finding a new home on a low income

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  • #44029 Report

    Wishbone
    Participant

    It’s taken me a long time to dig myself out of low self-esteem and disempowerment in a relationship where I was financially dependent on my children’s father because I looked after the kids when they were little.  Now I am trying to make a better life for us all, in which I can have my own home, with my own space and my own things rather than feeling like a lodger (for 10 years) in his house.  Although I have moved on a lot mentally, practically finding a place to rent is really looking like a problem.  I’m on a low income.  So I found out that I can apply for Universal Credit as a single person even though I’m still in his house.  That’s come through which is great, but estate agents won’t seem to have a bar of me.  With my wages and UC and the housing benefit I’ll get I will have no problem with rent, so why are they so difficult about it?  I can’t get on an housing list because you have to homeless in Croydon before you can even apply.  The estate agent I spoke to today who said they wouldn’t even consider me suggested DSS move – but there’s nothing on there that’s appropriate.  I don’t understand how mum’s with kids are supposed to escape from unhappy homes.  Please can someone with experience give me some advice.  I have someone who is prepared to be a guarantor for me too.  Maybe someone knows of particular estate agents who are more accepting and helpful that the ones I’ve come across so far.  I’m feeling really depressed and disillusioned and trapped.

    #44033 Report

    JosiePanda08
    Participant

    Stay strong lovely! You’ve done amazing to escape an abusive relationship – be proud!
    check out “pregnant then screwed” it’s a charity and recently supported with a legal case where it was ruled illegal to state “no DSS”. They’ll have some advice on how you can proceed.
    I house share with a friend and I’ve been here since before I was pregnant – I’m terrified of her moving out as I’ll be in the same position. I honestly believe landlords should accept a reference from previous landlords and evidence that rent and council tax were paid on time. I’ve always been in employment, have a very good career and It’s not my fault my ex decided to f**k off without a trace meaning I can’t afford to return to work full time yet I’m the one who’ll get screwed over! Rant over!

    #44035 Report

    picklepie24
    Participant

    I had a nightmare trying to rent somewhere nobody wanted to rent a house to a single parent with 4 kids, council wouldn’t help because i was making myself homeless even though i was in a house with an abusive husband.  I didn’t even get any housing benefit because i had money tied up in the house just tax credits as i work full time.  Even when i offered 6 months rent in advance and  i was refused.   I eventually found somewhere but it was only because i had a chat to the the current tenant while i was having a look and she’d been in the same position as me that she phoned the landlord and put in a good word for me.  My mum and step dad were even considering trying to buy somewhere for me because i got refused 7 times.

    It’s totally ridiculous that single parents with kids are looked at as such a bad risk.  I have never been unemployed in my life but i would probably have been in a better position if i’d gone on benefits then they would have had to rehouse me.

    I’m not sure what’s available in your area have you tried housing associations, are there any charities in your area which deal with domestic abuse they may have some ideas of sympathetic landlords to approach.

    #44052 Report

    BluebirdSue
    Participant

    I read somewhere that a single mother successfully sued a letting agency for discrimination. It was a real ‘punch in the air moment’ as I got bored of seeing “No DSS” on letting adverts. Maybe this victory will pave the way for easier lets.

    If you want to rent see if the have a Leaders branch in your town because they don’t ask for an initial deposit

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