Home Home, Law & Money
Come and join our Support Circle, every Tuesday, 8 - 9:30pm! Anyone is welcome to join. Sign up here
Read the community guidelines before posting ✨

Tips and hints for council house bidding?

2

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I feel pretty freaked out at the idea of living in someone I don't know's house. I don't know who they are.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did that for 2 1/2 years when I left uni. It was shit and I hated it. But at least it's better than no-where.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I used to feel like that too until I moved into my student house which I know isn't exactly the same, but was still with people I hadn't met until I moved in.
    Thinking about it now if I had the money, I would have jumped at the chance even though it wouldn't have been great, because it's better than being on the streets.

    Hopefully it won't come to that for you though. *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not going to end up on the streets, but I found it near on impossible living in shared halls at uni. My doctor suggested I only live with people I know to avoid having daily panic attacks. Plus no one on that site near me seems to accept housing benefit.

    I've been talking to my support worker and she's suggested I either think about finding going into a supported housing project (which feels like a step back because I left one to go to uni 3 years ago), or both me and mum think about changing our application to separate ones so we can both get housed quickly and then get direct payments for my mum to get care that suits her, and for me to continue getting help from my support worker.

    I think we're going to sit put for the time being and reassess in 2 weeks time once we're a little clearer on things.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Quick update:

    We were offered somewhere by the council on thursday, we haven't looked inside yet. Its in the perfect location, but it does seem really really tiny. We'll have to see how it goes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there Miss_Riot,

    Good to hear your regular updates on your housing matters.

    The Council offering you somewhere is great news and hope it goes well when you eventually do look inside. I suppose you'd have to weigh up the pros and cons for you and your mum of living in the ideal location but not having a lot of space...

    Btw, I like the phrase in your signature. :)

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Saw the place today - totally unsuitable, mainly because it didn't have a bath - it had a walk-in wet room, and mum has to have baths for her joint pain, the second bedroom was big enough for a cot but really nothing else - not really big enough for a adults bedroom. It would have been fine for a elderly couple, but not 2 separate adults. We spoke to the voids officer who was there to show us, and he said that this was on the small side, and that he was suprised that it had been offered to anyone other than a couple.

    Are we being petty? I feel like we are, but I don't know how we'd live there together.
    :(

    Back to the drawing board! I just hope we get offered something else!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How's this all going? Must be pretty stressful - I think moving is one of the most stressful things a person can do, especially when it's in less than ideal circumstances like this.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Really not great. We have about 2 weeks give or take until we could literally be homeless, in which case we have to choose between sofa surfing until we get something on the council list (how longs' a piece of string!) or make a homelessness application and go into B&B. On top of that I'm not very well, nor is mum, and it feels a bit like everything is going to pot...

    But I did have a meeting with my support worker today and she's suggested that we consider moving to another nearby area where there are landlords that do take HB without a guarrentor. It would mean having to find a new doctor, which was the one reason we haven't done it before - because I get to see a CPN there, and mum gets weekly appointments with the nurse to monitor her illness. But if it means we have somewhere stable and suitable to live so be it. I am a bit concerned - its a much bigger place (thus i'm not so confident to go out and about on my own), I know it reasonably well, but my ex lives there and although he is actually quite pleasent towards me now, a lot of his friends are not.

    I have got almost everything out of the house and into storage, maybe 3 more car loads, and that will be it.

    I suppose the most upsetting part of it all is that its taking control of all aspects of my life - we couldn't do anything for samhain (pagan equivilant of halloween), its put the brakes on any plans I had for my birthday next week, and if things carry on this way christmas won't really be happening either. I'm behind with my work for college and should be spending lots of time sketching and researching rather than making constant calls to council/doctor/shelter etc. I'm running out of steam to keep all of this going and being a brave face.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Most awful thing has just happened.

    Got home to find a letter from my landlady's solicitor saying we owe her 2 months of rent. I rang the bank to find out if the last month went through (this month we haven't paid because we don't know how long we'll be here for, and thus we have told her we'll pay her what we owe at the end of the month, as we were advised by shelter), and they told me that the payment was returned, but no one told me about this - after I had been told it had gone through, it actually hit my landlady's bank account, and then got returned!

    I had a total freak out, I thought I'd fucked up, but I checked my phone and I have a text thanking us for the rent payment, so I know I haven't done anything wrong, but i'm still in shock and don't really know what to do. The bank have said they are looking into it and will send me written confirmation of their fuck up but I still don't know whats going to happen.

    fuckfuckfuck!!!!

    on a better note, we have viewings on tuesday of 2 places in the other area which might take HB without a guarentor, if we pay 3 months in advance, which I'm hoping I might be able to just about do.

    I can't take any more crisises like this!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Miss_Riot,

    Good to hear from you.

    Firstly, the small flat didn't seem ideal for you and your mum. Hopefully you will find something more suitable soon.

    It must be really tough for you at the moment. As you say you have your college work to do, finding somewhere to live, looking after your mum and generally keeping a brave face. Is there anyone that can take some of the weight off your shoulders for a while? Maybe a friend? Also, have you spoken to your college... maybe they could extend deadlines for you so you don't feel as pressured?

    Sorry to hear you couldn't celebrate samhain as you would have liked to. And in terms of your birthday, maybe you could do something special to take your mind off all this... Even if it's just something small; for example going out for a meal, getting your favourite take away or baking a cake. I think some 'me time' will do you some good. :birthday:

    Lastly, any news about the rent/bank's mistake?

    Keep us posted about the viewings! :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have spoken to college, and they won't give me an extention...so I'm just getting along the best I can. I don't have any friends locally, and I've spoken to the friends and I do have and asides the offer of a spare bed or sofa at least 70 miles away, theres little they can do.

    We're hoping to get a take away or go out for a meal, but it'll be just me and mum because none of my friends are available...just one of those things I suppose!

    No further news as of yest on the bank front, I'll be on it tomorrow. Oh and removing the rest of the boxes into storage. Awesome birthday :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So, we went to look at a place to rent, but it was £50 a month more than we could really afford, and it had sloping floors and dangerous stairs. :( I felt really picky in saying no, I guess we could have put a stairgate at the top of the stairs, and we would have craped together an extra £50 a month. I don't know any more what we should compromise on and what we shouldn't.

    I spent 2 hours on the phone on to the bank (on my birthday :( ) and they have now confirmed that I haven't done anything wrong, I sent the money and as far as they are concerned she received it. So my landlady is trying to do a fast one right now... Shelter have sent her a letter outlining that this is further harrassment and etc...

    I'm hoping that we get something in bidding this week, there were a lot of places on this week, maybe this will be our week! My mother has resorted to chanting to hindu gods after bidding in the hope it might help (I'm willing to give anything a try now!)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you need to be realistic, and work out what are absolute essentials and what are nice to haves. If you can pin down a reasonably clear list of those, including, if necessary a 3rd catergory that is the 'need to have one of x or y'.

    If you're dependant on HB then realistically you're not going to get what you really want in a place to live, but you should get somewhere that doesn't pose any further harm.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What would you class as absolute essentials though?

    I've already seen that we are out of the running on the bidding for the two places that would have been perfect. The third place is still a possiblity, but I don't know if they is any public transport within walking distance. :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not about what I'd class as essential - it's what's essential for you.

    Example of the list I wrote when looking for my most recent flat (which was a share - but you'll get the idea).

    Essential.

    Maximum of 2 people per bathroom
    Walking distance to town
    <15 mins walk to station
    <15 mins total walk for bus to work
    Double locks
    Housemates with western lifestyle
    Central heating

    Essential either/ors:

    Kitchen with space to eat in OR dining room
    Double bed OR space for a double bed
    Living room OR massive kitchen diner
    Off street parking OR good availability of on street parking with mine not being the nicest car around
    Less than £XXX/month shared OR Less than £XXX/month on my own
    Shared OR somewhere with very good security.

    Nice to haves:

    Garden - own or communal
    Not ground floor bedroom
    Large shower
    Power shower
    Washing machine
    Near work bus route
    House mates familiar with the industry
    Gas hobs

    If you can get the details clear in your mind, it helps a lot with the looking and working out whether or not somewhere is actually OK. Bear in mind for that list though - that was based on a decision that I was taking a new job I wasn't sure about that would be paying well, so was in a position to have luxuries on my essentials list.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok well what about this then:

    Level floors i.e. not sloping
    Bathroom with proper bath
    Some kind of parking
    Central heating
    No higher than 1st floor (there aren't any tower blocks for us to be offered anyway)
    A landing upstairs if a house
    Living room
    Within 15 mins walk of bus route
    In a safe area, most importantly an area that doesn't tend to have lots of problems with anti-social behaviour
    Flat or nearly flat access to door

    Essential either/or
    2 double bedrooms/1 large bedroom & 1 reasonable size room (with loft space)

    Nice things
    Garden of some kind
    living room and dining room
    house rather than flat
    No gas fire in the living room!

    Is that all reasonable?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Looks like a good start.
    You may want to work on your definition of 'problems with anti-social behaviour' because that's pretty abstract (not on here, just for your own sake, pin down what that means in the areas you're looking in.

    Is a living room really an essential?

    Do you need central heating? Or will electric heating of some kind do the trick (has the same heating effect - I'm just fussy).

    Now go and sense check your list against things you've ruled out so far, and check that the list covers it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A living room is essential because I'm living with my mum and we need somewhere to eat and stuff...I doubt many kitchens will be big enough, and we need somewhere as a living space. Central heating is cheap, if we find somewhere with storage heaters we'll be having to pay through the nose to heat the place or we won't be able to heat it at all. Its possibly something we could negotiate on, but it could have a big impact.

    I think that list covers everything, and every place we've looked at so far falls short of that list.

    privately we've now looked at 5 places - none of which we could actually have because of the old not having a guarrantor whilst on HB chestnut. With the council we've been offered 2 sensitive lets (which don't count as refusals) both which were really not suitable (one was out of our GP's area, the other was an elderly bungalow without any bath and was really tiny - only really suitable for 1 person & a carer or possibly a couple).

    I think we're just going to have to go with the next property we get offered by the council. Hopefully that will be next week... fingers crossed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So by the sounds of what you've just written the essential is actually living/dining space, which could come from living room OR a dining room OR a big kitchen.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yes...pretty much!

    I don't understand why this has become so hard especially considering I don't think that list is too demanding...

    the only place I could have seen I've discounted because its in the middle of town on a busy A road, and has outside uncovered stairs to get to the front door. Not sure it had parking though...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have modern electric heating, not central heating and it isn't that bad and I don't think it works out more expensive to use them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Like storage heaters or something else?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    Like storage heaters or something else?

    They aren't storage heaters, they are just electrical heaters. They are a bit annoying as they don't have timers but they are perfectly liveable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok thats helpful to know! Thanks RG!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Miss_Riot,

    Great to read the convo you have going on with Scary Monster about what is essential for you when looking for somewhere to live. Let us know how the next viewing goes. Good luck :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm still at number 2 for somewhere, its not perfect, but if it got all those things it'll do!

    Just hoping the other person says no to it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Got out bid at the very last minute. So now 2 people have to day no before we get a chance.

    I've started having really horrible nightmares and freaking out everytime someone comes to the door or calls the house phone. I'm really struggling, I don't know if getting the GP to write another letter would help or not, but it might be worth a shot.

    Every week that passes, I can feel myself getting more down about it all and feeling more desperate about not being moved before xmas.
  • LauraOLauraO ********* Posts: 535 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hey Miss_Riot,

    It sounds like everything is getting a bit much at the moment *hug* but reading back through this thread I can see how determined you have been and that you have worked really hard to try and find somewhere nice for you and your Mum. So, give yourself credit for everything you've done so far and for being really persistent even when things have felt tough, it's a real strength. Speaking to Samaritans as you did was also really wise and I am glad they have helped you to this point.

    Sorry to hear you missed out on the last bid, but being so near the top of the list means hopefully something will turn up for you soon.

    You mentioned going to the doctors and this does sound like a good idea. You can also talk to the doctor about how you are feeling at the moment perhaps mentioning that you are feeling anxious and having nightmares, it is a stressful time so it's worth talking it through with someone. It sounds as though this is a doctor you trust and have seen in the past, so it might be worth trying to see if you can get an appointment if you can.

    Hopefully something will turn up in the next few days, we all have our fingers crossed for you and please do continue to keep us updated. But in the meantime make sure you look after yourself, try and relax a bit, and remember chat is open tonight 8-10pm if you fancy a natter and to let off some steam.

    *hug* LauraO
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wish it worked like that! Tbh, I'm not sure how the system works right now, because we're already 8th/9th on the places we've bid on this week, and the bidding ends next tuesday!

    My support worker is calling the doctors to see if they can push the council a bit more, feeling unwell isn't helping the situation, and being unwell in a freezing cold house is horrible.

    I'm trying to push myself to keep going, its so so hard right now, and I think all my friends are jsut getting fed up of hearing about this. I know I'm fed up of talking about it!
Sign In or Register to comment.