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To accept a council house in a rough area instead of private renting

183 replies

sallyhenderson · 08/07/2017 12:06

After years of waiting, I finally have an offer of a Housing association home. It's an ex-council house that's recently been recently transferred to a local housing association. The only issue is, it's in an area of social deprivation.

I am a nurse and I earn 25k a year before tax. I'm a single mum. I'm currently really struggling with private renting. I rent in a not rough but not glamorous area and I'm paying 650 pcm for my 2 bed house. I have commuting costs of £130 a month.

This leaves no disposable income after bills are paid. It's not just the money. My landlord is awful and I have had to move several times. There's no stability. I hate private renting.

My sons dad private rents and does not want me taking the council house. My parents are apprehensive and think I may not fit in in the area but think it's a necessary evil as I cannot afford to buy a house, I cannot afford to private rent indefinitely and cannot afford to wait forever in the hope of getting a house in a nicer area.

There are worse places than where I would be moving to. It's an inner city area with deprivation but boarders affluent areas and is close to all the amenities of those places/ the city it's walking distance to.

There's excellent secondary schools within the catchment area and an outstanding school a few feet away...but it is a rough area. It has crime rate and a lot of burglaries. Because it's so close to the city it has a large student population and is up and coming with young professionals now choosing to rent there. Private rent is £750pcm or over £1000 for an apartment. This makes me feel a little better about moving.

The place is right near my work and all ameneities so not commuting costs and is £350 pcm. That's over £400 a month extra it would save me by living there.

Would I be unreasonable to move my Son to a rough area to have a secure tenancy so that I don't have to private rent?Or should I let my Son live in a safe area and be skint?

OP posts:

sallyhenderson · 08/07/2017 12:08

I don't want to say the exact area but if anyone wants to know pm me.

OP posts:

kittybiscuits · 08/07/2017 12:12

You have very good reasons for making this move and I would do it myself. Do you have doubts of your own, or is it just other people offering no alternative who say you shouldn't do it? You will have more time and money and your DS will benefit in many ways.


NotAUserNumberSoNotATroll · 08/07/2017 12:12

For the saving and the fact that it sounds like it's improving I would take it.....can you go and have a wander around this weekend and see how it "feels" being there? Practice a walk to the shops/work/school?


teaandakitkat · 08/07/2017 12:12

I would move. I would try really hard to save half of the money I would save. That gives you options in the future.

There will be decent people living in the area I'm sure. And you can make an effort to get your son involved in sensible after school activities and clubs.

£400 a month extra is a whole lot of money compared to struggling along week to week. And a secure tenancy too, assuming the HA are reputable. Do you know much about them?


fourcorneredcircle · 08/07/2017 12:13

I think I'd do it... that £400 a month could buy some great opportunities for your son that you can't currently offer (clubs, trips, holidays, days out). It sounds like between you and his school he would be surrounded for most of his time by great role models too.


Stopnamechanging · 08/07/2017 12:14

I think that a secure tenancy is more important that catchment area. We private rented for years, the last four houses were sold after six months/year.

The disruption and financial implications could not be underestimated, I definitely would take the tenancy.


BubbleBed · 08/07/2017 12:14

God do it. Grab the house and make it a home. If you hate the area in a few years, you can look into an exchange.

I took a council house in an area such as you describe (only no outstanding schools in mine) and it was fine for three years. Then I exchanged and I love my current house and area.


GlitteryFluff · 08/07/2017 12:15

I'd move.

You can always go back to privately renting in the future if you really don't like it but it'll more difficult to get a council place at a later date after refusing one.

I live in a crappy area, and have done for 10years, high crime rate etc but I've never had a problem with neighbours, burglaries etc


Lemonading · 08/07/2017 12:16

It sounds exactly like where I live (I wouldn't be at all suprised if it is where I live, from the description). It's honestly fine. Burglaries are often because students don't secure their stuff properly. Most people would describe where I live as rough, but I know doctors, nurses, teachers, loads of IT people (including DH!) who live here. There is tons of stuff to do because we are close to loads of parks, the city centre, lots of libraries. For the sake of that sort of money, I'd go for it every time. Maybe have a wander round to see how you feel?


Cocklodger · 08/07/2017 12:16

Honestly do it. I've rented and owned in very "bad" areas with high unemployment rates high poverty rates ect and its always been absolutely fine.
Do a walk around the area.
It'll really benefit your living standards by the sound of it.
I wouldn't be at all bothered. Worse comes to worse just shut the door on the outside world and just worry about you and yours.
The worst area I've ever lived in was an expensive private renting area. The best was a very rough council estate...


Rainatnight · 08/07/2017 12:16

I think the big issue is whether you feel safe on the streets there. I've lived in 'rough' parts of London, quite closely fitting your description, but I could go about my business with no difficulty at all.

I'd also ask the HA about their anti-Sofia behaviour policy. How do they deal with bad tenants?

But if you're ok with both of these things, I'd say definitely go for it. It's a huge difference to your finances and stability.


rizlett · 08/07/2017 12:16

How lucky you are to have a choice. People adjust to all sorts of things including areas that they live in. It sounds like the positive attributes for moving far outweigh the negative for you and your ds.

It doesn't have to be forever and will certainly help you out for now. I'd take it.


Rainatnight · 08/07/2017 12:17

Ha, sorry, anti-social behaviour. I have no difficulty with anyone called Sofia, honest.

Also, I meant to say it's a HUGE plus about the schools.


sallyhenderson · 08/07/2017 12:19

It's my ex really. He's sp controlling. Always putting me down. He earns minimum wage and rents an expensive place that his mum and dad always help him with.

He makes me feel so guilty for moving and says our son should stay with him as he lives in a nicer area.

,My parents live in a nice area too and don't like the HA house.

But we live in an age where buying a house is expensive. My parents just don't realise.

OP posts:

MyheartbelongstoG · 08/07/2017 12:20

I wouldn't do it!!


AtSea1979 · 08/07/2017 12:21

I did it and didn't like it and moved back out and went back to private renting. Work out your start up costs and factor that in.
I put new carpets through and bought furniture to fit that house and lost a couple of thousand by moving back out and not being able to take it with me which is probably what I saved in the year I was there.


sallyhenderson · 08/07/2017 12:22

My concern is I will be burgled. My son will have rough friends etc.

When I went of view the house there was a very large fight going on in the end terrace. A weird guy tried chatting me up while walking around looking for the place. And a 12 year old girl asked me if I could buy her cigarettes!!

But if I keep myself to myself I'm hoping I can be okay. One day I will earn more. I will have more options.

It's a bit of a rough area but like I said, is near to everything and borders affulent areas.

OP posts:

indigox · 08/07/2017 12:22

Have you visited the area in the evenings?


BubbleBed · 08/07/2017 12:24

Re the being burgled... My experience is they don't shit on their own doorstep. In our areas the crappy estates don't get burgled - those living there go and do it to the wealthier places. Never felt safer inside my house than living on the estate tbh.


ThanksForAllTheFish · 08/07/2017 12:24

I'd do it. It's a huge saving and the local schools are good. Invest in a home security system if you are worried about being burgled. Houses with alarm systems are less likely to be targeted than ones without.

If you save £300 of that £400 saving you will have £18,000 in 5 years time. If you can save the £400 then that's £24,000. Either way you might have bought to put down a deposit for somewhere (obviously that depends on property prices in your area but where I live £18,000 would be enough for a deposit)


CashelGirl · 08/07/2017 12:24

A secure tenency is worth its weight in gold. The peace of mind it will give you and the financial wiggle room is priceless. If you really can't bear the area you can try for an exchange.


kittybiscuits · 08/07/2017 12:25

You can have a burglar alarm fitted for around £500 - maybe less. Could you go there on different days and at different times to see how it feels. Congrats on getting rid of ex. Has he been threatening to seek residence? I don't think he would have a leg to stand on on the basis that you live in a rough area.


ThanksForAllTheFish · 08/07/2017 12:25

  • saved not bought

sallyhenderson · 08/07/2017 12:27

He's always saying he will get custody. He's no chance. I have a secure job, I love my Son.

OP posts:

acquiescence · 08/07/2017 12:28

If it is within walking distance of affluent areas amenities, excellent schools, and students and professionals choose to rent there and pay high rents then it sounds attractive. I can't think of any areas in my city or neighbouring cities where this is the case. If it is just what others think that you are worried about i would go for it. If there are other concerns such as anti social behaviour then maybe not.

Do you know anyone in the area and have you spent much time there, at local parks, shops etc?

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