Feeling hopeless

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    Feeling hopeless

    ** edit to add** Because of my bipolar the council have always paid my landlord direct and I paid the small shortfall without fail. This would continue in any new property and all the LA/LL we have spoken to have been informed of this.

    I’m going to try and compress this as best I can because it is LONG. Please read if you can because I’m at breaking point now.


    In April our private landlord gave us a section 21 notice to be out by June. He is wanting to sell up this last property he owns and then retire abroad. After several trips back and forth to the council we were told it wasn’t a legal eviction because 1: he had not put our deposit in to the dps and 2: there was an emergency work order against him as there was a huge list of repairs that needed doing along with serious issues such as no gas safety check for 2 years, a condemned gas cooker that would lose the flame but continue to pump out gas...


    I went back to the landlord and told him this, he was adamant the council were lying and stalling to force him to take us to court for an eviction so they didn’t have to help us out yet. But he admitted fault over the dps and transferred me £1500 - the equivalent of 3 x my deposit and apologised for not putting it in the scheme when we moved in. I was grateful obviously as I now had £1500 which put me in a fantastic position for a deposit for another property and he was glad too as he also thought it would help to get us out quicker enabling him to get the house up for sale.


    I was advised by tenancy matters on facebook to tell him he needed to issue a 6A form to us so I told him this and he got that sent out to me within 24 hours. I then took that to the council. Again they told me it wasn’t legal and to just sit tight. The woman at the council said she was fed up of my landlord trying to tell her the law around evictions and couldn’t stand his attitude :/


    We then got another section 21 this time from the landlords son but now dated for July. I took this letter to the council and was turned away again and told if we moved out we would intentionally make ourselves homeless and they definitely would not help us.


    I have been looking all day every day for private rental properties. I am a single mother on long term disability benefits; something that has not changed in nearly 20 years. My daughter is 7 and incredibly intelligent. She is working at two years above her age level at school, is on the student council, is a strong candidate for head girl when she reaches year 6 and is well liked by all of the teachers and pupils alike. We are desperate to remain in the same area as we are 5 minutes from her primary school and have lived here for 6.5 years. (I have lived here for 12 as I went to uni here too) I have extreme depression, anxiety and recently diagnosed with bipolar which I am really struggling with right now. My mental health is in the toilet.


    All letting agents want a homeowner guarantor which I was told didn’t matter who as long as they could provide proof of ownership.


    After being repeatedly turned down purely because I’m on benefits we found a beautiful house last week. 2 mins from my daughters school. The LA told me my 85 year old granny would be ok as the guarantor. She told me my 4 and 5 year old cleared ccjs would be ok. I then made an application and paid a holding deposit. 24 hours later she tells me because my granny is over 75 they need additional checks done on her. She also needs to have an income of 33 x the rent! She’s on a pension so doesn’t get anywhere near this a year. She then tells me that if I can’t get a guarantor they can’t proceed with my application and I’d lose my holding deposit of £138. Something I cannot afford at all. I guess that was the plan all along?!


    My mum then called her as I struggle with speaking to people over the phone. She told my mum the only other option would be to pay 6 months rent upfront plus a deposit so we said leave it with us we will scrape it together.


    I needed £3,600 for the rent plus £692 for the deposit. I already had £1500 from my returned deposit. My auntie offered £1300 and my landlord offered to lend me £1000 and I had some of my benefit money saved too so that we could secure this property. My auntie then changed her mind saying the letting agent would want the next 6 months upfront too and it would continue like that every 6 months and she couldn’t afford to help like that even though we told her that would probably be illegal and unlikely to happen. I went back to my landlord and told him all of this and he transferred me £3,500 on the basis that I pay him back over a couple of years and to hopefully secure the other house for us. Amazing right? I went back to the LA, told her I had the 6 months upfront plus the deposit and was ready to go. She proceeded to do referencing and credit checks etc. We were cleared and due to move in tomorrow (9/8/19). She then emailed me on Monday morning to tell me my tenancy application had been cancelled and the landlord had moved someone else in over the weekend and didn’t want to proceed with us. We were absolutely devastated. This house was beautiful. Perfect price. Perfect location. Everything we could have hoped for. She said she would refund the holding deposit - which I’ve yet to receive.


    Since Monday we have rung round no less than 134 properties in this town. Most are already let and haven’t been updated on the various websites. Several are let agreed and not taking new applications. The rest will not accept dss despite having a perfect 6.5 year rental history, exemplary reference from our current landlord and 6 months rent upfront plus a deposit. We are extremely clean and tidy, I don’t drink or smoke. We don’t have loud parties. We are quiet and respectful but nobody wants us. It seems as soon as I say I’m on benefit the attitudes change and I am positive the LAs and landlords just assume I’m some trashy scumbag a lá channel 5 benefit show and they don’t want to touch me with a barge pole :’( I just do not know what to do at this point. I feel like I’ve jumped through so many hoops with references, gathering money together, showing I’m a decent person who just happens to have a low income. It’s soul destroying. Our current landlord is cracking the whip wondering if we’re ready to leave yet which is stressing me out to the point I keep breaking down having panic attacks and my hair is falling out.



    I saw a property pop up yesterday and phoned within 3 minutes of it being listed. The landlady rang me and we viewed it this morning. When we got there a couple was just finishing their viewing. The landlady said oh they enquired yesterday after you but demanded to view it before you did. Bit rude I thought but anyway. We had a long chat and she seemed happy with us. She even advised me to ring the LA and apply. I did so within 5 minutes of leaving only to be emailed 20 mins later to be told the sneaky couple had applied and the landlady has chosen them. To say I’m despondent is an understatement. I’ve never felt so depressed, undesirable and worthless. I even thought of ending it earlier. How easy it would be to just fall in the nearby canal or jump in front of a train. At least my daughter could live with family and be secure and well taken care of. I don’t seem able to do it.


    I am a good person. I’m exceptionally clean and tidy and respectful of other people’s property. Yes I’m on benefit. Yes I have mental health issues. I feel subhuman to be honest. I wish someone would just give us a chance. I don’t know why I’m even posting this or if it’s even in the right section. I need advice. Where can I go from here? How on earth can I rent a property if everyone automatically thinks I’m going to trash their house and not pay the rent? :’(




    If you managed to read all of this thank you and sorry for the length.

    #2
    Read it all and sincere sympathies.

    Landlords have been predicting this since the attacks on them started.

    Comment


      #3
      People are helping you and you have had some horrible setbacks.
      But it will be OK - stick with it.

      Whatever happens, don't give up.

      Sort out the s21 notice with the landlord.
      Here's a checklist to make sure it's right - https://nearlylegal.co.uk/section-21-flowchart/

      If necessary, go to court - the cost of that is much less for the landlord than lending you nearly 10 times as much.
      Send the landlord here for help.

      But that won't be necessary, something will turn up.
      Your landlord will give you time and you'll be fine.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        I'm sorry for your situation and I hope you find somewhere suitable. Councils are largely to blame because of the advice they give tenants to stay until they are evicted. This is costly, time consuming and stressful for the landlord so the result is that many LLs won't rent to dss tenants. Sorry this doesn't help you but just wanted to let you know it's often the council who is being judged not you. Your current LL seems to be doing everything he can to help. If you find one being let by the LL rather than an agent perhaps he'd be willing to speak to them to reassure them you're a good tenant.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by DesperatelyOverwhelmed View Post
          I am a single mother on long term disability benefits

          After being repeatedly turned down purely because I’m on benefits

          The rest will not accept dss despite having a perfect 6.5 year rental history, exemplary reference from our current landlord and 6 months rent upfront plus a deposit.
          This has never made any sense to me. It might be worth pointing out to LLs that as a long term disability claimant your income is far more secure than that of a working person who can be thrown out of work at any time. Long term disability = guaranteed rent payments from the council. With long term disability it's highly unlikely that you will ever be without an income. Unfortunately, this doesn't help you. If the LL doesn't want a tenant who can't work due to no fault of their own there's not a lot you can do about it until the law changes. Keep looking, I'm sure you will find a reasonable unprejudiced LL eventually.

          england.shelter.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1581687/Stop_DSS_Discrimination_-_Ending_prejudice_against_renters_on_housing_benef it.pdf

          Shelter advice to LLs:
          Assess each tenant’s suitability for their property, based on whether they can afford the rent, not where their income comes from.


          Analysis of official figures from the Department for Work and Pensions reveals that 95% of single parents receiving housing benefit are female5. As well as women being disproportionately affected, our research also suggests that people with disabilities are more likely to receive housing benefit. It is plain to see that not only are ‘No DSS’ policies deeply unfair, the practise is morally bankrupt
          The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against anyone with a ‘protected’ characteristic – such as sex, disability or race. Under this law, you are protected from discrimination across a number of areas, including at work, in education and importantly, when buying or renting a property.
          With the introduction of Universal Credit and more and more working people "claiming benefits" the "No DSS/no benefits" line is going to start to look more and more insane.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by royw View Post
            I'm sorry for your situation and I hope you find somewhere suitable. Councils are largely to blame because of the advice they give tenants to stay until they are evicted. This is costly, time consuming and stressful for the landlord so the result is that many LLs won't rent to dss tenants. Sorry this doesn't help you but just wanted to let you know it's often the council who is being judged not you. Your current LL seems to be doing everything he can to help. If you find one being let by the LL rather than an agent perhaps he'd be willing to speak to them to reassure them you're a good tenant.
            This....... i and many others like me think this way, it is just so expensive and stressful if we get a bad tenant and with the changes coming to S21 it just makes it even more so that the tenant has to be the very best prospect, all the best with your search.

            Comment

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