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Giving up council tenancy and privately renting - anyone have experience?

7 replies

got2getoutofhere · 03/10/2006 13:14

I am a regular but have named changed as the circumstances around my needing to move are delicate :-(

I have a council flat. I am the sole tenant.

I really need to move from this area asap. I am talking about going to another county.

I have applied to several councils and have been accepted for housing by 3 so far but am very far down the lists so not much hope of any immediate offer.

Basically, I am thinking of finding somewhere to rent privately. So, upping and leaving this area, and going somewhere completly new.

What I would like to know is (as someone who has never rented - so please bear with me if questions seem obvious)

If I give up a tenancy, privately rent, and then apply for housing to the council, would I be seen as giving up a tenancy? Would that make a difference (as long as I'm not presenting as homeless)

If I am in private rented, can I even apply to a council? Would I be in housing need? or only if the landlord was evicting me?

And, with private rented, how long are you normally allowed to stay for and what do you do with all your stuff? Take it with you?

My ds is already showing behavioural difficulties which is part of the reason I want to move, as I know he is so unhappy, so I want to avoid too much, unnecessary change.

My other option is to go homeless, but I feel this is just too risky, I think they would see me as intentionally homeless, wouldn't they?

Any thoughts appreciated

OP posts:
WeaselMum · 03/10/2006 13:47

Hi - haven't been in your situation but work for my local council & have a little bit of experience in housing. A lot will depend on your circumstances but in general, yes, you would be seen as making yourself intentionally homeless if you just left your current property & wanted rehousing immediately. If you go into private rented, you can apply to the council for housing again but will not be seen as high priority - just general needs (again, depends on your personal circs but you haven't mentioned any medical needs etc). As far as renting privately goes, you can organise with the landlord as to how long you are going to stay - there are long and short term agreements. I'm not sure what you mean by taking all your stuff - but if you're asking about furnished/non-furnished houses, again there are both available. Start by approaching letting agents in your chosen area & find out what's available before you do anything, and bear in mind you will need to get a deposit together for a private house. Your current council will probably want four weeks' notice of quitting your tenancy. There also used to be an organisation that you could sign up to if you wanted to swap council tenancies with someone from elsewhere in the country - I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called but your housing officer might know? I hope this is helpful, hopefully someone with more experience will be along soon.

rosie79 · 03/10/2006 13:54

I have never been a council tenant so not sure how much help I can offer, but have plenty of experience with privately renting. I moved here two years ago when left exH and lived with parents until I found a suitable house to rent privately. Then I simply went to the housing office, told them of the house I wanted to rent, they contacted the rent office who checked the rent being charged and decided it was a reasonable rent for that area, so the housing office accepted that and agreed to pay the rent and council tax for me as I was entitiled to housing benefit. You haven't said whether you are working so will be paying the rent yourself (in which case you are probably better off in council housing) or if you will be getting your rent paid or part paid for you. I would still recommend going privately as it seems you want to move to an area that isn't council housing.
As for how long in privately rented it depends on what term you take the contract out for(6, 12 or 18 months), but once you are in there you usually need to renew the tenancy each 12-18 months depending on the agreement and yes you can take all your stuff. You can also either rent furnished or unfurnished property so it's up to you.
I don't know about whether you can apply for council housing if you are privately renting, but hopefully someone else will advise you on this!
I'm sure there are better options than going homeless tho! And yes I think it would be seen as intentional homelessness.

got2getoutofhere · 03/10/2006 16:49

Hello, thanks for your replies

I think going homeless is a huge gamble - just needed others to tell me they thought so too!

Is it possible to stay in private rented for years? Or is it normally more of a short term thing?

I am on WFTC atm so have some of my rent paid.

Is it harder to find landlords who will take tenants on WFTC?

OP posts:
batters · 03/10/2006 17:21

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WeaselMum · 03/10/2006 17:35

it is possible to stay in private rented for years, but like batters you would probably take a short contract and renew it periodically - landlords prefer this as it obviously gives them more freedom. as for taking tenants on any kind of benefit - some landlords have no problem with it and some do but they tend to say so upfront tbh. Often you will be dealing with the letting agent rather than the landlord directly so they tend to understand the system better. Lots of people I have helped (I work in housing benefit) live in properties where the landlord only takes people on housing benefit.

BabyBellaMummy · 04/10/2006 21:47

When the council housed me they housed me with in feet of ex partner who subsiquently could see into my bedroom etc very tricky. Council told me they couldnt move me. A friend working for the council told me about a council scheame where by you find a landlord willing to take money from the council (not a problem the first landlord i dealt with accepted) and the council pay what ever they deem to be the going rate for the size of the property in the are. For exarmple and without giving to much away they pay most of the rent on my two bed flat.
I dont no if this is something all councils do but it might be worth a look.
HTH good luck

lexm · 04/11/2015 20:12

Need some advice. If I pass my council tenancy on to my joint brother who has lived there for 10 years can I apply for a council tenancy elsware???

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