Need help with housing. Where to start.

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  • #64563 Report


    I have recently told my husband that I want to separate. We rent his fathers house and I was hoping to claim universal credit to help wih rent and stay in the house. My father in law is refusing to write a rental agreement for my claim and my husband is refusing to move out. I was so sure that they would consider our 2 children’s best interests and be grown up and end this as amicably as possible. I cant see how to move forward, we live in such an expensive area to rent and council housing now seems incredibly difficult to be top of the list for. I work part time and could increase my hours a bit but my youngest child is 10 so I still need to do school pick ups and dinner etc. Father in law is saying he will do me an eviction note ( kind of him!!) To help me with a housing application but the housing website mentions emergency hostels when applying this way which I am scared will be a horrendous process for the kids. Any advice on how to proceed would be very much appreciated. Thank you

    #64564 Report

    *deleted user*

    Oh gosh.

    I think that is awful of your partner’s father to put you under pressure like that, actually. It must be quite frightening I don’t use the words coercive control lightly but at this point that is what it appears to be from his side.

    I would gather information, speak or chat online to Shelter and find out more about what your position might be in detail.

    With council/social housing you do need to be careful as if you are offered something and refuse it, things might get difficult in that respect.

    Really children’s matters are a concern for yourself and the father – so it is unfair and unhelpful that pressure is coming from his father.

    I would also speak to Women’s Aid (you can post online) – to see what they have to say and also visit the charity and phone them ‘Surviving Economic Abuse’ as I don’t know if you have access to funds to pay a rental deposit.

    It varies from area to area, but if you are applying for housing to a certain degree you can specify rooms needed. i.e if there are two kids who live with you then you will need three bedrooms for example.

    Whatever you do, don’t do anything in a hurry even though it sounds like a difficult situation – it may even be illegal for his dad to threaten that especially if you are joint tenants, but I’m not up to date with that myself as it is a number of years since I applied for social housing. If you are lucky enough to get it and it is a decent standard – that may help you greatly as there are transparent procedures and after a number of years you should have a secure tenancy and can even buy from them.

    What you don’t want is an eviction notice to be issued (that possibly isn’t legal anyway) – and then have a deadline.

    I don’t know how unpleasant your situation is, or how sustainable in terms of your mental health so hopefully others on here might have insights also Shelter etc. You could look online on their website this evening – to find answers to some questions –

    and what about the Covid eviction ban? Not sure if it is still in place?

    Not nice what his father is doing. You are going to need all the help you can get.

    Good luck



    #64565 Report

    *deleted user*

    Sorry to miss a very important detail.

    You are married.

    That changes the situation considerably. For some reason I hadn’t read it that you were.

    In that case I would contact Rights of Women (see online).

    If you are seperating and getting divorced at some later date (it is difficult to get your head around that I know) you have considerably more rights than you might think.


    #64566 Report


    Thank you for your response, I dont know how to reply to your comments so I hope you see this. We dont have rental agreement, husband pays his dad cash. I think it’s good advice not to rush into anything. And I think when my husband has had time to process the information he will be more reasonable. Maybe I can suggest he sell his motorbike for a rental deposit!! Its a scary situation for me and i am prepared to do everything I can do earn enough to rent but the average rental price in our area for a 3 bed which we would need is 1300 per month. I work for the nhs and the wages are shite! I will look into the websites yoh suggested and not make any hasty decisions. Thanks again.

    #64568 Report

    *deleted user*

    You don’t want to write your whole situation on the internet probably so if I think of anything else hope it is okay if I pm you.

    Just remember if you are married then eventually the entire marital assets go into a pot and are divided.

    In the meantime please gather what paperwork you can re bank account etc.

    I had just read on the Shelter website that even if a rental agreement is not written down on paper it is still an agreement. Though sadly you may find that that situation is different from what you thought it was.

    Hang in there, one step at a time.

    And God Bless the NHS and all who sail in her!

    #64569 Report


    Thank you again for your advice. I will wait to see how the next week pans out. I dont know why but in my head I just expected a different reaction but hopefully with a bit of time to process things my husband and his family will be more reasonable.  I want to have a plan in place so when we tell the kids we have answers to the questions they will have. 2 more hearts I have to break and I feel awful about it.

    #64572 Report

    *deleted user*

    These things happen. Seperations and divorce happen. With love for the kids you will all come out the other end. Just pull in all the support you can. Would also consider if you haven’t already telling your supervisor at work and asking for support there. Good luck.

    #64604 Report


    Hi @Jbeck0808, I’m glad you have reached out on the forum. Our helpline will be able to advise you on your situation. Helpline – Gingerbread

    We also have an advice webchat on some days Webchat – Gingerbread

    Best regards, Helen

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