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To really regret buying on a council estate

397 replies

Gameofmoans81 · 18/09/2022 09:03

5 years ago we bought our first house. We live in a very expensive town so to get a house rather than a flat meant buying an ex council house on a council estate where about 90% of the flats and houses are still council owned. It’s a small estate surrounded on each side by millionaires in a good location basically.
I didn’t think anything of buying on a council estate - I’m not a snob, I grew up and have lived in normal working/middle class suburbs and rub along with all sorts of people in life and when we viewed it seemed quiet and fine. However after 5 years of living here I absolutely hate it to the point where it’s making me ill.
Firstly there are some lovely people living here, this is not an attack on council tenants but the actual truth is that these are main issues:
teenagers outside my house all night screaming/drinking
dog shit everywhere
rubbish everywhere - think bins tipped over and not picked up, used nappies thrown in hedge etc
sofas/tvs dumped outside for months
screaming arguments/fights/regular police visits
music blasting all day
weed smoke continuously wafting in to my babies nursery if we open the window
young kids out til late swearing and shouting at passers by.

I am desperate to move but the house next door but one has been on the market for well over a year despite being nice and a bargain and no one’s biting. No one but us is stupid enough to buy here. If you picked up our house and put it on the street behind us you’d raise the price by around £100k basically and it would be sold within a week.

i feel so trapped and depressed everytime I walk through the estate to get home plus I feel totally stupid for buying it.
And I feel increasingly furious at these people who are literally costing us thousands of pounds because they can’t be bothered to pick up their shit.

OP posts:
sóh₂wl̥ · 18/09/2022 13:47

Moveoverdarlin · 18/09/2022 13:07

First things first, get it valued. Get 3 estate agents in by the end of the week and you’ll have an idea of what it will sell for. You never know there could be a reason your neighbour’s house hasn’t sold. Speak candidly to the agents and get a feel of what the market is like and what your options are. You may not make loads on it but it will have gone up in 5 years. They may have potential investors on their books who are snapping up ex-council properties to rent out. In order to move forward with life sometimes you just have to chalk things up as experience. I sold my first flat at a 3k loss, so I could buy a house with my DH. Not ideal at the time, but 15 years down the line I’ve got over it.

I suggest the same.

Our first house dropped in price we bought 2007 - we spent a small fortune doing basics door,window, boiler including move, electrics and bathroom . We sold if for 10 grand less then we bought - but ended up better off day to day.

We bought bigger house borrowing about the same - got better mortgage interest rate in house not needing constant work and have ended up much better off - we got away from a toxic neighbour as well so our mental health improved.

We had a minimum amount - in our case same amount as initial deposit - we needed to get from sale to get next place. We got it and move on.

Were we are now an ex council state - it's great - nearby are two council estate one better than other but fine to live on but one across city it rapidly becoming a no go area for police - the residents are trying to fight back.

I see if you can sell- if not look at renting out but include all the costs- and if your really stuck see if others in area feel same and start to fight back.

LDN1 · 18/09/2022 13:49

Do whatever it takes to move. I found that my environment was SO important. It had a massive bearing on my mental health / well being.

princessbear80 · 18/09/2022 13:49

I agree with reporting it to the council. But also to your local ward councillor, and the councillor(s) who are the lead members for communities and environment. You’ll find details on your council website. These are the people who will have most influence to get the council officers to do something. Give them details of how long it’s been going on, all the reports you’ve made, how long it takes for the reports to be resolved/if they are still unresolved. Get others nearby to do the same. If you can take some sort of community action too (eg litter pick), they will be even more willing to support you. Good luck op.

Dotcheck · 18/09/2022 13:50

CaramelTwirl · 18/09/2022 11:08

'why are council tenants such pigs'

All council tenants?

I wondered this. @Charlize43 are you sure council tenants are the guilty ones?

Much of my estate is council, and I’m mostly surrounded by people who improve their house, keep it tidy etc

Gwenhwyfar · 18/09/2022 13:52

princessbear80 · 18/09/2022 13:49

I agree with reporting it to the council. But also to your local ward councillor, and the councillor(s) who are the lead members for communities and environment. You’ll find details on your council website. These are the people who will have most influence to get the council officers to do something. Give them details of how long it’s been going on, all the reports you’ve made, how long it takes for the reports to be resolved/if they are still unresolved. Get others nearby to do the same. If you can take some sort of community action too (eg litter pick), they will be even more willing to support you. Good luck op.

The local councillors will already know very well that the area is 'challenging' or whatever other euphemism they will use. A few litter picks are not going to solve it.

sst1234 · 18/09/2022 13:55

MindYourBeeswax · 18/09/2022 10:21

How about a little tolerance for those whose lives are so hopeless that they turn to drink and drugs and for those who are so bored that they resort to partying late into the night or shouting, as a PP said, in their garden until 3am.
One PP mentioned a woman who became a prostitute to fund her habit-do you think she wants her life to be like that?

Maybe they should all be herded onto 'sink estates', so that you don't have to see them.
All this hand wringing about these poor people bringing down house prices. Heartless. BE KIND

So much crap shoved into one post. And then the instruction to ‘be kind’. It’s like a satirical sketch. Except this poster is probably deluded enough to be serious.

HilarityEnsues · 18/09/2022 13:59

I've lived in two ex-council properties, one had some of the problems you are having, although it was mainly low level neighbour disputes which extended to putting dog shit on people's paths, the other is very nice, and I always feel safe there. The thing is you only need one or two problematic families or houses to make the place awful, the initial place we were in was in a close with one house used for dealing/cars pulling up at all times. Once they were out, it was much better. Our current location is on the edge of an estate, but most are owners now, and it's pleasant, the neighbours are nice, and whilst people are a little rough and ready, there are no major issues, the hoodie teenagers hold the local shop door open for me and I never feel threatened! People are chatty and nice.

Sadly, I don't think you can change a whole area or indeed one bad neighbour. Just price to sell and move on.

The OP said that she's approached the council and they don't want it so I don't know why people keep suggesting that option!

Kerrrmieee · 18/09/2022 14:01

StridTheKiller · 18/09/2022 09:31

Having been a stau ch defender of council tennant type folk, then having spent 55 years living amongst them, they are, on the whole, horrible yobs, minor drug dealing, crashing cars, no consideration, dru k at all hours,spitting and every other word is fuck, just revolting scroates who repeatedly shitnon their own doorsteps. NEVER ever again!

Maybe with your attitude - like attracts like.

I have a lovely council house - went through hell with 2 kids to get it. My neighbours are either elderly and have bought - and lovely to boot, or genuine hard working people who help each other out with anything.

A. Scumbag.

sóh₂wl̥ · 18/09/2022 14:02

Other option is to wait it out and hope it gentrifies but that's harder if it's down your road.

That did happen were I grew up. It was village and council did use their estate to dump problem families - and in my primary school years it was avoided but by end of my degree it was mix of private and council properties and problem families had moved on and the area is lovely and sought after. One of my friend parents had little choice but to wait it out and get the kids to avoid the worse families - keeping a close eye on them.

Though I agree with PP that environment can have a huge effect on mental health - there was huge relief when we moved and the area itself wasn't that bad but the neighbour made it horrible.

Skolo · 18/09/2022 14:04

StinkyWizzleteets · 18/09/2022 13:37

I live in a niace middle class very expensive area and I experience all the same things from drinking teens with nowhere else to go, to dogs shit in the street to rubbish all over the place. The problem isn’t that it’s a council estate.

what my neighbour has done is to try to create a community and it’s been brilliant. She started small and now gets funding and they do all manners of things for all ages & it is really starting to make a difference.

you’re always going to get arsehole teenagers being drunk and people not picking up dogshit but as soon as a few people show they care about where they live and are willing to make an effort to make it nice, inevitably others will join in. that won’t be everyone but it may be enough. You won’t be the only resident feeling that way.

It isn’t the same. We in the centre of London and have drug dealing on our street. Homeless people going through the rubbish and leaving it all over the place. Dog shit and human vomit on the street. But it is basically a nice area and it isn’t the majority doing it. The drug dealers get moved on to another street by the police and the dog shitters and vomiters get frowned at and shuffle off as well.

My brother lived on a council estate and it was living hell. The antisocial behaviour was aggressive, constant and overwhelming. His neighbours had created a community but not one most people would want to join. He was particularly targeted due to his disability and was fortunately able to get housing somewhere else.

Thinkingblonde · 18/09/2022 14:04

See if your council will buy it back. It’s worth asking.

fUNNYfACE36 · 18/09/2022 14:05

In the long term I suppose more houses will become owner occupied and the problems will decrease

Beseen22 · 18/09/2022 14:08


Oh I had plenty compassion, baby sitting the little girl while her mum and step dad kicked the shit out of each other and calling her granny because she wasn't safe. Taking her mum in from the door step in a drunken stupor and getting her in the house safe. Giving my severely mentally unwell neighbour all of our leftovers because he had been let down so much by mental health services and was barely able to function.

But should my children not be able to play in the garden than I owned because every day there was drug paraphernalia thrown over the fence? Should we have to continually pay £200 a month to fix the communal door she kicked in every time she forgot her keys? Should we have to put ourselves at risk every day in the communal close squeezing past the type of men willing to pay someone for sex?

I was the biggest reverse snob in the world until I was actually in that situation and terrified to be in the house myself. I'm just thankful we took the hit and got out of that living situation. I'm heart broken that these people have often been born into these chaotic lifestyles and never had the opportunities I have but I have no interest in living beside them anymore because it was a massive stressor and risk to my family.

WisteriaLodge · 18/09/2022 14:25

Thinkingblonde · 18/09/2022 14:04

See if your council will buy it back. It’s worth asking.

The OP has already asked the council and they won't...

Happyher · 18/09/2022 14:27

Could you rent it out to finance a second mortgage?

Prinnny · 18/09/2022 14:29

Sounds horrendous OP, I knew of one where residents were screaming at each other in the street, sat in the front garden in dressing gowns smoking and drinking all day, drug dealing, asbo kids, not got a days work in them, police disinterested, hardworking normal folk driven out.

I’d move asap.

Suetwo · 18/09/2022 14:41

Oh god, I am so sorry OP. This kind of thing makes me furious (and scared). I have known two people driven to suicide attempts by the awful people they had to live near. One was a girl I worked with. After her divorce, she ended up in social housing, and the council moved an ex-convict into the room above her. He would play loud music at four in the morning, then threatened to punch her when she complained. His staffie would foul the pavement outside, which of course he never picked up, and his vile little druggie friends would kick her door as they passed by. In the end, she was frightened to leave her flat, and so exhausted from lack of sleep that she took an overdose. Thankfully she survived.

Another friend, a sweet gay guy, lived with his mum on a bad estate. He dreaded the summer because his neighbours would be out in the street playing loud music, getting drunk, fighting and screeching at each other. Like my other friend, he hardly got any sleep because of barking dogs and idiots with modified car exhausts. He also took an overdose. Thankfully, he too survived.

The reality is there’s nothing society can do. Unless you stop the worst people having kids, this will always happen. I knew a retired policeman who told me he’d seen three generations of one family pass through his station. When he started, he arrested a 17-year-old, and by the time he retired, they were arresting that 17-year-old’s grandson (an ignorant, vicious little clone of his grandfather). The left seem to think it’s all money and poverty. Rubbish. That family had grown up on benefits, taking literally tens of thousands of pounds in taxpayer’s money. What more can society do?

blueshoes · 18/09/2022 14:41

Fluffymule · 18/09/2022 12:55

“Be kind”

Dismissive and clueless words repeated by people who can’t, or won’t, consider their own prejudices or limited experience of other peoples real life situations.

How ridiculous someone sounds to breezily wave off drug dealing, domestic abusers, child neglect and lack of respect for other peoples property or well-being with a ‘be kind’ admonishment. It merely demonstrates a luxury belief held by someone with no skin in the game.

As if living in an aggressively toxic environment with increasingly negative impact on your mental health is comparable to bitchy comments about eyebrows on instagram or something.

Like ‘do better’, ‘be kind’ is nothing more than a shut up mechanism for people who don’t want their narrow views and superior opinions questioned at all.

hear hear

giveovernate · 18/09/2022 14:46

Have you considered doing a "let to but"?

If you can't sell.

giveovernate · 18/09/2022 14:46


MsTSwift · 18/09/2022 14:51

Awful to hear of the decent people living on these estates who are forced to live near these thugs. They are the ones that deserve people “being kind” to.

There should be a way of identifying the worst offenders and housing them all together.

And as for the pathetic poster saying the thugs “had a party” when we left - they were barely aware of our existence because like most people we quietly go about our business. We on the other hand were unfortunately all too aware of their squalid lives and habits. They killed most of their pets by the way. Still feel sorry for them?

Raul57 · 18/09/2022 14:52

Best to sell and go as it is not worth the worry and more. Over 30 years ago we bought a semi on a corner plot and made it into the best-looking house on the road. We had new walls built dwarf walls and railing, metal treble gates flash door etc etc and nice cars and I told a yob not to throw their beer can on out drive. I made a mistake of telling off a racist type shit and they made life for us miserable by hanging around, throwing those disposable lighters onto the drive and at times egged the walls and I dreaded coming back home they or some tried to break in a few times but the alrm saved us and then their gang leader got a pasting from someone and left the area. We sold up after that as I did not want to run from the bully but in hindsight should have left a couple of years early.

giveovernate · 18/09/2022 14:56

MindYourBeeswax · 18/09/2022 10:58

Again, I believe the behaviour outlined by the OP goes on and I believe it makes life difficult for her and I sympathise.
But these behaviours go on for a reason, usually things like a lack of money and, worse, a lack of hope.
It's hard to care about a village in bloom type of things when you have to be a prostitute or your children won't listen to you.

One solution could be that instead of paying rent, the housing benefit is paid as a mortgage payment to the council so that they are paying for a house they will own and any equity that builds up in it will be theirs.
This could give people a stake in the property, some hope and bad behaviour might diminish. After all, they would then be in the same position as the OP and wouldn't want to see their asset diminish in value.

The reason they go on might be lack of money? So don't spend money on drink and drugs!

Don't run for PM, your manifesto would be deeply flawed!

ShinyS1 · 18/09/2022 15:01

Having lived on a council estate for 6 years, similar to the one you described Op, and literally saving every penny I had to move into a private rental to get away, there is not one hope in hell that I would buy there, or rent there or even walk the streets there.

There are always going to be people saying that they/their council estate isn't like that, and I'm sure that's true. There are always people that will say 'be kind', that they've had tough lives etc, try to be more understanding. However I'd put money on them not swapping houses with you, even for just a year.

The truth is that for a lot of people living there, the behaviour is ingrained and won't change. They have been brought up with anti-social behaviour completely normalised, that's their life and they usually defend it and have little interest in changing it. Obviously not all, some escape it, but not many.

I used to be told that once the curtains were closed it doesn't matter where you live. Err, no, not if you're having stones chucked at your window, people congregating outside your house and shouting/fighting, or pissing in your garden.

Drop your price and get shut of it, even if it means you have to move out of the area, your mental health is more important.

ineedateatowel · 18/09/2022 15:04

I kind of regret buying a house in a rough part of town. I wanted to live in a particular area but could only afford to live on the edge. The nice part of town is only a 10 minute walk away but the house prices are 150k more.

I bought on the dodgy road hoping that the niceness would eventually trickle down, 7 years later it hasn’t!

Most of the properties around me have been turned into HMO properties and rented out to people who don’t give a shit about where they live. At the moment I am lucky to have relatively quiet neighbours but over the years I have had to regularly call the police, social services and the council. It’s really depressing. I am also so jealous of friends who live in the nice streets not far away. They are arty, liberal types who make a show of living in an cool , urban area. However they are safely in the posh bit and I know would not cope on my street. At the moment I am just hoping my quiet neighbours stick around.

People who live in nice areas have no idea how stressful living next to people with anti social behaviour is . The idea of having to be endlessly kind is naive. People dealing drugs and fighting in the streets don’t give a shit about your kindness. I once told a friend about the blazing, abusive rows my neighbours were having and she advised taking round some cake. Well meaning middle class people think all problems can be solved with acts of simple kindness! It’s infuriating.

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