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AIBU?

To be constantly anxious about my home

99 replies

Frazzld · 02/10/2022 08:19

I can't sell my 1 bed flat (long story) and won't be able to for 3-4+ years. The flat is small, 3rd storey, no outdoor space, and in a built up area with nothing to escape to (eg. library is 30 mins away, requiring 2 buses). Neighbours are noisy and difficult, and the building regularly gets vandalised/broken into. I moved here as it was all I could afford (shared ownership) and since my job went mostly remote, I spend every day/night and every weekend here as I don't have the money to do anything else. My relationship is strained as we've been squished together 24/7 for the past 2 and a half years.

I'm 35 and have accepted I won't be having kids now because of this situation and it's quite sad.

Being stuck here is all consuming and I feel stressed all the time. I wish I'd never bought it. Trouble is, I can't stop thinking about it. I wake up in the night panicking that I'm never going to be able to move on with my life and will be stuck here forever. Or I'll die in an accident before I get the chance to leave. I've tried all the usual things to stop being anxious, but I'm in the flat all day every day so it's hard. Any coping advice?

Also I do appreciate I'm lucky to have a roof over my head right now.

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

88 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
17%
You are NOT being unreasonable
83%
AliceAbsolum · 02/10/2022 08:53

I'd push the rental issue. Speak to everyone involved about it. Sometimes there are schemes to help landlords who rent to people on benefits.

I don't suppose you know any friends and family who would rent it on an informal basis? It's risky but desperate times...

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Badgirlriri · 02/10/2022 08:53

Have you posted about this before?

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Motnight · 02/10/2022 08:55

Sounds horrendous, Op.

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FluffySocksAndHotChocolate · 02/10/2022 08:57

FruitPastilleNut · 02/10/2022 08:51

If you definitely can't sell, have exhausted all options to try and rent it or sell back to the housing association AND you're sure that you're not generally 'just' depressed (ie it's definitely your flat making you feel like this)...

If it's that bad, just stop paying the mortgage. Save the money instead, let them send you all the red letters and a court date (don't go) and then an eviction date. Let them repossess it and go and rent somewhere, far away, where you love and can start again.

Your credit will be fucked for 6 years and if there's a shortfall after sale you'll need to make payments towards it - but if it enables you to move on, be happy, have children if you want them, it would be worth it to me.

You can get out of there if you really want.

^ this.

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Speedweed · 02/10/2022 08:57

I'd sublet it, even if that breaks the rules. What can they do, even if you illegally sublet it? In the absolute worst case scenario, maybe they have the right to evict you and buy you out of the property - but that would be exactly what you want.

Have a look at what your contract says they can do, and consider if it happened, would that be so bad? If the building needs work etc and you can't sell it, it's unlikely the housing association will want it back right now, so they may well just give you retrospective permission to sublet, even if they find out about it (which also may never happen).

Sublet it and rent somewhere else to give yourself some space and distance to make a plan.

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DeeCeeCherry · 02/10/2022 08:58

Putting your life on hold for bricks and mortar is absolutely ridiculous. There is always a way - if you get up and find one. If you really wanted to leave, you would.

You don't have children to raise. You have a partner, presumably he is working too. So you're not struggling on 1 income.

I'm 35 and have accepted I won't be having kids now because of this situation and it's quite sad

What - for the sake of a 1 bed flat?!
Ask the HA to buy it back. + explore all your options. You aren't tied to the flat for life

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clowerina · 02/10/2022 09:01

I think you could maybe rent it out part of the week e.g. to airbnb it? I think you're allowed the £750 per month lodger fee even if you're in shared ownership. That might give you enough room to either go away a bit more, or get an office or move somewhere cheaper even though you would be officially "living there" even if that's more part time?

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ThreeFeetTall · 02/10/2022 09:03

Also you can usually sublet for a year under special circumstances (eg having to work away/caring responsibilities elsewhere) I'd do that. Then not go back, and it will take them a long time to enforce it (or even to realise tbh) and by then the flat can be sold.

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ThreeFeetTall · 02/10/2022 09:04

But I really feel for you. Feeling trapped at home is awful Flowers

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IrisVersicolor · 02/10/2022 09:04

If you mostly WFH I would sign up with something like trustedhousesitters and do long house sits.

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NicolaSixSix · 02/10/2022 09:09

Luredbyapomegranate · 02/10/2022 08:51

That’s really hard OP

Given you are stuck for 3 to 4 years and suffering from mental health issues, I would go and see citizens advice with your lease, get them to help you write to the leaseholder asking for permission to rent. Given they have let the building run down so badly that you can’t sell it, I think you would have a case to say you need to change my terms until you uphold your end of the bargain. Alternatively CAB might just say rent it out, and make that case if anyon comes after you. Go see the doc and get a note confirming this has given you anxiety.

Then if you are working remotely could you go somewhere cheaper to rent? Or is the trouble that your partner isn’t working remotely?

This
they will give you an exemption if you absolutely do not take no for an answer and have back ups for any reason they use to try to deny you

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Gloriosity · 02/10/2022 09:11

There are a few blocks near me affected by this, I really feel for the owners caught up in it all.

You asked for coping tips… this might sound ridiculous but my first thought was: take up running. It will get you out the flat, it will give you fresh air when you’ve no outdoor space, and it will help you burn off the adrenaline of the anxiety and stress. Any mileage (pun intended!) in that?

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VioletCharlotte · 02/10/2022 09:11

I think if it was me I'd look at what I could do to make the situation better.

Relationship - you say it's strained, do you still want to be together? If not, could you separate and one of you move out?

Job - you say mainly remote, could you go in more often? Maybe look at other jobs?

Driving - you say the library is two buses away, so I'm guessing you don't drive? Could you learn as this would give you a lot more freedom?

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Frazzld · 02/10/2022 09:11

@DiscoStusMoonboots I'm so glad someone gets it. Yes EWS1 stuff is a big part of the issue.

I'm in the prime of my life and I'm stuck in this place. I've had a few bereavements in recent years and I'm more aware than ever how precious life is - but I'm unable to make the most of it which is what is really frustrating me.

Having kids here isn't an option unfortunately. A couple we know in the building had twins last year and they are finding it hellish in a 1 bed flat. But they have family in the area so they have places to retreat to. Good luck with your IVF and hope your EWS1 problems resolve soon!

OP posts:
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donttellmehesalive · 02/10/2022 09:13

I think CAB would be a good idea. It is outrageous that you can't sell your home on the open market or back to the housing association, through no fault of your own. Surely, legally, they have to complete work within a certain timeframe or compensate? I'd be taking legal advice on this but CAB is a good start.

If they finished the work tomorrow, would you be able to sell it and move? Do you now have the funds for something more suitable for you?

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WonderingWanda · 02/10/2022 09:16

Op that sounds like a crap situation. I think you need a plan, something to look forward to so you aren't feeling trapped If it were me I wouldn't write off having a baby. One child is doable in a 1 bed, obviously not ideal but they can share a room with you for a long time, hopefuly by which point you will be able to sell. If that works out your life will change so much and at the moment it sounds like you are just trapped in your flat feeling unhappy. Secondly, I would try and get away at every opportunity. Weekends, holidays etc. Even if money is tight you can do something, cheap bus /train tickets to the coast, Air bnb's or cheap youth hostel rooms. Go to less popular places for cheaper rooms and just spend time outside away from the flat. You cannot control the selling of it or repairs but you can get on with your life. I would also consider finding a not working from home job and work on your social life, be busy and out the house. What about exercise? That really helps with anxiety for me. Also if the anxiety is that bad please consider seeing a gp as well. It's a vicious cycle if you aren't sleeping your anxiety will get worse.

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WonderingWanda · 02/10/2022 09:17

Frazzld · 02/10/2022 09:11

@DiscoStusMoonboots I'm so glad someone gets it. Yes EWS1 stuff is a big part of the issue.

I'm in the prime of my life and I'm stuck in this place. I've had a few bereavements in recent years and I'm more aware than ever how precious life is - but I'm unable to make the most of it which is what is really frustrating me.

Having kids here isn't an option unfortunately. A couple we know in the building had twins last year and they are finding it hellish in a 1 bed flat. But they have family in the area so they have places to retreat to. Good luck with your IVF and hope your EWS1 problems resolve soon!

Twins are hellish wherever you have them op, please don't be put off by that!

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Tabbouleh · 02/10/2022 09:20

I think you have posted about this before and there was a lot of good advice.

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Frazzld · 02/10/2022 09:21

@VioletCharlotte
Thanks. I do drive but we don't have a car anymore - it got stolen about a year ago by joy riders and was written off. We didn't bother getting another one.

@Gloriosity I do run actually, three times a week and it's probably the only thing keeping me sane!

OP posts:
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OnaBegonia · 02/10/2022 09:22

@Tabbouleh
I've read this multiple times too.
Fill your spare time with activities outside the home, repeatedly posting moaning whilst never changing anything is pointless.
Be glad you have a secure home many others don't.

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ThePastafarian · 02/10/2022 09:23

How wedded are you to your job? Can you change jobs for somewhere where you'd at least be able to escape to an office for eight hours a day? The flat difficulties sound awful but maybe there are other things that would help improve the situation? I think focussing entirely on the flat is probably amplifying how you are feeling - although I get that it's the main cause. Or could you afford one of those shared workspace desks? Getting some space from your partner and a daily change of scene might get you through the few years till you can solve the main problem.

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Redlighting · 02/10/2022 09:24

Sorry to hear that you're stuck in such a tricky situation. One thought (which might help your MH) is to put it up for sale anyway but list it as 'an ideal investment/buy-to let,cash buyers only'. I see ads like these quite frequently on Rightmove etc.It might take a while but there could well be an investor out there who's looking for a rental to purchase.

Even if it doesn't shift for a while, it could give your MH a lift because you feel less stuck, knowing that you're at least putting it out there. Just a thought anyway.

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NoSquirrels · 02/10/2022 09:24

Get a new job, that isn’t WFH.

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Frazzld · 02/10/2022 09:25

Thanks @WonderingWanda. To be honest I'm also worried about having a baby while not feeling particularly happy about life here... would the general stresses of having a baby, and then raising it here, make things worse? I'm not sure that's a risk I want to take (or is fair to take).

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Fearnecuptea · 02/10/2022 09:25

Gloriosity · 02/10/2022 09:11

There are a few blocks near me affected by this, I really feel for the owners caught up in it all.

You asked for coping tips… this might sound ridiculous but my first thought was: take up running. It will get you out the flat, it will give you fresh air when you’ve no outdoor space, and it will help you burn off the adrenaline of the anxiety and stress. Any mileage (pun intended!) in that?

This is really good advice, running is such a great escape, free and genuinely improves mental health.

OP, we are in shared ownership also. As you know, but others have suggested otherwise, there's no way you can rent the flat out- it's absolutely tied into the contract for all shared ownership properties so there's just no point exploring that (imo).

As you have around 4 years in the flat, how can you improve your living conditions? Noisy neighbours sound annoying but are they keeping you up at night? (If so, ear plugs etc or can you complain to HA?)
Can you redecorate via eBay or other second hand sites, make your home somewhere you love spending time?

As you WFH -and just assuming you can't get another role outside the home- can you take up some hobbies, getting you outside from the flat more?

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