has ever given me landlord details since so I haven't had a way of contacting them, that's why I've been going through my estate agent up until now. Surely if it wasn't their problem and they wanted me to go through the landlord they would have just told me to go to them and given me the details?

Yes unfortunately it is a dump, I've hated living here for a long time now but I am restricted where I can move to as I don't drive and I work in the same small village as where I live, there's not a lot of buses as it's a very rural area, so I pretty much need to live in this village to be able to get to my full time job, and not many places crop up.

I know it sounds like I'm making excuses, I just feel backed in to a corner at the moment as there's all these factors to consider.

Would I get my landlord's details from the estate agent? I wonder if it might put their back up, if they are being paid by the landlord to sort everything out for them and I start kicking up a fuss demanding the landlord's details so that I can go over their head - and they may not have even told my landlord of the problems so that would make them look bad that they aren't doing what they are paid to do.

specialsubject Wed 29-Nov-17 13:37:13

Please read how to rent.

You have no contract with the agent and need not worry about their feelings.

wowfudge Wed 29-Nov-17 13:51:49

Under section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, the agent is legally obliged to give you the contact details of the landlord. I believe they have up to 28 days to respond to a request. Make your request in writing.

lalalonglegs Wed 29-Nov-17 14:13:38

Having a baby is unlikely to bump you up the housing waiting list dramatically unless you live in an area in which there is not too much demand for council housing. I'd second special's suggestion of calling in Environmental Health. In the meantime, and this is not meant to sound snippy at all, you really should consider learning to drive as it will give you more options for housing and is definitely very useful when you have small children. Good luck with your pregnancy.

INeedNewShoes Wed 29-Nov-17 14:18:14

Get back on your steroid inhalers immediately. You having breathing difficulties will impact baby more than the minute amount of steroid that goes through the placenta. Make an appointment with your GP to discuss your meds wrt pregnancy but you must stay well in the meantime.

Fullofqs Wed 29-Nov-17 14:24:53

Thanks special and fudge, I've had a read through the how to rent guide and I'll be e-mailing the agent requesting the landlord's details to deal with them directly.

If I do manage to find another house with the council (miracles sometimes do happen!) that I want to bid for, as I mentioned before I am currently Band E on the priority list (lowest priority), does the fact that I'm now pregnant in this situation affect my priority? And could I be bumped up if I got a letter from my GP detailing that I should not be living in my current home for health reasons?

Fullofqs Wed 29-Nov-17 14:34:36

Thanks for the advice lala, unfortunately I can't currently afford driving lessons, but my other half does drive if we need anything, I just can't expect him to drive me to work every day when he starts earlier than I do and in the opposite direction lol smile

NewShoes, I am disappointed in my GP surgery, they've made me a bit peeved today if I'm honest. I went in this morning to reception and said to receptionist that I found out i'm pregnant on Saturday, and since have stopped taking all my medications as i do not know which are safe to use, I asked for an appointment with my GP to discuss and advise me which are ok, and if necessary I am happy to do this over the phone to be able to get in sooner. receptionist then said how does 19th december sound?

pardon?

I said my first midwife appointment is on the 12th december so ideally would like it at least to be before that!

she offered me the 11th december....i said if that's the soonest it'll have to do. so I was unsure whether to use in the meantime and just stop what I need to stop. I use a nasal spray (which if i don't then after about 2 days I'm sneezing every 2 minutes and my sinuses close up, this is for the mould allergy), my two inhalers (brown and blue), and a steroid based cream for psoriasis. I appreciate that my medication aren't exactly dire if i stop using them, but when I already feel like crap being in the early stages dealing with tiredness and "morning" sickness, I don't want to have to deal with itching, soreness, potentially having an asthma attack and blocked sinuses on top.

Sorry for the ramble. thanks guys smile

LetsSplashMummy Wed 29-Nov-17 16:34:02

It's not what you asked but the nasal spray and cream would be fine to use. In fact I've had IV steroids when pregnant which were deemed safe. However that was with medical advice. The spray and cream are not going into your bloodstream, go ask the pharmacist but don't worry unduly.

specialsubject Wed 29-Nov-17 16:49:56

Now you've read the guide, you will know if your landlord is meeting all the other legal obligations . as you have a slumlord this will be your defence against any try at a revenge eviction.

Shitholes don't generally get fixed outside TV programmes, so do make plans to go elsewhere. If you can't afford driving lessons and are pregnant, life is stacking up on you and you need to take action.

HMC2000 Fri 01-Dec-17 13:16:57

I second contacting Environmental health at your local council: they can lick the landlord for you. I'd also contact the housing charity Shelter - they're not just for homelessness, and they were incredibly helpful when I was having problems with an estate agent/ landlord. Really propped me up.

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