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AIBU to write to the council about a house.

26 replies

StephenQueenBooks · 23/11/2019 08:14

This is a really odd one just to warn you.

I'm on the list for a council house (living with family). As a single, I'm only allowed a 1 bed but they're few and far between. About five months ago, a woman was violently killed in our street about 4 doors down. It's a council house and will need rerenting but because it was on the news and is well known what happened, they seem to be struggling getting anyone in.

AIBU to write to the council and say, I understand you're having trouble getting someone to accept and although it is two bedrooms so above my need I wouldn't mind moving in? It was terrible what happened but that wouldn't stop me living there now it's all cleaned etc. I just don't know how a request like that would make me look and come across so want some advice first

OP posts:

EskewedBeef · 23/11/2019 08:17

I can't imagine that would be a problem for many people. I'd give them a ring and ask if it's available to rent before mentioning the murder etc. It may be that it's something else that's making it difficult to rent out.


AllergicToAMop · 23/11/2019 08:20

I would assume it's kept empty due to investigation and maybe respect...


Lovemenorca · 23/11/2019 08:20

It wouldn’t make you “look” like anything.

But would absolutely have zero impact.

There’s a process and it will be followed without deviation for a nicely worded letter.

Don’t waste your time


Bunnybigears · 23/11/2019 08:23

No one who can make a decision will read your letter. It will be filed (possibly in the bin) then ignored. Many many people on council waiting lists will write and email daily but the process is the process and they wont change it.


StephenQueenBooks · 23/11/2019 08:23

The investigation has taken place, house cleared and funeral held. I can't give details as it would be too outing I'm afraid.

I didn't think it would have too much impact myself but I thought it might be worth a go, but thank you for the advice, it's good to know.

OP posts:

MamaToTheBabyBears · 23/11/2019 08:27

A family who is homeless will have no choice but to accept it or they will be intentionally homeless.
I can't see them renting it to you. A friend moved into a 1 bed council flat nearly 10 years ago where previous tenant was murdered. She had to accept, they bid on it for her if she didn't accept she'd be intentionally homeless and on the streets. It'll be the same for someone with a 2 bed eligibility.


curlykaren · 23/11/2019 08:30

You could try and speak to the voids manager. I can't see as it would actually have a detrimental effect on your situation. A letter would never get to the right person though. I feel for you, it's a delicate subject you are trying to engage with, you are right to be cautious and considerate, equally being inadequately housed is very stressful.


Pollywollydolly · 23/11/2019 08:32

I work in social housing. Believe me - the landlord will have been inundated with calls / letters from people wanting that property before the poor woman was even cold. We once took 18 calls from people wanting a property within the first 12 hours after a murder was reported. They won't rent it to you if you don't fit the criteria. Rather than wasting your time a to write a letter, you'd be better off putting your energy into saving a deposit to rent privately.


Foslady · 23/11/2019 08:33

Wouldn’t it go up for quick key if not accepted after 2 cycles? That’s what happened in both local areas to me (on the border)


Venger · 23/11/2019 08:39

I wouldn't waste your time, they have a letting process and they can't/won't circumvent it.

They house will have to have been kept empty during any investigations, these can take months. A relative of one of my friends was murdered and her house wasn't released back to the family for around 3-4 months. They couldn't give the council the four weeks notice until it had been released back and they had to clear everything out before handing the keys back. One of the parents at school has it now (we live in a small place).

Once a property is empty the council have a void process they'll carry out. Any modernisation jobs such as new kitchen or bathroom, new boiler, new windows, etc. depending on what it needs and what improvements they're currently making, for example our council is gradually renewing all of the roofs on their housing stock so any empty ones get the work done while they're empty. They'll do any repairs that need doing too and any clearance work if it hasn't already been done. I don't know what other areas are like but here they will also tidy the garden - grass cut, bushes and trees trimmed right back, fences mended if at all damaged. Then it has to be inspected and signed off. Then they can get new tenants in. Sometimes they advertise it and sign new tenants at the start of this process, sometimes it'll be at the end. When we moved in here we signed for it at the start of that process but it was six weeks before we got the keys and that was with barely any work being needed. Across the road had to wait twenty weeks for their keys as it needed new floorboards in some of the rooms, a complete rewire, the boiler had to be moved from a bedroom to the kitchen, it needed new internal doors, and some of the pipework had collapsed so plumbing works were needed.


Mammatino · 23/11/2019 08:40

Calling up and asking can't hurt and you never know. PP are probably right about the criteria though. They can always say no.


hsegfiugseskufh · 23/11/2019 08:48

It depends on the area really. For instance where i live it is not that hard to get a council house. That one probably wouldn't get a tenant very quickly and your letter may work (why every one is saying your letter wouldn't ever get to the right person is bizarre. If you address it to the right person itll get there!)

If youre in central london for example with a years long waiting list people will likely want it regardless of the things that happened there and so your letter probably wouldn't work.


Notthebradybunch · 23/11/2019 08:50

You'd be surprised at how long it would stand empty depending on the work required prior to re-letting, even if it has been cleared other work would probably be needed. Have the council even advertised it for letting yet?


StephenQueenBooks · 23/11/2019 08:55

I can't see it for bidding as I'm not eligible so it won't bring it up.

She wasnt technically murdered, that's why it's been done so quickly but she did have a violet death, I can't say any more as it's too outing.

There is no real wait for council houses as there's so many. My cousin in the same town was in the YMCA and he was able to choose a flat to move into from several.

I think I'll write the letter and just accept it won't work but worth a go. It's just walking the fine line of being sensitive but also asking for this.

OP posts:

cantfindname · 23/11/2019 08:58

Your chances are very low but there is no reason why you shouldn't try. Just send your letter/email and then forget about it, don't pin your hopes on anything.

The house opposite me had the elderly tenant die (in his 90s) and for years he had refused any work done on the property other than boiler maintenance. Everyone else had new kitchens/bathrooms, upgraded heating and insulation so all this and more had to be done before they thought about letting it. It was actually in such a poor state that it was still being worked on when the new tenant moved in.


Bunnybigears · 23/11/2019 09:13

why every one is saying your letter wouldn't ever get to the right person is bizarre. If you address it to the right person itll get there!

Have you ever worked in an office? I open post for lot of people it doesnt always get to the person it is addressed to. Sometimes it goes to a more appropriate person, sometimes it goes to an admin person for processing, sometimes it is scanned and attached to a file but nothing happens to it, sometimes it goes in the bin.


hsegfiugseskufh · 23/11/2019 09:21

Yes, ive worked in several and generally letters do get to the right department. If they dont, someone is either being lazy, doing their job wrong or thinking theyre far more important than they are and binning things.

Theres no reason why a letter addressed to the right dept shouldn't get there (other than clearly shitty receptionists)


Waxonwaxoff0 · 23/11/2019 09:31

I don't see the issue with asking.

Won't you have to pay bedroom tax though?


x2boys · 23/11/2019 09:34

If the Op is paying the rent there is no bedroom tax bedroom tax is only for those receiving housing benefit .


bettycat81 · 23/11/2019 09:37

Sometimes councils will knock down and rebuild houses in such circumstances. It happened on an estate where I once lived.


BackOnceAgainWithABurnerEmail · 23/11/2019 09:41

Worst case senario is you don’t hear bank. What’s to lose?

Just keep it simple.

Dear X

I am currently on the list for XYZ house. I live near [address of house]. I understand that due to the very sad circumstances that this house has been empty for some time. If you are looking more widely at the lists due to the specific circumstances then I would like to note my interest in it.

Best wishes

It’ll take all of 5 mins to send. Hardly a big deal if it’s time wasted.


BackOnceAgainWithABurnerEmail · 23/11/2019 09:43

I’ve worked in local government. Correspondence is taken very seriously as there is a legal duty and service level agreement to meet. It is not comparable to an average office.


Waxonwaxoff0 · 23/11/2019 09:45

Ah thanks x2boys I wasn't aware of that.


CactusAndCacti · 23/11/2019 09:49

There may be legal things going on that need to be resolved. It can take many months.

Just ring or send an email, but chances are it isn't ready to let.


CentralPerkMug · 23/11/2019 10:00

No harm in trying. Backonce's draft above looks really good, I would do that!

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