Trying to move home on ESA, please help — Scope | Disability forum
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Trying to move home on ESA, please help

Will_and_Lauren Community member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi my wife has various mental health issues and receives ESA (support group) while I look after her and try to keep her happy.

Recently our neighbors have been putting on loud music during the day and since my wife suffers with insomnia she sometimes has to sleep during the day and of course this creates problems... I have tried to ask as nicely as I could if they wouldn't play the music so loudly and I explained why and they seemed to be nice about it at first. 

I came up with a system where we would put a toy in a window that they could see from their house to show when she was sleeping during the day so that they would know when they could put it on because we didn't want to tell them 'don't ever put it on'. 

But lately it would go on anyway even with the toy on display, so I went around to ask if there was a problem, I knocked normally at their door but since the music was so loud I could only assume they didn't hear me, so I kept knocking for about a minute and I was met with lots of anger and shouting... I tried to calm them down and find out if we had kept them awake as we try to be as quiet as we can during the night and we hadn't, I still don't know what the anger is about but I can only assume they see the toy as an insult or a 'wagging finger' of some kind, so we don't put it up anymore.

Then two days later the man of the house who wasn't there at the time came out and said we had 'upset his wife and his children' and that we 'threatened' them, finishing his angry rant (which I couldn't get any words in-between) with very real physical threats if I went anywhere near them again. 

I know this is all coming from my side but please believe I am a very soft spoken nice person who never threatens or acts angry to others and that I truly only wanted to be nice to them and make everyone happy, I am not sarcastic and I didn't put any tones into my voice.

So now I'm in a situation where further diplomacy risks violence from them and my wife has been sent into full on panic mode, sobbing and shaking and wanting to move away from them but I don't know if we can move.

So at the end of all that is my question to this forum, we own our own house as a gift from both sets of parents over 7 years ago but we dont know if we can move yet keep our ESA intact as we do so, it is very hard for us to simply 'lose it' and reapply after the move as my wife worries that changing anything will draw too much attention, throw her off of ESA and have her brought in before people to inspect her (she just wants to be left alone).

We only have about a thousand pounds and our house to our name and we could get a nice house 'like for like' on the market without too much issue, our parents could help with a little extra to put into a nicer home but it is all a moot point if the benefits we have will be cancelled as soon as we sell our house, will they?

My wife is afraid to go outside the house and she doesn't want me to leave either so we are both very distraught. :(


  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Community member Posts: 2,621 Pioneering

    Hi and sorry to hear about the problems you're having, noise is really distressing and lack of sleep is awful, plus now it sounds like you've got quite a scary and unpleasant environment because of the reaction of your neighbours. It might be worth talking to your local council about this? 

    However, in the meantime, I can advise you that you would not lose your benefits if yo sold your house. If you get means-tested benefits such as income-related ESA then it is usually affected by capital (savings or other financial assets) of over £6,000, and you don't get it at all with capital over £16,000. However, capital from the sale of a house which you intend to use to buy another one is disregarded, as long as you were living in the original house & intend to live in the new one. 

    The good news is that the money you make from selling your home is disregarded for at least 26 weeks (doesn't affect your benefit) and it could be longer if you need longer to complete a purchase. You just need to explain that you have a firm intention to use the money to buy another home. 

    Apart from income-related ESA, the only other means-tested benefit you're likely to be getting is council tax reduction, which will depend on where you are living anyway. Any PIP/DLA, contributory ESA or carer's allowance you and your wife get isn't affected by capital (savings). 

    So I don't think you need to worry about your benefits stopping. You should make sure you keep the DWP and the council informed of any change of address, of course. I do think it's worth talking to the council though if you have had threats of physical violence from a neighbour, though of course you want to be careful and not make things any worse tactically.

    Take care and I hope this information helps.


    The Benefits Training Co:

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 49,873 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome.

    I think this is a very difficult situation because it's day time noise rather than night time noise. If it were night time music then it would be a very different story. In my opinion i'm not sure how you can stop day time noise and i can see why your neighbours weren't very happy, although being nasty towards your partner isn't the way they could have dealt with it.

    Unfortunately, your partner is sleeping during the day time when the majority of us are awake during those hours, if my neighbours knocked on my door in daytime asking me to turn my music down or to ask me to please be a little quieter then i don't think i'd be very happy either, despite suffering from insomnia myself i still wouldn't expect my neighbours to be quiet during daytime hours.

    Moving house to a similar location with neighbours around you because of this does seem to be rather extreme because you could have the exact same problem in the next house you live in and would you move every single time your neighbours made loud noises or played loud music during the day?

    if you're not happy with noise then maybe moving somewhere rural is your answer then you won't have neighbours to make any noise. What ever you decide i hope you find a solution.

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Will_and_Lauren
    Will_and_Lauren Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thanks for the responses, its nice to know we can move home should things get any worse and we are looking into every option that is available to us. We weren't planning on talking to the council though as we are almost certain that it could escalate the situation if they did anything about it, our plan is to avoid them and keep our heads down.

    We realized that asking neighbors to keep rave level loud music (which you can hear down the street) a little lower for 1 day out of every 3 may have been asking too much but they acted very friendly to begin with then all of a sudden extremely angry.

    We never asked for them to tip toe around the only request was music based, we can sleep through screaming children and angry rows etc just not the music.

    We don't even care that much about the noise anymore its the scary threatening problem now that has us wanting to move, things haven't gotten any worse since making my post at least (probably because we are staying low) so that's something.

    Earplugs just hurt our ears and cause more loss of sleep and I have tried to soundproof the room but it still gets through. We are now planning on sleeping in our bathroom when we have to sleep during the day since its the furthest room away from their stereo so lets hope that works.

    My main question was answered so I'm happy, thank you!
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Will_and_Lauren, how are things doing at the moment? :)

  • Will_and_Lauren
    Will_and_Lauren Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Well right now we haven't spoken to them and are doing our best to avoid them, we have calmed down now yet talk about it at least once a day (topics that don't make logical sense and stink of injustice do that to us) and we sleep in our bathroom during the day as its the only room we can avoid the noise to the point where we can sleep.

    If things get worse we will move but right now I'm just doing lots of DIY so our situation gets better for when we do move.

    I don't foresee things changing for a long time, we just need more time to heal our mental wounds
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Community member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    I'm afraid I don't know anything about the moving situation but as far as the noise is concerned then if it is really loud the police could be called day or night on the basis that it's a public nuisance. Getting other neighbors to agree and support you could be needed and it would very likely annoy your neighbor but, to me, in threatening you he has already committed an offense which should have been reported to the police so further reports would back up your side of things.

    Although I am generally a soft spoken person myself I don't often have to worry about being threatened due to my size and my natural reaction to abuse. I don't blush under any circumstances instead when I get pushed I look very angry (or so I am told) inside though I am cringing but my size and the way I appear scares people off from actually going further.

    Always remember that difficult neighbors can often be dealt with legally as they are probably upsetting everyone else around you as well.

    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Will_and_Lauren, this certainly sounds far from ideal! Have you put in a noise complaint? 


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