Housing and independent living
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Im about to be made homeless

therasetherase Member Posts: 8 Connected
Im a 49 year old woman who suffers with narcolepsy, cataplexy ,osteoarthritis,fibromyralgia as well as anxiety and depression . Im about to be made homeless after 28 years due to landlord wanting to sell up and im wanting to stay in the same area due to me gaving lived here all my life and the great support system i have here. Am unable to afford private renting and council have been next to useless ...im not looking forward to living in a tent....


  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @therase welcome to the community.  I found a bit of information about emergency housing, it says that you should be classed as a priority due to your impairments.  You can also read Shelter's guide to housing here.

    You say the council has been next to useless, what are they saying to you? 
    Senior online community officer
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    edited April 2017
    Hi @therase, I can empathise as was 2 weeks away from being homeless in 2009 with husband and 2 adult sons after a family business abroad went into liquidation. As Sam has said you should be a priority. Have you given the council a Doctor's letter or other information about your medical conditions and if so are you saying it didn't make any difference? Also does your landlord own any other properties he could offer you? After 28 years he may prefer to have a tenant he knows well rather than strangers. It's sad to say but when you are actually homeless if you could find temporary accommodation your situation will the council will be a much higher priority. Let us know how you get on... 
  • therasetherase Member Posts: 8 Connected
    At the moment theyve still got me on a band D ...and i want to stay in village where ive always lived but i only qualify for a 1 bedroom place and theres not many on there books ....its basically like banging my head against a brick wall with them ...theyve given most of their one bed flats to youngsters who were living with their parents before hand .....the worry is making me ill  to be honest .
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2017
    It sounds really distressing @therase :(
    Senior online community officer
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger

    I could be mistaken, but I thought that landlords who are not going to renew a long-term tenant's lease are obliged to find that tenant alternative accommodation, especially if they are a vulnerable person.  Suggest you ask Shelter about this.

    You should also contact your MP.  MPs have been known to put pressure on councils who refuse to rehouse private tenants about to be made homeless and get them to reverse their decision.
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Which county are you living in @therase ? We might be able to find some helpful links for you.
    Senior online community officer
  • therasetherase Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Im in Devon , just outside Exeter in a village called Exminster Sam.
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    The contact details for Teignbridge district council is 
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: 01626 361101
    Text: 07768 808160
    Opening hours:
    Weekdays: 8.30am to 5pm. Closes 4.30pm on Friday

    I believe your MP is Mel Stride and their contact details are:
    Call:Tel: 01392 823306
    Write to:
    House of Commons
    SW1A 0AA
    Email: [email protected]

    Council and Housing Association homes to rent are advertised through Devon Home Choice.

    Are you claiming any benefits? Were you getting a reduced rate of rent at your current home?

    You can look at the benefits calculator here to see what benefits you may be entitled to.
    Senior online community officer
  • therasetherase Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Thanx for that Sam have been in touch with all of them ...council just tell me to look for private rents but theyre too costly ...yes on benefits .
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Are there any council flats on their books that might be suitable?

    If you arent getting anywhere with the council, I would really suggest getting in touch with your MP, they do have some clout and can be a real help.
    Senior online community officer
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @therase,

    What a shame your landlord is selling up after all these years. Do you know what type of tenancy you have? We could look at what your landlord needs do in order to legally end your tenancy and make sure that the correct procedure is being followed.

    Council's will always look to see if the homelessness can be prevented first and if they can't prevent it, you will need to meet specific criteria in order to establish what type of duty they have to assist you. It is very often the case that the council will ask you to wait until the very day that bailiff's are coming to take possession of the property. This can only happen if the landlord follows the correct legal process. In my previous job in housing advice I had a fair few possession cases struck out in court because the landlord hadn't followed the correct legal procedure. This is why Council's often do not step in until the very last minute, to ensure that all legal avenues have been exhausted. You have rights as a tenant and the Council want to ensure that you exercise these rights. You can't stop your landlord selling up of course but I really would advise getting your tenancy agreement checked and your notice to quit if your landlord has given you one. Take some time to look at the information on Shelter's website about the types of tenancy agreement you can even use their tenancy checker to help you work out what type of tenancy you have and what your rights are. It seems that you've had a happy life where you are so don't give up until living there until you really have to.

    If you need any further guidance just let me know.

    Best wishes
  • therasetherase Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Hi Debbie 
    Ive had my tenancy checked by a lawyer . Thankyou so much for your advice though im very grateful .xx
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @therase,

    I'm glad you've had your tenancy agreement looked over by a solicitor. That will be really helpful if you have to apply as homeless. Hopefully it won't come to that though.
    I see you're in Band D and this is the banding for people with a low housing need (according to the Devon Home Choice website). Looking at how they prioritise applications doesn't fill me with much hope either. Even getting into Band B looks quite tough

    Band B: High Housing Need

    Your application will be placed in the High housing need band (B) if you:

    • Have been accepted as statutorily homeless by a Devon local authority, and where it is assessed that it is not possible and appropriate to find you private rented accommodation
    • Are threatened with homelessness and have been placed in the ‘Prevention of homelessness category by a Devon local authority
    • Are severely overcrowded (e.g. you lack 2 or more bedrooms, or have 2 children who lack a bedroom, such as a single parent with 2 children under 10 in a 1 bed home)
    • Are a tenant of a Devon Home Choice partner landlord and are seeking to move to a home with fewer bedrooms
    • Have been assessed as having a high health/wellbeing need
    • Live in a home assessed as being in a state of High disrepair
    • Have been assessed as ready for move on from supported housing

    You will also be awarded this priority if it is assessed that doing so:

    • Meets a social need or supports the delivery of another service
    • Leads to effective management of social housing within Devon
    Having said that though, as you approach your homelessness date you will be reassessed and placed into the appropriate banding. There is a massive reliance on the private sector for meeting housing need. Even if you go through a homeless application, the local authority can house you in the private sector. Prior to 9th November 2012 if you were owed a full housing duty under homelessness legislation by your local authority you would be offered social housing. The Localism Act 2011 brought in changes to homelessness legislation which has made it possible for councils to offer privately rented accommodation.

    I hope that by explaining some of these issues it will help you move forward and know what to do when the time comes.

    In order to qualify for Band B the council will be assessing privately rented accommodation. If you can provide evidence that you've explored all these avenues beforehand (which I'm sure you will), it could help later on in the process.

    I'm sorry that this is all looking quite gloomy at the moment but it doesn't take away the laws that protect you. It's much harder to access legal advice these days but Shelter are the experts in housing and homelessness law and they will be able to advise you on your rights if your council isn't fulfilling their legal obligations.

    I hope that you're able to keep in touch and let us know how things are progressing. If you get stuck along the way let me know.

    Very best wishes
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